"So here I am at last, you see. Aren't you surprised?"
"I really had to come and see you, Guardy; we haven't had a sight of you for such an age. And in this awful weather! How are you, dear old Guardy?"
"Never better." And, watching her green-grey eyes, he added:
Her face did not fall; she gave her feather-laugh.
"How dreadful of you to think I came for that! But I am in an awful fix, Guardy."
"Just let me tell you, dear; it'll be some relief. I'm having the most terrible time."
She sank into a low chair, disengaging an overpowering scent of violets, while melancholy struggled to subdue her face and body.
"The most awful fix. I expect to be sold up any moment. We may be on the streets to-morrow. I daren't tell the children; they're so happy, poor darlings. I shall be obliged to take Jock away from school. And Phyllis will have to stop her piano and dancing; it's an absolute crisis. And all due to those Midland Syndicate people. I've been counting on at least two hundred for my new story, and the wretches have refused it."