usual truthful self, though very upset. He eyed her almost fearfully. She read his glance.
"Oh no, I'm not romancing. I wish I were! I've been as fond of Harry as though he were in truth my son. But--" she hesitated, took another sip of water, and then the words came out in a flood. This was the second time that she had stayed with the Moncrieffs since their marriage now nearly five years old. The first time, some three years ago, had deepened still more the ties between them all. They had asked her to make her permanent home with them, but Mrs. Phillimore lived in Switzerland with an invalid niece, who took so much of her time and care that she could only rarely get free. She had, however, intended to stay at Beechcroft for six weeks in the autumn, but as. her niece had to have a sudden operation and a long convalescence in a medical home, she had written to say that she would come now, and had arrived at the same time as her letter, taking her daughter and the Major by surprise.