him. "Why?" he asked.
"Bridesmaids, you know. I was a flounder in a shoal of mermaids," and Gordon laughed apologetically.
But Hawke joined in the laugh, and said--"Yes; the bridegroom is of no value until the wedding-day;" and he added softly, "and sometimes he is of no value after it."
Gordon smiled confidently and observed--"At all events, you have not changed."
"My dear fellow, we are not all----" He cast about for an epithet less offensive than that ready to his tongue. "We are not all versatile."
"The adjective hardly explains my case; for I don't seem to have existed at all before."
"Don't," Hawke broke in. "Please don't. I will take your sentiment for granted."
Gordon appreciated that he had brought the rejoinder upon himself by a misplaced egotism, and relapsed into his chair. Hawke came and stood immediately above him, leaning against the edge of the table.
"And so," said he, "you came to Wastdale just to see me." He laid his hand on Gordon's