rself, what were the words? 'Nature's dedicated widow.'
SWITHIN: Vestal widow, was it not?
VIRGINIA: Maiden widow, I think.
DAME DRESDEN: We decide for 'dedicated.'
WINIFRED: Spiral paid his most happy tribute to the memory of her late husband, the renowned Professor Towers.
VIRGINIA: But his look was at dear Astraea.
ARDEN: At Astraea? Why?
VIRGINIA: For her sanction doubtless.
WINIFRED: He said his pride would ever be in his being received as the successor of Professor Towers.
SWITHIN: Guardian was it not?
OSIER: Tutor. I think he said.
(The three gentlemen consult Osier's notes uneasily.)
DAME DRESDEN: Our professor must by this time have received in full Astraea's congratulations, and Lyra is hearing from her what it is to be too late. You will join us at the luncheon table, if you do not feel yourself a discordant instrument there, Mr. Arden?
ARDEN (going to her): The allu