turned round again, just in time to see him, with his eye- glass still bearing straight in my direction, bend his head and speak a few words to his fair companion. Thereupon she, too, glanced in my direction, looked steadfastly at me for a moment, and then burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter which she vainly strove to stifle in her pocket-handkerchief. For a second or two I was utterly lost in astonishment at this unaccountable behaviour, and then all the hideous truth thrust itself upon me. They were laughing at me
. Having at length fully realised this I turned haughtily away and at once left the ground.
I hurried homeward in a most unenviable state of mind, with the conviction every moment forcing itself more obtrusively upon me, that for some inconceivable reason I was the laughing-stock of everybody I met, when, just as I turned once more into the High Street I observed two midshipmen approaching on my own side of the way, and some half a dozen yards or so behind them a certain M