He had tried over the trio, but it did not please him; he did not want music--he wanted Lillian. Beatrice played badly, too, as though she did not know what she was doing. Plainly enough Lord Airlie wanted him out of the way.
"Where are you going?" asked Beatrice, as he placed the music on the piano.
"To look for a good cigar," he replied. "Neither Airlie nor you need pretend to be polite, Bee, and say you hope I will not leave you." He quitted the drawing room, and went to his own room, where a box of cigars awaited him. He selected one, and went out into the garden to enjoy it. Was it chance that led him to the path by the shrubbery? The wind swayed the tall branches, but there came a lull, and then he heard a murmur of voices. Looking over the hedge, he saw the tall figure of a man, and the slight figure of a young girl shrouded in a black shawl.
"A maid and her sweetheart," said Lionel to himself. "Now that is not precisely the kind of thing Lord Earle would like; still, it is no business of mine."
But the man's voice struck him--it was full of the dignity of true passion. He wondered who he was. He saw the young girl place her hand in his for a moment, and then hasten rapidly away.
He thought himself stricken mad when the black shawl fall and showed in the faint moonlight the fair face and golden hair of Lillian Earle.
* * * * * * * * * * **
When Lillian re-entered the drawing room, the pretty ormulu clock was chiming half past nine. The chess and card tables were just as she had left them. Beatrice and Lord Airlie were still at the piano. Lionel was nowhere to be seen. She went up to Beatrice and smilingly asked Lord Airlie if he could spare her sister for five minutes.