"Pray excuse me," she begged; "I will sing for you presently."
He looked surprised; it was the first time she had ever refused him a favor.
"Shall we finish the folio of engravings?" he asked.
Knowing that, when once she was seated by his side, it would be impossible to get away, she again declined; but this time the fair face flushed, and the sweet eyes drooped.
"How guilty you look," he said. "Is there any mystery on hand? Are you tired of me? Or is there to be another important consultation over the wedding dresses?"
"I have something to attend to," she replied, evasively. "Get the folio ready--I shall not be long."
Beatrice, who had listened to the brief dialogue in feverish suspense, now came to the rescue, asking Lionel to give them the benefit of his clear, ringing tenor in a trio of Mendelssohn's.
"My 'clear, ringing tenor' is quite at your service," he said with a smile. "Lily is very unkind to me tonight."