A pretty little bower, a perfect thicket of roses, caught his attention. From it one could see all over the lake, with its gay pleasure boats. Lord Airlie sat down, believing himself to be quite alone; but before he had removed a large bough that interfered with the full perfection of the view he heard voices on the other side of the thick, sheltering rose bower.
He listened involuntarily, for one of the voices was clear and pure, the other more richly musical than any he had ever heard at times sweet as the murmur of the cushat dove, and again ringing joyously and brightly.
"I hope we shall not have to wait here long, Lillian," the blithe voice was saying. "Lady Helena promised to take us on the lake."
"It is very pleasant," was the reply; "but you always like to be in the very center of gayety."
"Yes," said Beatrice; "I have had enough solitude and quiet to last me for life. Ah, Lillian, this is all delightful. You think so, but do not admit it honestly as I do."
There was a faint, musical laugh, and then the sweet voice resumed:
"I am charmed, Lillian, with this London life; this is worth calling life--every moment is a golden one. If there is a drawback, it consists in not being able to speak one's mind."
"What do you mean?" asked Lillian.