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and select family hotel. As they came up to the door, the light was reflected back from the shining plate-glass windows. A few carriages, sober and glittering in their windows, also stood by, to take away the owners. There was a Queen's ball that night, and various distinguished county families had come up to town, to Starridge's, to go to the solemnity. There were lights in many windows, where the young ladies were dressing. A blaze, as from a lantern came out from the hall, where servants were waiting.
"Was Mrs. Labouchere there?"
Yes, she was staying there; but was engaged.
"No matter. They must take up that name."
It was impossible. She was just going away—to the Continent, by the night train.
Ah, she was flying—beaten—afraid to carry on the contest!
The sick lady looked over at her daughter with a sort of exultation. They were certain? No mistake? Well, they supposed so: there were her boxes coming down.
"No matter, I shall not trust her," said Mrs. Talbot, "I shall wait on her, and must see her too. She will think when she hears that I have been here, that I was afraid to meet her."
Livy did not answer her, did not hear her; in fact her whole heart and soul were absorbed by a figure which she saw in the hall, and recognized, a figure which had glided down, and was busy over the trunks, and giving directions with a sort of fussiness— utterly unconscious that any domestic eyes were gazing on his movements. It was a truly dramatic situation. He had even an air of command, the old foolish bustle and importance—ordering the waiters about—it was a pitiable sight indeed for her.
But the whole anxiety and burden on her mind was the fear lest her mother should see, or catch a glimpse. At times his face was even turned full on the cab, in the glare of the light; but still she did not remark him. Something must be done, for she wished to get out, go upstairs and meet her enemy; when with a sudden thought, Livy said hurriedly.
"You must not go in, mother, you cannot do it! In this place too. Or, at least, let me go in first, and then you can follow, if you wish."
As she spoke, she got out and entered. No one noticed the veiled young girl who had fluttered in so softly, and she heard her father giving words of command in his own old foolish and excited way.
"Here I say! Get down that trunk —we shall be late! Has my portmanteau been got down? See that it is labelled 'For Paris,' at the station."
"My portmanteau got down!" What were these terrible words that seemed to strike her full in the face, like blows of a club?
Was he going with her?
FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
He was in the shadow now, out of the glare of the light, so that he could not be seen from the street. She stepped lightly aside into a parlour that was open, and bade one of the waiters tell that gentleman to come to her.
The confounded look in the Beauty's face, the rage, vexation, disappointment, was something to see.
"You here!" he said, "what do you want? I won't have this. Now, just go back. I won't go with you."