that Mr. Prince would scarcely be satisfied if I did not urge it once more upon you in person. I am his private secretary.”

At the same moment, Amita and Raymond, attracted by the conversation, turned towards him. Their recognition of the man they had seen at Dr. West’s was equally dis- tinct. The silence became embarrassing. Two pretty girls of the party pressed to Amita’s side, with half-audible whispers. “What is it?” “W’ho’s your handsome and wicked-looking friend?” “Is this the surprise?”

At the sound of their voices, Maruja recovered herself coldly. “Ladies,” she said, with a slight wave of her fan, “this is Mr. Prince’s private secretary. I believe it is hardly fair to take up his valuable time. Allow me to thank you, sir, FOR PICKING UP MY mx.”

With a single subtle flash of the eye she swept by him, taking her companions to the other end of the conservatory. When she turned, he was gone.

“This was certainly an unexpected climax.” said Ray- mond, mischievonsly. “Did you really arrange it before- hand“! IVe leave a picturesque tramp at the edge of a grave; we pass over six weeks and a Bridge of Sighs, and hey, presto! we find a private secretary in a conservatory! This is quite the regular Aladdin business.”

“You may laugh,” said Maruja, who had recovered her spirits, “but if you were really clever _you’d find out what it all means. Don’t you see that Amita is dying of curi- osity?”

“Let us fly at once and discover the secret, then,” said Raymond, slipping Amita’s arm through his. “We will consult the oracle in the stables. Come.”

The others followed, leaving hiaruja. for an instant alone. She was about to rejoin them when she heard footsteps in the passage they had just crossed, and then perceived that the young stranger had merely withdrawn to allow the party to precede him before he returned to the other building through the conservatory, which he was just entering. In turning quickly to escape, the black lace of her over-skirt caught in the spines of a snaky-loolting- cactus. She stopped to disengage herself with feverish haste in vain. She was