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WHATEVER opinion I might hold of the professor and his theories it did not keep me from calling on Miss Baker at an early date, in order to give her a long account of the whole affair. I might possibly have tried to let the talk drift a little in other directions between whiles; but as old Lady Yarcombe, who acted the guardian angel, regarded me as rather ineligible, she stuck to the room like a leech and mercilessly kept me to business. La belle Americaine, also, was mightily curious over the nominal object of my visit; though — as I might have anticipated — she treated the matter as a huge joke.

"It's just too lovely," she laughed. " I'm dying to know whether he's fooling you or himself. You must fix it up so's I go there and find out. You and I'll go and see him."

"Landry! my dear!" exclaimed the duenna.

"Landry's going and pretty soon," returned the other decisively. "Mr. Lester don't mind— twon't shock him."

I admitted that I was at her service. Inwardly I hoped that Dornton would hear of it.

"I'm sick to death of being tied up," she went on. "What's the good of dollars, anyhow, if you've got to crawl about all your days for fear of what folk'll think?"

"You are already fully unconventional, my dear," ventured her ladyship.

"But I'm going to be a deal more so by and by. Landry Baker knows how to take care of herself, and in future she's going to run the show in person."

The conversation was getting a little personal. I looked out of the window and thought about matrimony. On the whole I decided to wait awhile before putting my fortunes to the test.

"It's all settled, Mr. Lester," said the girl presently—" so you've only to fix things up. And while you're about it I'll appoint you my cavalier and dragoman generally, and you must let me know of any other rum show that's to be seen."

In consequence of which I pryed into and meddled with a good many things that otherwise I should not have troubled about.

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