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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 245 pages of information about A Daughter of To-Day.
read out for their common benefit.  He was unable to define the difference, but he was aware that it gave him pleasure, especially as he could not find that it was in any way connected with the respectful consideration that Elfrida might have thought due to his forty-seven years.  If Mr. Cardiff had gone so far as to soliloquize upon the subject he would have said to himself, “In my trade a man gets too much of that.”  I do not know that he did, but the subtle gratification this difference gave him was quite strong enough, at all events, to lead to the reflection.  The perception of it was growing so vivid that he instinctively read his notes in silence, paraphrasing them for Janet if she happened to be there.  They had, as it were, a bloom and a freshness, a mere perfume of personality that would infallibly vanish in the communicating, but that left him, as often as not, when he slipped the note back into the envelope with a half smile on his lips.

Janet was conscious of the smile and of the paraphrasing.  In reprisal—­though she would not have admitted it was that—­she kept her own missives from Elfrida to herself whenever it occurred to her to check the generous impulse of sharing the pleasure they gave her, which was not often, after all.  It was the seldomer because she could not help feeling that her father was thoroughly aware of her action, and fancying that he speculated upon the reason of it.  It was unendurable that daddy should speculate about the reason of anything she did in connection with Frida, or with any other young lady.  Her conduct was perfectly simple; there was no reason whatever why it should not be perfectly simple.

When Miss Kimpsey arrived at Euston Station next day, with all her company, to take the train For Scotland; she found Elfrida waiting for her, a picturesque figure in the hurrying crowd with her hair blown about her face with the gusts of wind and rain, and her wide dark eyes looking quietly about her.  She had a bunch of azaleas in her hand, and as Miss Kimpsey was saying with gratification that Elfrida’s coming down to see her off was a thing she did not expect, Miss Bell offered her these.

“They will be pleasant in the train perhaps,” said she.  “And do you think you could find room for this in one of your boxes?  It isn’t very bulky—­a trifle I should like so much to send to my mother, Miss Kimpsey.  It might go by post, I know, but the pleasure will be much greater to her if you could take it.”

In due course Mrs. Bell received the packet.  It contained a delicate lace head-dress, which cost Elfrida the full pay and emoluments of a fortnight.  Mrs. Bell wore it at all social gatherings of any importance in Sparta the following winter, and often reflected with considerable pleasure upon the taste and unselfishness that so obviously accompanied the gift.

CHAPTER XVIII.

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