“Time went on. There was no swordsman, or pistol-shot like me in London, they said. We had as many pupils as we liked—it was the only part of my life when I have been able to save money. I had no chance to spend it. We gave lessons all day, and in the evening were too tired to go out. That year I had the misfortune to lose my dear mother. I became a rich man—yes, sir, at that time I must have had not less than six hundred a year.
“It was a long time before I saw Eilie again. She went abroad to Dresden with her father’s sister to learn French and German. It was in the autumn of 1875 when she came back to us. She was seventeen then—a beautiful young creature.” He paused, as if to gather his forces for description, and went on.
“Tall, as a young tree, with eyes like the sky. I would not say she was perfect, but her imperfections were beautiful to me. What is it makes you love—ah! sir, that is very hidden and mysterious. She had never lost the trick of closing her lips tightly when she remembered her uneven tooth. You may say that was vanity, but in a young girl—and which of us is not vain, eh? ‘Old men and maidens, young men and children!’
“As I said, she came back to London to her little room, and in the evenings was always ready with our tea. You mustn’t suppose she was housewifely; there is something in me that never admired housewifeliness—a fine quality, no doubt, still—” He sighed.
“No,” he resumed, “Eilie was not like that, for she was never quite the same two days together. I told you her eyes were like the sky—that was true of all of her. In one thing, however, at that time, she always seemed the same—in love for her father. For me! I don’t know what I should have expected; but my presence seemed to have the effect of making her dumb; I would