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as she believed, caused the death of her little sister. She dropped his hand with an exclamation of disgust and dismay, and as she did so he recognised who she was.

"Hullo!" he said, with a faint and rather feeble attempt to assume his old crusted publishing-company manners. "Hullo! Miss Jemima-Smithers, I mean; what on earth are you doing here?"

"I am going to New Zealand, Mr. Meeson," she answered sharply; "and I certainly did not expect to have the pleasure of your company on the voyage."

"Going to New Zealand," he said, "are you? Why, SO am I; at least, I am going there first, then to Australia. What do you mean to do there-try and run round our little agreement, eh? It won't be any good, I tell you plainly. We have our agents in New Zealand, and a house in Australia, and if you try to get the better of Meeson's there, Meeson's will be even with you, Miss Smithers- -Oh, Heavens! I feel as though I were coming to pieces."

"Don't alarm yourself, Mr. Meeson," she answered, "I am not going to publish any more books at present."

"That is a pity," he said, "because your stuff is good selling stuff. Any publisher would find money in it. I suppose you are second-class, Miss Smithers, so we sha'n't see much of each other; and, perhaps, if we should meet, it might be as well if we didn't seem to have any acquaintance. It don't look well for a man

in my position to know second-class passengers, especially young lady passengers who write novels."

"You need not be afraid, Mr. Meeson; I have no wish to claim your acquaintance,” said Augusta.

At this point, her enemy was taken violently worse again, and, being unable to bear the sight and sound of his writhing and groaning, she fled forward; and, reflecting on this strange and awkward meeting, went down to her own berth, where, with lucid intervals, she remained helpless and half stupid for the next three days. On the fourth day, however, she reappeared on deck quite recovered, and with an excellent appetite. She had her breakfast, and then went and sat forward in as quiet a place as she could find. She did not want to see Mr. Meeson any more, and she did want to escape from the stories of her cabin-mate, the lady'smaid. This good person would, after the manner of her kind, insist upon repeating to her a succession of histories connected with members of the families with whom she had lived, many of which were sufficient to make the hair of a respectable young lady like Augusta stand positively on end. No doubt they were interesting to her in her capacity of a novelist; but, as they were all of the same colour, and as their tendency was to absolutely destroy any belief she might have in virtue as an inherent quality in highly developed woman, or honour in man, Augusta soon wearied of these chroniques scandaleuses. So she went forward, and was sitting looking at the "white horses" chasing each other across

the watery plain, and reflecting upon what the condition of mind of those ladies whose histories she had recently heard would be if they knew that their most secret, and in some cases disgraceful and tragic, love affairs were the common talk of a dozen servants'-halls, when suddenly she was astonished by the appearance of a splendid official bearing a book. At first, from the quantity of gold lace with which his uniform was adorned, Augusta took him to be the captain; but it presently transpired that he was only the chief steward.

"Please, Miss," he said, touching his hat and holding out the book in his hand towards her, "the captain sends his compliments, and wants to know if you are the young lady who wrote this."

Augusta glanced at the work. It was a copy of "Jemima's Vow." Then she replied that she was the writer of it, and the steward vanished.

Later in the morning came another surprise. The gorgeous official again appeared, touched his cap, and said that the captain desired him to say that orders had been given to have her things moved to a cabin further aft. At first Augusta demurred to this, not from any love of the lady's-maid, but because she had a truly British objection to being ordered about.

"Captain's orders, Miss," said the man, touching his cap again; and she yielded.

Nor had she any cause to regret doing so; for, to her huge delight, she found herself moved into a charming deck-cabin on the starboard side of the vessel,

some little way abaft the engine-room. It was evidently an officer's cabin, for there, over the head of the bed, was the picture of the young lady he adored, and also some neatly fitted shelves of books, a rack of telescopes, and other seaman-like contrivances.

"Am I to have this cabin to myself?" asked Augusta of the steward.

"Yes, Miss; those are the captain's orders. It is Mr. Jones's cabin. Mr. Jones is the second officer; but he has turned in with Mr. Thomas, the first officer, and given up the cabin to you."

"I am sure it is very kind of Mr. Jones," murmured Augusta, not knowing what to make of this turn of fortune. But surprises were not to end there. A few minutes afterwards, just as she was leaving the cabin, a gentleman in uniform came up, in whom she recognised the captain. He was accompanied by a pretty fair-haired woman very becomingly dressed.

"Excuse me; Miss Smithers, I believe?" he said, with a bow.


"I am Captain Alton. I hope you like your new cabin. Let me introduce you to Lady Holmhurst, wife of Lord Holmhurst, the New Zealand Governor, you know. Lady Holmhurst, this is Miss Smithers, whose book you were talking so much about."

"Oh! I am delighted to make your acquaintance, Miss Smithers," said the great lady, in a manner that evidently was not assumed. "Captain Alton has pro

mised that I shall sit next to you at dinner, and then we can have a good talk. I don't know when I have been so much delighted with anything as I was with your book. I have read it three times; what do you think of that for a busy woman?”

"I think there is some mistake," said Augusta, hurriedly and with a slight blush. "I am a secondclass passenger on board this ship, and therefore cannot have the pleasure of sitting next to Lady Holmhurst." "Oh, that is all right, Miss Smithers," said the captain with a jolly laugh. shall take no denial."

"You are my guest, and I

"When for once in our lives we find genius, we are not going to lose the opportunity of sitting at its feet," added Lady Holmhurst, with a little movement towards her which was neither curtsey nor bow, but rather a happy combination of both. The compliment was, Augusta felt, sincere, however much it exaggerated the measure of her poor capacities, and, putting other things aside, coming as it did from one woman to another, was peculiarly graceful and surprising. She blushed and bowed, scarcely knowing what to say, when suddenly Mr. Meeson's harsh tones, pitched just now in a respectful key, broke upon her ear. Mr. Meeson was addressing no less a person than Lord Holmhurst, G.C.M.G. Lord Holmhurst was a stout, short, dark little man, with a somewhat pompous manner, and a kindly face. He was a Colonial Governor of the first water, and perfectly aware of the fact.

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