"Well, there's one thing about me," she said acidly. "I never go where I ain't wanted."
Trent shrugged his shoulders and turned to the coachman.
"Drive home, Gregg," he said. "I'm walking."
The man touched his hat, the carriage drove off, and Trent, with a grim smile upon his lips, walked along the dusty road. Soon he paused before a little white gate marked private, and, unlocking it with a key which he took from his pocket, passed through a little plantation into a large park-like field. He took off his hat and fanned himself thoughtfully as he walked. The one taste which his long and absorbing struggle with the giants of Capel Court had never weakened was his love for the country. He lifted his head to taste the breeze which came sweeping across from the Surrey Downs, keenly relishing the fragrance of the new-mown hay and the faint odour of pines from the distant dark-crested hill. As he came up the field towards the house he looked with pleasure upon the great bed of gorgeous-coloured rhododendrons which bordered his lawn, the dark cedars which drooped over the smooth shaven grass, and the faint flush of colour from the rose-gardens beyond. The house itself was small, but picturesque. It was a grey stone building of two stories only, and from where he was seemed completely embowered in flowers and creepers. In a way, he thought, he would be sorry to leave it. It had been a pleasant summer-house for him, although of course it was no fit dwelling-house for a millionaire. He must look out for something at once now - a country house and estate. All these things would come as a matter of course.
He opened another gate and passed into an inner plantation of pines and shrubs which bordered the grounds. A winding path led through it, and, coming round a bend, he stopped short with a little exclamation. A girl was standing with her back to him rapidly sketching upon a little block which she had in her left hand.
"Hullo!" he remarked, "another guest! and who brought you down, young lady, eh?"
She turned slowly round and looked at him in cold surprise. Trent knew at once that he had made a mistake. She was plainly dressed in white linen and a cool muslin blouse, but there was something about her, unmistakable even to Trent, which placed her very far apart indeed from any woman likely to have become his unbidden guest. He knew at once that she was one of that class with whom he had never had any association. She was the first lady whom he had ever addressed, and he could have bitten out his tongues when he remembered the form of his doing so.
"I beg your pardon, miss," he said confusedly, "my mistake! You see, your back was turned to me."