Claire laughed shakily.

'It is odd, though,' said Lady Wetherby, meditatively, 'that this man should have said that he knew you, when you don't--'

Claire turned impulsively.

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'Polly, I want to tell you something. Promise you won't tell Dudley. I wasn't telling the truth just now. I do know this man. I was engaged to him once.'

'For goodness' sake don't tell Dudley!'

'It's all over now; but I used to be engaged to him.'

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'Not when I was in England?'

'No, after that.'

'Then he didn't know you are engaged to Dudley now?'

'N-no. I--I haven't seen him for a long time.'

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Lady Wetherby looked remorseful.

'Poor man! I must have given him a jolt! But why didn't you tell me about him before?'

'Oh, I don't know.'

'Oh, well, I'm not inquisitive. There's no rubber in my composition. It's your affair.'