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"It's not good enough for you."

"Since when have I been a sybarite, Clara?"

"I mean you ought to think of your position."

"It's too unpleasant to think about," rejoined Lambert, throwing himself on the couch and producing his pipe. "May I smoke?"

"Yes, and if you have any decent cigarettes I'll join you. Thanks!" She deftly caught the silver case he threw her. "But your position?"

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"Five hundred a year and no occupation, since I have been brought up to neither trade nor profession," said Lambert leisurely. "Well?"

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"You are the heir to a title and to a large property."

"Which is heavily mortgaged. As to the title"—Lambert shrugged his shoulders—"Garvington's wife may have children."

"I don't think so. They have been married ten years and more. You are certain to come in for everything."

"Everything consists of nothing," said the artist coolly.

"Well," drawled Miss Greeby, puffing luxuriously at her cigarette, which was Turkish and soothing, "nothing may turn into something when these mortgages are cleared off."

"Who is going to clear them off?"

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"Sir Hubert Pine."

Lambert's brows contracted, as she knew they would when this name was mentioned, and he carefully attended to filling his pipe so as to avoid meeting her hard, inquisitive eyes. "Pine is a man of business, and if he pays off the mortgages he will take over the property as security. I don't see that Garvington will be any the better off in that case."

"Lambert," said Miss Greeby very decidedly, and determined to know precisely what he felt like, "Garvington only allowed his sister to marry Sir Hubert because he was rich. I don't know for certain, of course, but I should think it probable that he made an arrangement with Pine to have things put straight because of the marriage."

"Possible and probable," said the artist shortly, and wincing; "but old friend as you are, Clara, I don't see the necessity of talking about business which does not concern me. Speak to Garvington."

"Agnes concerns you."

"How objectionably direct you are," exclaimed Lambert in a vexed tone. "And how utterly wrong. Agnes does not concern me in the least. I loved her, but as she chose to marry Pine, why there's no more to be said."

"If there was nothing more to be said," observed Miss Greeby shrewdly, "you would not be burying yourself here."