She HTML version

remember, came along the pavement, accompanied by a pretty fair-
haired girl, and these two Mr. Vincey, who clearly knew them well, at
once joined, walking off in their company. I remember being rather
amused because of the change in the expression of the elder man, whose
name I discovered was Holly, when he saw the ladies advancing. He
suddenly stopped short in his talk, cast a reproachful look at his com-
panion, and, with an abrupt nod to myself, turned and marched off
alone across the street. I heard afterwards that he was popularly sup-
posed to be as much afraid of a woman as most people are of a mad dog,
which accounted for his precipitate retreat. I cannot say, however, that
young Vincey showed much aversion to feminine society on this occa-
sion. Indeed I remember laughing, and remarking to my friend at the
time that he was not the sort of man whom it would be desirable to in-
troduce to the lady one was going to marry, since it was exceedingly
probable that the acquaintance would end in a transfer of her affections.
He was altogether too good-looking, and, what is more, he had none of
that consciousness and conceit about him which usually afflicts hand-
some men, and makes them deservedly disliked by their fellows.
That same evening my visit came to an end, and this was the last I saw
or heard of "Charon" and "the Greek god" for many a long day. Indeed, I
have never seen either of them from that hour to this, and do not think it
probable that I shall. But a month ago I received a letter and two packets,
one of manuscript, and on opening the first found that it was signed by
"Horace Holly," a name that at the moment was not familiar to me. It ran
as follows:Ñ
"ÑÑ College, Cambridge, May 1, 18Ñ
"My dear Sir,ÑYou will be surprised, considering the very slight
nature of our acquaintance, to get a letter from me. Indeed, I think I had
better begin by reminding you that we once met, now some five years
ago, when I and my ward Leo Vincey were introduced to you in the
street at Cambridge. To be brief and come to my business. I have recently
read with much interest a book of yours describing a Central African ad-
venture. I take it that this book is partly true, and partly an effort of the
imagination. However this may be, it has given me an idea. It happens,
how you will see in the accompanying manuscript (which together with
the Scarab, the 'Royal Son of the Sun,' and the original sherd, I am send-
ing to you by hand), that my ward, or rather my adopted son Leo Vincey
and myself have recently passed through a real African adventure, of a
nature so much more marvellous than the one which you describe, that
to tell the truth I am almost ashamed to submit it to you lest you should