Adrien Leroy (Chapter 8, page 2 of 7)

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Chapter 8

"You are early as usual, Constance," he said approvingly.

Lady Constance Tremaine smiled as she turned with him and walked along
the mosaic pavement of the terrace. She was little more than a girl,
with a slim, graceful figure, and clad in a simple white morning gown,
which served to enhance her youthful beauty. Her face was a pure oval,
with clear-cut features and an exquisitely curved, sensitive mouth,
while her grey-blue eyes gazed from beneath their thick lashes with a
calm serenity that bred faith and confidence in those who looked upon
them. Crowned with a wealth of pale golden hair, together with her
delicate complexion, she looked as if she had stepped from one of the
old Florentine pictures of the saints.

As the two so typical of youth and age stood side by side in the clear
morning light, the resemblance between them was marked. Indeed, they
were related, for the Tremaines were a distant branch of the Leroy
family, and the same proud blood ran in their veins. Lady Constance had
been brought up in the Barminster household, and Adrien had grown to
regard her in the light of a loved and trusted sister; but, as yet,
nothing more.

"Won't you come in to breakfast?" she said, as they reached the end of
the terrace. "Aunt Penelope is not coming down; her nerves are bad this

Miss Penelope Leroy, Lord Barminster's only sister, was not strictly
speaking Constance's aunt, merely a distant cousin; but as a child
Constance had been accustomed to call her so, and the habit had grown up
with her.

Lord Barminster smiled grimly.

"I advised her to let the cucumber alone last night," was his only
comment as he turned towards the breakfast room.

Constance smiled too, for she knew that when Miss Penelope complained of
her nerves, it was in reality nothing but a case of indigestion.

"How bright the course looks this morning!" she said, with a charitable
wish to change the subject, for Lord Barminster was apt at times to wax
caustic over his sister's small weaknesses.

"Yes," he said grimly; "like all things dangerous, it is pleasant to the
eye. I hate that strip of green--it is the grave of many a Leroys' best
hope. The turf has always been a fatal snare to our race. But, come," he
broke off, "let us go in. Thank goodness, Adrien arrives to-day."

"To-day?" repeated Lady Constance, a delicate flush rising to her sweet
face. "I thought he was not going to arrive until the morning of the

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