and talk in such a simple, comfortable way that Jessie could not feel shy, but was soon quite at her ease. She knew that he was a famous artist, and longed to tell him about poor Laura, who admired his pictures so much and would have enjoyed every moment of this chance interview. He was not a very young man, nor a handsome one, but he had a genial face, and the friendly manners which are so charming; and in ten minutes Jessie was chatting freely, quite unconscious that the artist was studying her in a mirror all the while. They naturally talked of the children, and after praising the pretty dance Mr. Vane quietly added,—
"I've been trying to find a face among them for a picture I'm doing; but the little dears are all too young, and I must look elsewhere for a model for my wood-nymph."
"Are models hard to find?" asked Jessie, eating her ice with the relish of a girl who does not often taste it.
"What I want is very hard to find. I can get plenty of beggar-girls, but this must be a refined face, young and blooming, but with poetry in it; and that does not come without a different training from any my usual models get. It will be difficult to suit me, for I'm in a hurry and don't know where to look,"—which last sentence was not quite true, for the long glass showed him exactly what he wanted.
"I help Mademoiselle with her classes, and she has pupils of all ages; perhaps you could find some one there."