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"Why not, sir? She would be very silly to refuse, I think."

"Then you would n't be offended if asked to sit in this way?"

"Oh, no. I've sat for Laura many a time, and she says I make a very good model. But then, she only paints simple little things that I am fit for."

"That is just what I want to do. Would you mind asking the young lady for me? She is just behind you."

Jessie turned with a start, wondering who had come in; but all she saw was her own curious face in the mirror, and Mr. Vane's smiling one above it.

"Do you mean me?" she cried, so surprised and pleased and half ashamed that she could only blush and laugh and look prettier than ever.

"Indeed I do. Mrs. Murray thought the request would annoy you; but I fancied you would grant it, you wore such a graceful little garland, and seemed so interested in the pictures here."

"It is only a bit of ivy, but so pretty I wanted to wear it, as I had nothing else," said the girl, glad that her simple ornament found favor in such eyes.

"It is most artistic, and caught my eye at once, I said to myself, 'That is the head I want, and I must secure it if possible.' Can I?" asked Mr. Vane, smiling persuasively as he saw what a frank and artless young person he had to deal with.

"With pleasure, if Laura does n't mind. I'll ask her, and if she is willing I shall be very proud to have even my wreath in a famous picture," answered Jessie,