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the tongs in your hand”—here he kicked a big log into place bringing to life a swarm of sparks that blazed out a welcome and then went laughing up the chimney. “By thunder!—isn’t this glorious! Crowd up, all of you—this is the best yet! Lemois, won’t you please shove just a plain, little chair this way for me? No—come to think of it, I’ll take half of Herbert’s royal throne,” and he squeezed in beside the sculptor, one leg dangling over the arm of the Florentine.

Herbert packed himself the closer and the talk ran on: the races at Cabourg and Trouville; the big flight of wild geese which had come a month earlier than usual, and last, the season which had just closed with the rush of fashion and folly, in which chatter Lemois had joined.

“And the same old crowd, of course, Lemois?” suggested Herbert; “and always doing the same things—coffee at nine, breakfast at twelve, tea at five, dinner at eight, and bridge till midnight! Extraordinary, isn’t it! I’d rather pound oakum in a country jail.”

“Some of them will,” remarked Louis with a ruminating smile. “And it was a good season, you say, Lemois?” he continued; “lots of