cause it seemed a shut-in fairy world, a strange beautiful overgrown place, the wild and secret kingdom of the Sleeping Beauty, and it would not have astonished her— who had been reared in so many sham enchantments of the theater—to glimpse at any moment, peeping from the depths of leafy fortresses, sliding from the waters of ferngrown pools, that eerie company of nixies, dryads, giants, and gnomes, in which, for so many thousand people all over the world, Varsovina, that strange creature of spells and moonbeams, had her true existence.
At night, after her brief dinner, she went again to the veranda, and then frogs croaked, and trees rustled, and a solitary owl cried, and then at once all her wild enchanted garden looked as though it were frozen beneath the argent radiance of the moon.
At night, too, it was her custom to read The Times, a newspaper which for many years now had formed a part of her daily existence. Sometimes, very rarely, she was rewarded, for poring over this periodical, by some mention, however casual, of Lord Rochdale's name; she had learned, for instance, through this trusted medium, that he had married, about three years after her Brandenstein escapade, the daughter of a fellow peer, the Earl of Faversham. She knew that they had two children, a boy and a girl. She knew that they lived mostly at Chevis, where Guy was a magistrate and Master of Fox Hounds; she knew that every summer, during the months of June and July, he came with his wife to live at their house in Berkeley Square, there to spend the London season. So much she knew, and no more. Of a life so utterly remote from her own she understood nothing and could imagine little; her scraps of knowledge, sparse and non-committal, collected at such irregular intervals from a medium so supremely aloof as the impersonal columns of this English newspaper, only tormented her, because