While the violins were in course of exhibition, Mirabel found an opportunity of speaking to Emily, unobserved.
"Have you said, or done, anything to offend Miss de Sor?" he asked.
"Nothing whatever!" Emily declared, startled by the question. "What makes you think I have offended her?"
"I have been trying to find a reason for the change in her," Mirabel answered--"especially the change toward yourself."
"Of a sort which may expose her to discovery--unless she disarms suspicion at the outset. That is (as I believe) exactly what she has been doing this evening. I needn't warn you to be on your guard."
All the next day Emily was on the watch for events--and nothing happened. Not the slightest appearance of jealousy betrayed itself in Francine. She made no attempt to attract to herself the attentions of Mirabel; and she showed no hostility to Emily, either by word, look, or manner.
The day after, an event occurred at Netherwoods. Alban Morris received an anonymous letter, addressed to him in these terms:
"A certain young lady, in whom you are supposed to be interested, is forgetting you in your absence. If you are not mean enough to allow yourself to be supplanted by another man, join the party at Monksmoor before it is too late."