The little divoreee remarked in an aside to Joan, "I-le cer-
tainly does make you think, this high-brow beau of yours!
But I like to think, sometimes."
It taught Joan a lesson. She recalled a sentence of Trevel-
yan's: "A man who has too much sense to overrate his own
qualities will often make amends to his self-esteem by under-
rating his neighbor's."
She realized that she might have been making such a mistake
herself. If, as she had complained, there was no real talk to
be had in society, were not she and people like her responsible
If a scholar such as Stefan Nikolai found it worth while to
give of his best to simpler comprehensions, was it not pre-
tentious and even ridiculous of a Joan Blair to "talk down"
to them, tactfully adapting herself to their limitations while
concealing yawns behind her hand She had the grace to
blush for herself....
The companionship of Joan and Nikolai was, as Louisville
interestedly suspected, not an entirely intellectual one, how-
ever. Like all people who work hard with their heads (and
Nikolai spent many hours at his desk daily, even in holiday
seasons), he knew the full value of play, and had always been
to Joan the most delightful of play-fellows. In her childhood
he had often borrowed her for what they called "expeditions"
-visits to circuses, zoilogical gardens, museums; boat-jour-
neys, picnics-always to the surprise of Major Darcy, who
regarded a child as a desirable addition to any family, some-
thing to be petted, and instructed, and even romped with in
moderation, but by no means to be made a companion of.
These expeditions renewed themselves now in modified form.
The two were constantly to be met with in the most unexpected
places-tramping about the parks in the rain, making tea
over a gipsy fire by the roadside, climbing, their pockets bulg-
ing with books and apples, to the top of a certain hill whence
miles of wild rolling country were to be seen, and the city