On a certain sunny May morning, about forty years ago, the owner of Wyvern Towers stepped into a lovely glade of Barras Wood, which was a portion of his extensive property. Felix Drelincourt was a man who stood a little over six feet in height. His black, silky hair had a careless wave in it, and his thin mustache, with its up curled tips, was the cause of his often being taken for a foreigner. But his eyes were the most striking feature of a striking personality. They were black, and of an extraordinarily piercing quality, with a sort of veiled, somber glow in them at times, as it might be the glow thrown out from between the bars of some hidden furnace, the fire in which was eating its heart away in the flame of its own burning unrest. It was not easy to judge his age, but one might put it down as being somewhere between eight and twenty and four or five and thirty. This morning he was dressed in a velveteen shooting jacket, with cord breeches and leggings, and was wearing a low crowned felt hat. "What has brought me here on this one morning of all mornings of the year?" he said. "Ah, what! Am I wrong in terming it a force--a magnetic attraction--I was powerless to resist? This is her birthday. Where is she? Does an English sun shine here on this morning, or that of some far off land? Vain questions, and idle as vain." He took a couple of turns from end to end of the glade with compressed lips and bent brows. Then his thoughts again took articulate form. "This is the spot--the forest temple--the grove sacred to the memory of that hour--where, only three short years ago, Madeline told me that she loved me! Only three little years ago, and yet I seem to have lived through a cycle since then. Yes, here our lips met in love's first kiss, and here we vowed that nothing on earth should divide us. Poor fools that we were! We did not dream of treachery; we hardly knew there was such a word." He came to a halt by a sturdy young oak at the upper end of the opening. "It was in the bark of this tree that I cut her initials and my own. Here they are still to convince me I am not dreaming of something which never happened. Time's obliterating fingers have dealt tenderly with them, as though the old graybeard knew they were a lover's handiwork, and remembered a far off eon when he was young himself." At this moment the clock of a distant church began to strike the hour. Drelincourt stood listening till the last stroke had died into silence. "Nine of them," he said. "It's time to think of going back to the Cot. At what hour did I leave it? There's the mystery. It must have been near midnight before I fell asleep, dog tired. The rest is an absolute blank till I---- Ah! Some one is calling me. It sounds like Rodd's voice. What can he want with me at this hour?"