I was introduced to her at an afternoon reception. She was a typical outdoor Englishwoman. Not particularly handsome, hut possessing to the full the clearness of skin and eyes and strong virile health, that is the hereditary lien of Albion's daughters. Tall, willowy and strong, of free and independent manners and habits, she was the direct antithesis of the usual German woman. I reasoned that this was probably the reason of the young Duke's infatuation.

"How do you do, you wild Colonial boy. ever?"

We both burst out laughing.

"So your ladyship observed and classified my little maneuvers."

"Of course," with a toss of her head.

Unforced and pleasant chatting followed. I could more and more understand the Grand Duke's infatuation; in fact, considered him quite a "deuced, lucky beggar."

From that day on I made it a point to be present whenever she attended public places, such as the theater, concerts or restaurants. Gradually and imperceptibly, by little services here and there, I won her confidence. There was an after-theater supper, in the Indian room of the Windsor, and I was invited. By this time people had come to know something about me. I was a globe-trotter, a man of leisure, interested as a hobby in research work in medicine. I discovered that her affair with the young Grand Duke was a fairly open secret in her set; also, that she was expecting him in London almost daily. Gradually I hinted that I knew the young Grand Duke. As I gained her confidence further, I invented amorous affairs for him and hinted to her about them. In this way I finally managed to induce her to talk. Subtly I instilled a vague resentment against him, which was accentuated by his non-appearance in London society up to now. His Highness having been kept away by his Serene Uncle, the serene one having been cautioned to do so by me.

Two months passed before I was invited to the lady's home in Mayfair and by that time, partly because I pretended to know the young Grand Duke, I was on a more intimate footing. I had learned that she had met him at a hunting party at the Earl of Crewes' shooting box in Shropshire. Later, she intimated that this was but their official meeting and that their acquaintance actually dated from a mountain trip she had taken to Switzerland, the universal playground of royalty traveling incog. I learned too that her heavy bridge gambling had cost her a lot of money.

The information that the lady was in debt did not come easily. To obtain it, I had to work on her maid. Whenever the occasion arose, I made it my business to tip the maid liberally. I contrived to do a number of little things for her. Knowing the lady to be out, I called at the house one day and while pretending to be waiting for my hostess, I put some leading questions to the maid. I learned that her mistress was pressed for money. That was an opening worth working on.

Thereafter I contrived to be present whenever there was a bridge party at the lady's. They are pretty high gamblers, those English society women, and I came to see that the lady was generally a heavy loser. It was my good fortune for her to lose to me one night. Now, it is the custom at these gatherings not to hand over cash; instead, the unlucky one pays with what corresponds to an "on demand note." I took her note that night and with others--the whereabouts of which I learned from the maid and which I indirectly purchased from the holders--I took all these to a notorious money-lender and made a deal with him. He was to take the notes and press the lady for payment, of course keeping my name out of it. It is obvious that, trying as I was to win her confidence, I could not go myself and hold these obligations over her head. That same day the money-lender paid the lady a call. He paid her a good many other calls, harassing her, threatening legal action and driving her until she was almost to a state of nervous collapse. Well-placed sympathies soon made her talk and she burst out pettishly that she was in debt and that most of her acquaintances were in debt--nothing unusual in that set.