He turned abruptly, and fixed upon her a steadfast, searching stare that held, nevertheless, a strange tenderness in it.
"You don't care for all this, do you, Victoria?" he demanded, waving his stick to indicate the domain of Fairview.
She laughed gently, and raised her eyes to the green roof of the needles.
"If we could only keep the pine grove!" she sighed. "Do you remember what good times we had in the farmhouse, when you and I used to go off for whole days together?"
"We don't do that any more," said Victoria. "It's only a little drive and a walk, now and then. And they seem to be growing--scarcer."
Mr. Flint moved uneasily, and made an attempt to clear his voice.
"I know it," he said, and further speech seemingly failed him. Victoria had the greater courage of the two.
"I've often thought of it," he replied, still seeking his words with difficulty. "I find myself with more to do every year, Victoria, instead of less."