' That tree stands on the hearth of your kitchen, and grows nearly straight up its chimney,' he said.
' Now I know you are making game of me !'. I answered, with a laugh of scorn.
' Was I making game of you when you discovered me looking out of your star-sapphire yesterday ? '
' That was this morning—not an hour ago !'
'I have been widening your horizon longer than that, Mr. Vane ; but never mind ! '
' You mean you have been making a fool of me ! ' I said, turning from him.
' Excuse me : no one can do that but yourself !'
' And I decline to do it.'
' You mistake.'
' In declining to acknowledge yourself one already. You make yourself such by refusing what is true, and for that you will sorely punish yourself.'
' How, again ? '
' By believing what is not true.'
' Then, if I walk to the other side of that tree, I shall walk through the kitchen fire ? '
' Certainly. You would first, however, walk through the lady at the piano in the breakfast-room. That rosebush is close by her. You would give her a terrible start!'
' There is no lady in the house !'
' Indeed ! Is not your housekeeper a lady ? She is counted such in a certain country where all are servants, and the liveries one and multitudinous !'
' She cannot use the piano, anyhow! '
' Her niece can : she is there—a well-educated girl and a capital musician.'