Alan Thorne, master of otter hounds, had run up to town, and was waiting for dinner in the smoking-room of his club when a man he knew came in. Jervis Liddel did not see Thorne, for he picked up an evening newspaper and studied the stock exchange quotations. He was dressed with fastidious taste, but his face was hot, and he had an anxious look. Thorne watched and pondered, because the young man's father was a neighbor of his in the North. Derwent Liddel, of Scarside, was a man of some importance, but he had had financial troubles, and Thorne wondered how his son managed to belong to the rather expensive club. Jervis had done well at Woolwich, but left just before an examination that his friends expected would give him a commission in the Royal Engineers. Thorne imagined Jervis had not left of his own free will, and was puzzled when he heard that the young man had got a post at a London bank. The Liddels had all been soldiers or country gentlemen, and Jervis was not the stuff of which good bank clerks are made. Perhaps, however, family influence with the manager of a country branch had done much, and Liddel made his son a small allowance on condition that he kept away from the North. Jervis's face went pale when he threw down the paper and spoke to a man close by. "Any sign of Jacinta Copper rallying. Mason? I imagine you ought to know." "I know too much," said the other dryly. "Sold my shares to cut my loss, and wouldn't touch Jacintas now! The slump that has started is not going to stop." He went away, and Jervis looked straight before him for a few seconds and then saw Thorne.