"I am afraid I don't understand you, Mr. Lyne." Odette Rider looked gravely at the young man who lolled against his open desk. Her clear skin was tinted with the faintest pink, and there was in the sober depths of those grey eyes of hers a light which would have warned a man less satisfied with his own genius and power of persuasion than Thornton Lyne. He was not looking at her face. His eyes were running approvingly over her perfect figure, noting the straightness of the back, the fine poise of the head, the shapeliness of the slender hands. He pushed back his long black hair from his forehead and smiled. It pleased him to believe that his face was cast in an intellectual mould, and that the somewhat unhealthy pastiness of his skin might be described as the "pallor of thought."