That was not her real name. No one could have christened an inoffensive babe so absurdly. Her mother had, indeed, through the agency of godfathers and godmothers, called her Stella after a rich old maiden aunt, thereby showing her wisdom; for the maiden aunt died gratefully a year after the child was born, and bequeathed to her a comfortable fortune. Her father had given her the respectable patronymic of Blount, which, as all the world knows, or ought to know, is not pronounced as it is spelled.
It is not pronounced “Maris,” however, as, in view of the many vagaries of British nomenclature, it might very well be, but “Blunt.” It was Walter Herold, the fantastic, who tacked on the Maris to her Christian name, and ran the two words together so that to all and sundry the poor child became Stellamaris, and to herself a baptismal puzzle, never being quite certain whether Stella was not a pert diminutive, and whether she ought to subscribe herself in formal documents as “Stellamaris Blount.”