There was a passing shadow across the group and a slight rustle in the air. Scarcely a dozen yards above the promenade a young lady was flying strongly down the wind with the languid motion of the "swan stroke". She wore white—and lace trimming. Mrs Lisle gazed fixedly out to sea. Even Irene felt that the vision was inopportune. There were little signs of sympathy and commiseration from the group. The sex was beginning to take an unwonted interest in terms financial—per centage, surrender value, trustee stock, unearned increment, and so on. They had reason to do so, for revolutionary finance was very much in the air, or, rather, had come tangibly down to earth at length: not the placid city echoes that were wont to ripple gently across the breakfast-table a few years earlier without leaving any one much better or much worse off, but the galvanic adjustment that by a stroke made the rich well-to-do, the well-to-do just so-so, the struggling poor, and left the poor where they were before.