It was a typical July day in a large seaport town of South Wales. There had been refreshing showers in the morning, giving place to a murky haze through which the late afternoon sun shone red and round. The small kitchen of No. 2 Bryn Street was insufferably hot, in spite of the wide-open door and window. A good fire burnt in the grate, however, for it was near tea-time, and Mrs. Parry knew that some of her lodgers would soon be coming in for their tea. One had already arrived, and, sitting on the settle in the chimney corner, was holding an animated conversation with his landlady, who stood before him, one hand akimbo on her side, the other brandishing a toasting fork. Her beady black eyes, her brick-red cheeks and hanks of coarse hair, were not beautiful to look upon, though to-day they were at their best, for the harsh voice was softened, and there was a humid gentleness in the eyes not habitual to them. Her companion was a young man about twenty-three years of age, dark, almost swarthy of hue, tanned by the suns and storms of foreign seas and many lands, As he sat there in the shade of the settle one caught a glance of black eyes and a gleam of white teeth, but the easy, lounging attitude did not show to advantage the splendid build of Gethin Owens.