Page:Out of due time, Ward, 1906.djvu/27

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17
OUT OF DUE TIME.

dear," here my mother put down the letter, "it does seem a very long way for you to go alone."

That was years ago it must not be forgotten, at least twenty years ago (I'm not in conscience bound to be more exact as to the date). I felt then that such a journey would be a bold measure, and my heart sank. But Miss Mills rose to the situation, and it was agreed that her proposal to take me to London, and see me into a ladies' compartment direct to Glossop, was quite fitting.

"The comfort is," it was Mary who spoke, "both as to your clothes and your not having a maid, that Mademoiselle d'Etranges is new to the country, and will take for granted, knowing who you are, that it is all right according to English ideas."

"She won't if there are really smart people in the house too," I said, ruefully surveying the frocks that had been so costly a part of the visit to Thornly three years before. "Besides, you know, there is something like a smell—a smell to the eye—in old smart frocks—a Frenchwoman's instinct would detect it at once."

Mary sighed deeply. "Then you know," I went on, "for the moors it ought to be so very different, tailor-made things, yachting clothes——"

"My dear!" said Mary, "you don't expect to yacht on the moors, do you?"

"No, but there ought to be something very tailor-made and very blue sergey, and that makes me think of yachting."

"But do take consolation from her Frenchness," persisted Mary. "You will probably find her in a sort of Watteau muslin effect, or in a Trianon cotton edged with priceless lace. Those two frocks really are nice and summery, and will do quite nicely with hers."

Mary saw that I was really depressed with the malaise of worldly anxiety, and her pride and her tenderness made her anxious to drive it away. "I wouldn't change them," she