Page:Queen Lucia.djvu/35

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31
"QUEEN LUCIA"

she said. "I may find a full account of it all when I open my letters."

"Depend upon it you will. She would hardly have been so wanting in proper feeling as not to have told you. I think, too, that her visitor must only have just arrived, or I should have been sure to see him about somewhere."

She rose.

"Well, we will see," she said. "Now I shall be very busy all afternoon, but by tea-time I shall be ready to see anyone who calls. Give me my letters, Caro, and I will find out if Daisy has written to me."

She turned them over as she went to her room, and there among them was a bulky envelope addressed in Mrs Quantock's great sprawling hand, which looked at first sight so large and legible, but on closer examination turned out to be so baffling. You had to hold it at some distance off to make anything out of it, and look at it in an abstracted general manner much as you would look at a view. Treated thus, scattered words began to leap into being, and when you had got a sufficiency of these, like glimpses of the country seen by flashes of lightning, you could hope to get a collective idea of it all. The procedure led to the most promising results as Mrs Lucas sat with the sheets at arm's length, occasionally altering the range to try the effect of a different focus. "Benares" blinked at her, also "Brahmin"; also "highest caste"; "extraordinary sanctity," and "Guru." And when the meaning of this latter was ascertained from the article on "Yoga" in her Encyclopædia, she progressed very swiftly