Page:Queen Lucia.djvu/59

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55
"QUEEN LUCIA"

but the August visit required more careful steering. Yet the prospect of being lean and young and internally untroubled was wonderfully tempting.

"But couldn't he be my Guru as well?" he asked.

Quite suddenly and by some demoniac possession, a desire that had been only intermittently present in Mrs Quantock's consciousness took full possession of her, a red revolutionary insurgence hoisted its banner. Why with this stupendous novelty in the shape of a Guru shouldn't she lead and direct Riseholme instead of Lucia? She had long wondered why darling Lucia should be Queen of Riseholme, and had, by momentary illumination, seen herself thus equipped as far more capable of exercising supremacy. After all, everybody in Riseholme knew Lucia's old tune by now, and was in his secret consciousness quite aware that she did not play the second and third movements of the Moonlight Sonata, simply because they "went faster," however much she might cloak the omission by saying that they resembled eleven o'clock in the morning and 3 p. m. And Mrs Quantock had often suspected that she did not read one quarter of the books she talked about, and that she got up subjects in the Encyclopædia, in order to make a brave show that covered essential ignorance. Certainly she spent a good deal of money over entertaining, but Robert had lately made twenty times daily what Lucia spent annually, over Roumanian oils. As for her acting, had she not completely forgotten her words as Lady Macbeth in the middle of the sleep-walking scene?