Page:Twilight.djvu/107

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99
TWILIGHT

Poor Burden was with the Sylvestres, you remember the case. Everybody defended and it was fought for five interminable days. The papers devoted columns to it, nothing else was discussed in the Clubs, the whole air of London―Mayfair end―was fœtid and foul with it. Burden was a witness, he had seen too much, and his evidence sent poor silly Ann Sylvestre to hide her divorced and disgraced head in Monte Carlo. And can a head properly ondulé be said to be divorced? Heavens! how my pen runs on, or away, like me. And I haven't come to the story, which now I come to think of it is not so very good. I will tell you it in Burden's own words. He applied for our situation through a registry office, and stood before my stepmother and me, hat in hand, sorrowful, but always dignified, as he answered questions.

"My last situation was with a Mrs. Solomon. I'm sorry, milady, to have to ask you to take up a character from such people. I'd always been in the best service before that… I was hallboy with the Jutes, third and then second with His Grace the Duke of Richland, first footman under the Countess Foreglass. I was five years with the Sylvestres; you know, Ma'am, he was first cousin to the Duke of Trent, near to the Throne itself, as one might say. I'd never lowered myself to an untitled family before. But after the divorce I couldn't get nothing. Ma'am, I hope you'll believe me, but from the moment I accepted Mr. Solomon's place all I was planning to do was to get out of it. They was Jews, if I may mention such a thing to you. I took ten pounds a year less than I'd had at his Lordship's, but Mr. Solomon, he said in his facetious way that