Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/286

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VI.

IN WHICH A LADY LOOKS GRATEFUL.

Wrath had been playing in ineffable contentment for some thirty minutes, when the door was opened softly and Lady Hyde-Bassett walked in. Her gait was peculiar—not goddess-like, defiant, and untrammelled in the manner of Sophia, but agreeably suggestive of moneyed leisure, a certain feminine timidity, and clinging draperies. She was already dressed for dinner, and was looking her best in violet silk and amethysts. Here it may be a fitting opportunity to mention that she was ever attired in beautiful garments: "How can I make myself a fright," she told Eliza Bellarmine, "when I know that my dearest is watching me from heaven? It would make him so unhappy to see me growing dowdy!" Which, Eliza thought, would have been impious had it not been American.

Margaret and Wrath had known each other for many years. She had often given him motherly advice in his attempt to bring up Sophia(who was her junior by some ten birthdays), and their friendship, which had been somewhat solemn during Sir Benjamin's lifetime, was now stepping the enchanting measures of an intellectual jig. It may be that if Lady Hyde-Bassett had not vowed perpetual widowhood, and if Miss Jenyns had not suddenly grown

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