Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/308

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A Study in Temptations.

"Why should London change her?" said Miss Caroline, wondering whether "cynical" was a new epidemic: something of an asthmatic nature.

"Well, I hardly know how to explain," said the Countess. "It is one of those things one takes for granted."

Miss Caroline looked anxiously at Jane. Everything in the nature of change alarmed her.

"Do you think," she said, at last, "that London will be good for Jane?"

"London is very healthy," said Lady Warbeck. "My doctor tells me that even the fogs are wholesome—if your lungs can stand them."

"It is not the fogs I fear," said Miss Caroline, "it's the folk."

"The folk?" said Lady Warbeck, "the folk? I understand. I know very little about them. They keep in the East End. Once or twice my dear stepson lent them Grosvenor Square for a meeting. But we were all out of town at the time."

"Aunt Caroline calls everybody, folk," explained Jane, colouring in her effort not to laugh.

"Really?" said the Countess. "Of course there is no such thing as everybody—that is a newspaper vulgarism. One is either a somebody or a nobody—irrespective of rank or profession. The next best thing to a somebody, is a nobody in a good set!"

She smiled as she spoke, for there were few pleasures she enjoyed so much as expounding the truths that be—as she understood them. Had she been born in a humbler sphere she would, no doubt, have been the principal of a ladies' college. Women who possess what Mr. Joe Gargery called a "master mind," like