Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/310

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294
Study in Temptations.
 

dear, I cannot help thinking that is an advantage. Nowadays every one wants to perform and no one will listen, and a nice quiet girl who can merely appreciate would be much sought after. She must take up some serious interest, and I shall advise Greek —it is better than philanthropy, because it does not let one in for bazaars. I shall also urge the engagement of a governess-companion—that sweet, lady-like person whom the dear Baroness was telling me of would be just the creature. In appearance your cousin (for she is your cousin, after all) is most pleasing, her features and bearing reminded me in the most painful manner of your grandfather." (The deceased peer in question had been distinguished for his moral rather than his physical charms. His wife, however, may have discerned him spiritually.) "Imagine my boundless relief to be so agreeably disappointed. She is much handsomer than Tunborough's scraggy Lady Marian. By the bye, I hear that Lady Marian's photographs are for sale in all the shop-windows, and that they sell better than those of that Granada person, who has such fine legs and jumps. Lady Dundry, Marian's godmother, is so upset about it that she has turned Roman Catholic. Poor dear!" (Lady Warbeck divided the human race into dears, poor dears, and persons.) "I will write more fully in a day or two, but remember that I am getting old and cannot be with you much longer.

"Your affectionate grandmother,

"A. Warbeck."

"That little hint about my age," she thought, "will bring him home at the end of the month."