Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/35

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III.

"Your father is most extraordinary," said Lady Theodosia to her niece, as they sat together on the lawn next morning. "He has invited a man to dinner this evening—a person who writes—and I am told nothing about it till this eleventh hour. Meanwhile I have given all my orders for the day, and Johnny has driven in to market. Your father cannot realize that I have other interests in life besides housekeeping. If I died to-morrow he would expect me to soar into heaven with the store-cupboard on my back."

Lady Theodosia Gore-Jones, third daughter of the Earl of Drumdrosset and widow of the late Admiral Sir Clyfford Gore-Jones, K.C.B., was rather above the average height, with a plump figure which her male acquaintance were wont to describe as "deuced neat." She had very black hair, which she wore parted in the middle and gathered in a knot at the nape of her neck. This simple fashion suited her admirably, and had proved useful on more than one occasion, for it is certainly difficult to believe hard things of a woman who looks like a Sainte Nitouche—in profile. Her nose was small and delicate—an eminently lady-like nose, with curved nostrils; her lips were thin, red, and firmly set—in her own idea chaste, in her late husband's, vixenish. Her skin—for a woman who owned to two and forty—was remarkably clear and fine.