Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/428

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A Bundle of Life.

nothing, but was extraordinarily observant, and had a most tenacious memory for little things. For instance, she could quote whole conversations, and describe to a half-turn just how this one entered a room, that one shook hands, and the other sat down: she delighted afternoon callers by remembering how each liked his or her tea—A. never took sugar, B. liked three large lumps or four small ones, C. only drank hot water, D. could not bear the sight of cream, and so on. This was the lighter side of her character: she had a certain amount of sentiment, and would have made a devoted wife and mother of the primitive type. But the creatures of her world were bored by devotion, so she flirted in the most religious manner possible, and had an Infants' Bible Class.

"My dear Charlotte," said Sir Ventry, "has it never occurred to you that Van Huyster is deeply interested in Felicia ? I have observed it for days."

" You are always making unnecessary discoveries," replied his sister. " You know my plans with regard to Felicia. Wiche will certainly speak to her either to-day or to-morrow."

Van Huyster is a far more desirable match; he is not only richer, but more tractable," said Sir Ventry. " If he were to speak first——"

"As you say," murmured her ladyship, "he is enormously rich."

"Precisely: that is my point. And he goes everywhere."

"But then Wiche is such a power in politics," said Lady Twacorbie; " think what good we could do by our influence over him!"

"The country would be far more grateful," said