Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/429

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A Bundle of Life.

Sir Ventry, "if we helped Van Huyster to spend his money in a gentlemanly manner. However, it is your affair not mine. I have made a suggestion: act on it or not, as you please," and he strutted magnificently from her presence.

For some moments Lady Twacorbie did not ply her needle, but unpicked the stitches she had taken during the preceding conversation. At last she called Lilian. "Come and talk to me, my dear," she said; "I have not had a word with you since breakfast. You see I drove Harold to the station"—(Lord Twacorbie had gone to town for a few days)—"He was so sorry to leave us." She glanced at Van Huyster and Felicia who passed the window. "We are so anxious about Felicia," she said; "young girls are so flighty—is it reasonable to suppose that they are competent to select the right sort of man? Ah, if women would only choose their husbands as carefully as they do their bonnets, how much brighter life would be!"

"But, my dear Lady Twacorbie, what would you call the right sort of a husband?"

"A man," she replied, "with means, position, a good digestion, and sound principles: such a person, for instance, as this excellent, kind-hearted, and deserving Van Huyster!"

"Van Huyster!" said Lady Mallinger, in surprise. "Yes. Have you observed how extremely attentive he is to Felicia?"

"Perhaps I have, now you speak of it," said Lilian, "but I thought Mr. Wiche——"

"Ah!" said Lady Twacorbie, "Mr. Wiche is all very well in his proper place. I have the greatest