Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/80

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

Lady Theodosia looked her perfect agreement, but said nothing.

Cynthia began to march up and down the room.

"The whole thing has been a mistake," she said; "I must put an end to it. I was not destined for a villa and a dinner of herbs."

"Some herbs are so richly gravied they might very well pass for ox," said her aunt. "If an author does get on, he gets on very well indeed."

"But how if he doesn't?" said Cynthia.

"That's the point," said Lady Theodosia ; "do you feel like taking the risk?"

Cynthia looked out of the window. It was a singularly clear, bright day; in the distance she could see the clock-tower of Northwold Hall.

"No," she said, slowly, "I do not feel like taking the risk."

Lady Theodosia gave two short sighs—one for Godfrey, one for human nature—and then smiled at her niece.

"A wise decision," she said.

"Although I have been a fool," said Cynthia, "thank goodness I have not had the folly to parade about the country with my fiancé tacked on to my skirts. As it is, nobody knows anything about it."

"I hope he will not do anything absurd when you tell him," said Lady Theodosia.

"I shall write it," said Cynthia.

"Writing is dangerous," said her aunt.

"Not anything that I write," said Cynthia.

And then—was it fate or accident?—the door opened and Edward Cargill was announced.

"That is the man for Cynthia," thought Lady