Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/81

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

Theodosia at once; "he would be very kind to her and keep her in comfort."

"How awfully jolly to find you in!" exclaimed that amiable gentleman. "Mother sent a lot of messages, but I forget every one of them. I hope you don't mind," and he settled down in a chair with the comfortable air of a man who has determined to be happy for, at least, an hour.

"We won't mind if you can tell us something more exciting than the messages," said Cynthia.

"You are sarcastic," said Edward; "it's tremendously hard on a fellow to expect him to be interesting when he comes from a dull place like ours. I don't know why it is, but houses are always the liveliest and all that sort of thing when the woman isn't one of these awfully good housekeepers. Mother is such a splendid manager," he added.

"That is a very happy remark," said Lady Theodosia, "and just reminds me that I am due at a committee-meeting in half an hour. Perhaps I shall find you here when I come back. I sha'n't be long."

"Thanks awfully," said Edward, "perhaps you will—if Miss Heathcote can stand me."

"He is really a very ingenuous, simple-hearted creature," thought Lady Theodosia as she hurried down the corridor." He would be so grateful to Cynthia for marrying him."

When the door closed on Lady Theodosia, Edward leant forward in his chair and began to flick imaginary specks of dust off his boots with his riding-whip. Cynthia understood the movement well—it was a habit of Edward's when he was labouring under mental excitement. Among her stronger