Page:The Lesson of the Master, The Marriages, The Pupil, Brooksmith, The Solution, Sir Edmund Orme (New York & London, Macmillan & Co., 1892).djvu/98

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naments on the tables, while she hoped that, as she preferred it, it would be also the course that her father would like best. She hoped "awfully," as she would have said, that he wouldn't think her rude. She was a person of courage, and he was a kind, an intensely good-natured man; nevertheless, she was a good deal afraid of him. At home it had always been a religion with them to be nice to the people he liked. How, in the old days, her mother, her incomparable mother, so clever, so unerring, so perfect—how in the precious days her mother had practiced that art! Oh, her mother, her irrecoverable mother! One of the pictures that she was looking at swam before her eyes. Mrs. Churchley, in the natural course, would have begun immediately to climb staircases. Adela could see the high bony shoulders and the long crimson tail and the universal coruscating nod wriggle their business-like way through the rest of the night. Therefore she must have had her reasons for detaining them. There were mothers who thought every one wanted to marry their eldest son, and the girl asked herself if she belonged to the class of daughters who thought every one wanted to marry their father. Her companions left her alone; and though she didn't want to be near them, it angered her that Mrs. Churchley didn't call her. That proved that she was conscious of the situation. She would have called her, only Colonel Chart had probably murmured, "Don't." That proved that he also was conscious. The time was really not long—ten minutes at the most elapsed—when he cried out, gayly, pleasantly, as if with a little jocular reproach, "I say, Adela, we must release this dear lady!" He spoke, of course, as if it had been Adela's fault that they lingered. When they took leave she gave Mrs. Churchley, without intention and without defiance, but from