Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/63

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55
THE WHEEL OF TIME

women I've ever known, and quite one of the most charming."

Maurice looked at the portrait—at the super-subtle smile which seemed to tell him Mrs. Tregent knew they were talking about her; a kind of smile he had never expected to live to see in Fanny Knocker's eyes. Then he asked: "Has she literally become as handsome as that?"

Mrs. Crisford hesitated. "She's beautiful."

"Beautiful?" Maurice echoed.

"What shall I say? It's a peculiar charm! It's her spirit. One sees that her life has been beautiful in spite of her sorrows!" Mrs. Crisford added.

"What sorrows has she had?" Maurice colored a little as soon as he had spoken.

"Oh, lots of deaths. She has lost her husband; she has lost several children."

"Ah, that's new to me. Was her marriage happy?"

"It must have been for Mr. Tregent. If it wasn't for her, no one ever knew."

"But she has a son," said Maurice.