Chevenix Castle




Chevenix Castle,

_8th November_.

[Sidenote: _Chevenix Castle_]

Dearest Mamma,--I am sure I shall enjoy myself here. The train was so
late, and only two other people were coming by it besides me, so we all
drove up in the omnibus together. One was a man, and the other a woman,
and she glared at me, and fussed her maid so about her dressing-bag,
and it was such a gorgeous affair, and they had such quantities of
luggage, and the only thing they said on the drive up was how cold it
was, and they wondered when we should get there. And when we did
arrive, there was only just time to rush up and dress for dinner; all
the other people had come by an earlier train. I left them both in the
care of the groom of the chambers, as even Cousin Octavia had gone
upstairs, and there was not a soul about, but she had left a message
for me; and while Agn�s was clawing the things out of the trunks, I
went to her room.

She was just having her hair done, but she did not mind a bit, and was
awfully glad to see me. She is a _dear_. Her hair is as dark as
anything underneath, but all the outside is a bright red. She says it
is much more attractive like that, but it does look odd before the
front thing is on, and that is a fuzzy bit in a net, like what
Royalties have. And then she has lots of twist-things round at the
back, and although it doesn't look at all bad when the diamond
stick-ups are in and she is all arranged. She went on talking all the
time while her maid was fixing it, just as if we were alone in the
room. She told me I had grown six inches since she was with us at
Arcachon three years ago, and that I was quite good-looking. She said
they had a huge party for the balls, some rather nice people, and Lady
Doraine and one or two others she hated. I said why did she have
people she hated--that I would not if I were a Countess like her; so
she said those were often the very ones one was obliged to have,
because the nice men wouldn't come without them.

[Sidenote: _The Test of a Gentleman_]

She hoped I had some decent clothes, as she had got a tame millionaire
for me. So I said if it was Mr. Wertz she need not bother because I
knew him; and, besides, I only intended to marry a gentleman, unless,
of course, I should get past twenty and _pass�_, and then, goodness
knows _what_ I might take. She laughed, and said it was ridiculous to
be so particular, but that anyway that would be no difficulty, as every
one was a gentleman now who paid for things.

Then she sent me off to dress, just as she began to put some red stuff
on her lips. It is wonderful how nice she looks when everything is
done, even though she has quite a different coloured chest to the top
bit that shows above her pearl collar, which is brickish-red from
hunting. So is her face, but she is such a dear that one admires even
her great big nose and little black eyes, which one would think
hideous in other people. I met Tom just going into her room as I came
out; he said he had come to borrow some scent from her. He looks
younger than she does, but they were the same age when they got
married, weren't they?

He kissed me and said I was a dear little cousin, and had I been boxing
any one's ears lately. Before I could box his for talking so, Octavia
called out to him to let me go, or I should be late, and had I not to
scurry just? Agn�s fortunately had everything ready, but I fussed so
that my face was crimson when I got downstairs, and every one was
already there.

There seemed to be dozens of people. You will see in the list in the
_Morning Post_ to-morrow what a number of the Nazeby set there are
here.

Lord Valmond is here, but he did not see me until we were at dinner. I
went in with Mr. Hodgkinson, who is contesting this Division; he is
quite young and wears an eyeglass, which he keeps dropping. He really
looks silly, but they say he says some clever things if you give him
time, and that he will be a great acquisition to the party he has
joined now, as it is much easier to get made a peer by the Radicals;
and that is what he wants, as his father made a huge fortune in bones
and glue.

He did not talk to me at all, but eat his dinner at first, and then
said: "I don't believe in talking before the fish, do you?"

So I said: "No, nor till after the ices, unless one has something to
say."

He was so surprised that his eyeglass dropped, and he had to fumble to
find it, so by that time I had begun to talk to old Colonel Blake, who
was at the other side of me.

[Sidenote: _The Game of Bridge_]

Lady Doraine was looking so pretty; her hair has grown much fairer and
nicer than it was at Nazeby. Lord Doraine is here too; his eyes are so
close together! He plays a game called "Bridge" with Mr. Wertz and Mr.
Hodgkinson and Tom all the time--I mean in the afternoon before
dinner--so Mr. Hodgkinson told me when we got to dessert. I suppose it
was the first thing he had found to say! I asked him if it was a kind
of leapfrog; because don't you remember we called it "Bridge" when you
had to jump two? He said No; that it was a game of cards, and much more
profitable if one had the luck of Lord Doraine, who had won heaps of
money from Mr. Wertz. Afterwards, in the drawing-room, Lady Doraine
came up to me and asked me where I had been hiding since the Nazeby
visit, and when she heard I had been in France, she talked a lot about
the fashions. She has such a splendid new rope of pearls, and such
lovely clothes. The Rooses are here too, and Jane has a cold in her
head. She says she heard by this evening's post that Miss La Touche is
going to be married to old Lord Kidminster, and that he is "too deaf to
have heard everything, so it is just as well." I can't see why, as Miss
La Touche is so nice, and never talks rubbish; so I think it a pity he
can't hear all she says, don't you?

Lady Doraine calls Octavia "darling!" She stood fiddling with her
diamond chain and purring over her frock, so I suppose she is fond of
her in spite of Octavia hating her.

[Sidenote: _An Englishman's Views_]

After dinner Lord Valmond came up to me at once. I felt in such a good
temper, it was hard to be very stiff, he seemed so awfully glad to see
me. He said I might have let him know what day it was that I crossed
over to France after leaving Hazeldene Court--he would have taken such
care of me. I said I was quite able to take care of myself. Then he
asked me if the people were nice in France? and when I said perfectly
charming, he said some Frenchwomen weren't bad but the men were
monkeys. I said it showed how little he knew about them, I had found
them delightful, always polite and respectful and amusing, quite a
contrast to some English people one was obliged to meet.

His eyes blazed like two bits of blue fire, and when he looked like
that, it made my heart beat, Mamma, I don't know why. He is so
nice-looking, of course no Frenchman could compare to him, but I was
obliged to go on praising them because it annoyed him so. He said I
must have stayed there ages, he had been wondering and wondering when
he was to see me again. He said Mr. Hodgkinson was an ass, and he had
been watching us at dinner.

Then Lord Doraine came up and Lady Doraine introduced him to me, and he
said a number of nice things, and he has a charming voice; and Mr.
Wertz came up too, and spoke to me; and then Lady Doraine called Lord
Valmond to come and sit on the little sofa by her, and she looked at
him so fondly that I thought perhaps Lord Doraine might not like it. He
tried not to see, but Mr. Wertz _did_, and I think he must have a kind
heart, because he fidgeted so, and almost at once went and joined them
to break up the t�te-�-t�te, so that Lord Doraine might not be teased
any more, I suppose. And every one went to bed rather early, because of
the ball and shoot to-morrow, and I must jump in too, as I am sleepy,
so good-night, dearest Mamma.--Your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.


Chevenix Castle,

_9th November_.

[Sidenote: _The Peers' Sad Case_]

Dearest Mamma,--Such a lot to tell you, and no time, as I must go down
to tea. We passed rather a boring morning after the men had started for
their shoot. Only a few people were down for breakfast, and none of the
men who weren't guns. I suppose they were asleep. But Lady Grace Fenton
was as cross as a bear because she wanted to go and shoot too. She is
just like a man, and does look so odd and almost improper in the
evening in female dress. And Tom won't have women out shooting, except
for lunch. Lady Doraine and Lady Greswold talked by the fire while they
smoked, and Lady Greswold said she really did not know where the peers
were to turn to now to make an honest penny, their names being no more
good in the City, and that it was abominably hard that now, she had
heard, they would have to understand business and work just like
ordinary Stock Exchange people if they wanted to get on, and she did
not know what things were coming to.

At lunch, in the ch�let in the wood, it was rather fun. Mr. Hodgkinson
and Lord Doraine sat on either side of me. Lord Valmond came up with
the last guns, rather late, and he looked round the table and frowned.
He seems quite grumpy now, not half so good-tempered as he used to be.
I expect it is because Mrs. Smith isn't here.

Mr. Wertz was so beautifully turned out in the newest clothes and the
loveliest stockings, and he had two loaders and three guns, and Lord
Doraine told me that he had killed three pheasants, but the ground was
knee-deep in cartridges round him, and Tom was furious, as he likes an
enormous bag. So I asked why, if Mr. Wertz was not a sportsman, had he
taken the huge Quickham shoot in Norfolk? Then Mr. Hodgkinson chimed
in: "Oh! to entertain Royalty and the husbands of his charming lady
friends!" and he fixed his eyeglass and looked round the corner of it
at Lord Doraine, who drank a glass of peach brandy.

After lunch the men had to start quickly, as we had dawdled so, and so
we turned to go back to the house.

Octavia put her arm through mine, and we were walking on, when Lady
Doraine joined us, with the woman who had glared at me in the omnibus.
She looked as if she hated walking. She is not actually stout, but
everything is as tight as possible, and it does make her puff. She was
awfully smart, and had the thinnest boots on. Lady Doraine was being so
lovely to her, and Octavia was in one of her moods when she talks over
people's heads, so we had not a very pleasant walk, until we came to
the stable gate, when Octavia and I went that way to see her new
hunters. We had hardly got out of hearing when she said--

"Really, Elizabeth, how I dislike women!"

[Sidenote: _The Millionaires_]

So I asked her who the puffing lady was, and she said a Mrs. Pike, the
new Colonial millionairess.

"Horrid creature, as unnecessary as can be!"

So I asked her why she had invited her, then. And she said her
sister-in-law, Carry, had got round Tom and made a point of it, as she
was running them, and now Carry had got the measles and could not come
to look after the creature herself; and it would serve her right if
Folly Doraine took them out of her hands. And so you see, Mamma,
everything has changed from your days, because this isn't a person you
would dream of knowing. I don't quite understand what "running them"
means, and as Octavia was a little out of temper, I did not like to ask
her; but Jane Roose is sure to know, so I will find out and tell you.

I went and played with the children when we got in. They are such
ducks, and we had a splendid romp. Little Tom is enormous for five, and
so clever, and Gwynnie is the image of Octavia when her hair was dark.
Now I _must_ go down to tea.

[Sidenote: _Teaching Patience_]

7.30.--I was so late. Every one was there when I got down in such
gorgeous tea-gowns; I wore my white mousseline delaine frock. The
Rooses have the look of using out their summer best dresses. Jane's
cold is worse. The guns had got back, and came straggling in one by
one, as they dressed, quickly or slowly; and Lord Doraine had such a
lovely velvet suit on, and he said such nice things to me; and Lord
Valmond sat at the other side, and seemed more ill-tempered than ever.
I can't think what is the matter with him. At last he asked me to play
Patience with him; so I said that was a game one played by oneself, and
he said he knew quite a new one which he was sure I would like to
learn; but I did not particularly want to just then. Lady Doraine was
showing Mr. Wertz her new one at the other side of the hall. There are
some cosy little tables arranged for playing cards, with nice screens
near, so that the other people's counting, &c., may not put one out.

Mrs. Pike was too splendid for words, in petunia satin, and sable, and
quantities of pearl chains; and Tom was trying to talk to her. Nobody
worries about Mr. Pike much; but Lord Doraine took him off to the
billiard-room, after collecting Mr. Wertz, to play "Bridge"--everybody
plays "Bridge," I find--and then Lady Doraine came and joined Lord
Valmond and me on the big sofa.

Lord Valmond hardly spoke after that, and she teased him and said:
"Harry, what a child you are!" and she looked as sweetly malicious as
the tortoise-shell cat at home does when it is going to scratch while
it is purring. And presently Dolly Tenterdown came over to us (he is in
Cousin Jack's battalion of the Coldstreams, and he looks about fifteen,
but he behaves very "grown up"), and he asked Lady Doraine to come and
teach him her new "Patience"; and they went to one of the screen
tables, and Lord Valmond said he was a charming fellow, but I thought
he looked silly, and I do _wonder_ what she found to say to him. She
must be quite ten years older than he is, and Jane Roose says it is an
awful sign of age when people play with boys.

Lord Valmond asked me to keep him some dances to-night, but I said I
really did not know what I should do until it began, as I had never
been at a ball before. I haven't forgiven him a bit, so he need not
think I have. Now I must stop. Oh! I am longing to put on my white
tulle, and I do feel excited.--Your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.

_P.S._--I asked Jane Roose what "running them" means, and it's being
put on to things in the City, and having all your bills paid if you
introduce them to people; only you sometimes have to write their
letters for them to prevent them putting the whole grand address, &c.,
that is in the Peerage; and she says it is quite a profession now, and
done by the best people, which of course must be true, as Carry is
Tom's sister. E.


Chevenix Castle,

_10th November_.

[Sidenote: _A Modern Industry_]

Dearest Mamma,--Oh! it was too, too lovely, last night. I am having my
breakfast in bed to-day, just like the other grown-up people, and it
really feels so grand to be writing to you between sips of tea and
nibbles of toast and strawberry jam! Well, to tell you about the ball.
First my white tulle was a dream. Octavia said it was by far the
prettiest d�butante frock she had ever seen; and when I was dressed she
sent for me to her room, and Tom was there too, and she took out of a
duck of a white satin case a lovely string of pearls and put it round
my throat, and said it was their present to me for my first ball!
Wasn't it angelic of them? I hugged and kissed them both, and almost
squashed Tom's buttonhole into his pink coat, I was so pleased, but he
said he didn't mind; and then we all went down together, and no one
else was ready, so we looked through the rooms. The dancing, of course,
was to be in the picture gallery, and the flowers were so splendid
everywhere, and Octavia was quite satisfied. It is a mercy it is such a
big house, for we weren't put out a bit beforehand by the preparations.

I don't know if you were ever like that, Mamma, but I felt as if I must
jump about and sing, and my cheeks were burning. Octavia sat down and
played a valse, and Tom and I opened the ball by ourselves in the
empty room, and it _was_ fun, and then we saw Lord Valmond peeping in
at the door, and he came up and said Tom was not to be greedy, and so I
danced the two last rounds with him, and he had such a strange look in
his eyes, a little bit like Jean when he had the fit, and he never said
one word until we stopped.

[Sidenote: _Forgiveness_]

Then Octavia went out of the other door, and I don't know where Tom
went, but we were alone, and so he said, would I forgive him for
everything and be friends, that he had never been so sorry for anything
in his life as having offended me. He really seemed so penitent, and he
does dance so beautifully, and he is so tall and nice in his pink coat;
and, besides, I remembered his dinner with Aunt Maria, and how nasty I
had been to him at Hazeldene! So I said, all right I would try, if he
would promise never to be horrid again; and he said he wouldn't; and
then we shook hands, and he said I looked lovely, and that my frock was
perfect; and then Tom came back and we went into the hall, and
everybody was down, and they had drawn for partners to go in to dinner
while we were in the ballroom. Tom had made Octavia arrange that we
should draw, as he said he could not stand Lady Greswold two nights
running. Octavia said she had drawn for Lord Valmond because he wasn't
there, and that his slip of paper was _me_, and he said on our way into
the dining-room that Octavia was a brick. We _had_ such fun at dinner.
Now that I have forgiven him, and have not to be thinking all the time
of how nasty I can be, we get on splendidly.

[Sidenote: _The Ball_]

Mr. Wertz was at the other side of me with Mrs. Pike; but as he isn't
"running" them he had not to bother to talk to her, and he is really
very intelligent, and we three had such an amusing time. Lord Valmond
was in a lovely temper. Jane Roose said afterwards in the drawing-room
that it was because Mrs. Smith was coming with the Courceys to the
ball. Lady Doraine had drawn Mr. Pike, who is melancholy-looking, with
a long Jew nose; but she woke him up and got him quite animated by
dessert, and Mrs. Pike did not like it one bit. I overheard her
speaking to him about it afterwards, and he said so roughly, "You mind
your own climbing, Mary; you ought to be glad as it's a titled lady!"
Well, then, by the time we were all assembled in the hall, every one
began to arrive. Oh, it was so, so lovely! Every one looked at me as I
stood beside Octavia at first, because they all knew the ball was given
for me, and then for the first dance I danced with Tom, and after that
I had heaps of partners, and I can't tell you about each dance, but it
was all heavenly. I tried to remember what you said and not dance more
than three times with the same person, but, somehow, Lord Valmond got
four, and another--but that was an extra.

Mrs. Smith did come with the Courceys, and she was looking so smart
with a beautiful gown on, and Jane Roose said it was a mercy Valmond
was so rich; but I don't see what that had to do with it. I saw him
dancing with her once, but he looked as cross as two sticks, perhaps
because she was rather late. Do you know, Mamma, a lot of the beauties
we are always reading about in the papers as having walked in the Park
looking perfectly lovely were there, and some of them are _quite, quite
old_--much older than you--and all trimmed up! Aren't you astonished?
And one has a grown-up son and daughter, and she danced all the time
with Dolly Tenterdown, who was her son's fag at Eton, Lord Doraine told
me. Isn't it odd? And another was the lady that Sir Charles Helmsford
was with on the promenade at Nice, when you would not let me bow to
him, do you remember? And she is as old as the other!

Lord Doraine was rather a bother, he wanted to dance with me so often;
so at last I said to Octavia I really was not at my first ball to dance
with old men (he is quite forty), and what was I to do? And she was so
cross with him, and I could see her talking to him about it when she
danced with him herself next dance; and after that till supper he
disappeared--into the smoking-room, I suppose, to play "Bridge."

[Sidenote: _At Supper_]

I went in to supper first with the Duke of Meath--he had just finished
taking in Octavia--he is such a nice boy; and then, as we were coming
out, we went down a corridor, and there in a window-seat were Lord
Valmond and Mrs. Smith, and he was still gloomy, and she had the same
green-rhubarb-juice look she had the last night at Nazeby. He jumped up
at once, and said to me he hoped I had not forgotten I had promised to
go in to supper with him, so I said I had just come from supper; and
while we were speaking Mrs. Smith had got the Duke to sit down beside
her, and so I had to go off with Lord Valmond, and he seemed so odd and
nervous, and as if he were apologising about something; but I don't
know what it could have been, as he had not asked me before to go in to
supper with him.

He seemed to cheer up presently, and persuaded me to go back into the
supper-room, as he said he was so hungry, and we found a dear little
table, with big flower things on it, in a corner; but when we got there
he only played with an ortolan and drank some champagne, but he did
take such a while about it; and each time I said I was sure the next
dance was beginning he said he was still hungry. I have never seen any
one have so much on his plate and eat so little. At last I insisted on
going back, and when we got to the ballroom an extra was on, and he
said I had promised him that, but I hadn't. However, we danced, and
after that, having been so long away at supper, and one thing and
another, my engagements seemed to get mixed, and I danced with all
sorts of people I hadn't promised to in the beginning. At last it came
to an end, and when the last carriage had driven away, we all went and
had another hot supper.

[Sidenote: _End of the Ball_]

Mr. Pike would sit next to Lady Doraine, and he was as gay as a
blackbird, and I heard Octavia saying to Lady Greswold that Carry had
better hurry up and get that house in Park Street, or Lady Doraine
would have it instead. Then we all went to bed, and Lord Valmond
squeezed my hand and looked as silly as anything, and Jane Roose, who
saw, said I had better be careful, as he was playing me off against
Mrs. Smith. It was great impertinence of her, I think--don't
you?--especially as Mrs. Smith had gone, so I can't see the point.--Now
I am going to get up. Your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.


Chevenix Castle,

_13th November_.

[Sidenote: _Tableaux_]

Dearest Mamma,--I enjoyed my self last night quite as much as at the
ball here; but first, I must tell you about Thursday and yesterday. The
morning after the ball here no one came down till lunch, and in the
afternoon Lady Doraine suggested we should have some tableaux in the
evening, and so we were busy all the time arranging them. They were all
bosh; but it was so amusing.

Mrs. Pike lent every one her tea-gowns--she has dozens--and they did
splendidly for the Queen of Sheba; and Mr. Pike played Charles I.
having his head cut off, as Lady Doraine told him he had just the type
of lofty melancholy face for that. I was the Old Woman in the Shoe,
with all the biggest people for children; but the best of all was Dolly
Tenterdown as "Bubbles." Lord Doraine and Mr. Wertz and Tom and some
others played "Bridge" all the time while we were arranging them; but
Lord Valmond was most useful, and in such a decent temper. After they
were over we danced a little, and it was all delightful.

[Sidenote: _A Game of Patience_]

Yesterday, the day of the county ball in Chevenix, they shot again; and
it rained just as we all came down ready to start for the lunch; so we
couldn't go, and had to lunch indoors without most of the men. Mr. Pike
hadn't gone shooting, because I heard Tom saying the night before to
Lady Doraine that he wouldn't chance the party being murdered again,
and that she must keep him at home somehow. So she did, and taught him
Patience in the hall after lunch; and Mrs. Pike went and wanted to
learn it too, but Lady Doraine--who was lovely to her--somehow did not
make much room on the sofa, so she had to go and sit somewhere else.

[Sidenote: _A Broad Hint_]

Half the people were playing "Bridge," and the rest were very
comfortable, and smoking cigarettes, of course; so Mrs. Pike did too.
Her case is gold, with a splendid monogram in big rubies on it; but I
am sure it makes her feel sick, because she puffs it out and makes it
burn up as soon as she can without its being in her mouth. She had to
go and lie down after that, as she said she would be too tired for the
ball; but nobody paid much attention.

It was more lively at tea-time, when the guns came in. And Lord Doraine
would sit by me; he talked about poetry, and said dozens of nice things
about me, and all sorts of amusing ones about every one else; and Lord
Valmond, who had gone to write some letters at a table near, seemed so
put out with every one talking, that he could not keep his attention,
and at last tore them up, and came and sat close to us, and told Lord
Doraine that he could see Mr. Wertz was longing for "Bridge." And so he
got up, and laughed in such a way, and said, "All right, Harry, old
boy," and Valmond got crimson--I don't know what at--and looked as
cross as a bear for a few minutes. We had rather a hurried dinner.

[Sidenote: _The Duchess's Ball_]

My white chiffon is as pretty as the tulle, and Octavia was quite
pleased with me. There were omnibuses and two broughams for us to go
in. Octavia took me with her alone in one. I wanted to go in one of the
omnibuses--it looked so much gayer--but she wouldn't let me. It is not
much of a drive, as you know, and we all got there at the same time
almost, and our party did look so smart as we came in. Octavia sailed
like a queen up the room to a carpeted raised place at the end, and
there held a sort of court.

The Duchess of Glamorgan was already there with her three daughters,
and their teeth stick out just like Mrs. Vavaseur's; only they look
ready to bite, and she was always smiling. The men of their party were
so young, and looked as if they would not hurt a fly, and the Duchess
had me introduced to her and asked about you. And Mrs. Pike tried to
join in the conversation, and the Duchess fixed on her _pince-nez_ and
looked at her for quite ten seconds, and then said, when she had
retired a little, "Who is this gorgeous person?" And when I said Mrs.
Pike, she said, "I don't remember the name," in a tone that dismissed
Mrs. Pike from the universe as far as she was concerned; and Jane Roose
says she is almost the only Duchess who won't know _parvenues_, and
that is what makes her set so dull.

There were such a lot of funny frumpy people at the other end of the
room--"the rabble," Mrs. Pike called them. "Let us walk round and look
at the rabble," she said to Lord Doraine, who was standing by her. And
they went.

[Sidenote: _The Ride Home_]

I had such lots of partners I don't know what any one else did; I was
enjoying myself so, and I hope you won't be annoyed with me, as I am
afraid I danced oftener than three times with Lord Valmond. Mrs. Smith
seemed to be with the little Duke a great deal, and she glared at me
whenever she passed. I like English balls much better than French,
though, perhaps, I can't judge, as I was never at a real one there.
But Englishmen are so much better-looking, and everybody doesn't get so
hot, and it is nice having places to sit out and talk without feeling
you are doing something wrong. Coming home, Octavia made Lady Doraine
and Mrs. Pike go in her brougham, and she and I went in one of the
omnibuses. Lord Doraine sat between me and Octavia, and I suppose he
was afraid of crushing her dress, for he positively squashed me, he sat
so close. Lord Valmond was at the other side of me, and somebody must
have been pushing him, because he sat even nearer me than Lord Doraine,
and between them I could hardly breathe; it was fortunate it was a cold
night.

Before we got to the Park gates somehow the light went out, and all the
way up the avenue people held each of my hands. I could not see who
they were, and I tried to get them away, but I couldn't, and I was
afraid to kick like I did to Charlie Carriston, as it might have been
Mr. Hodgkinson who was sitting opposite, and so there would have been
no good in kicking Lord Doraine, or Lord Valmond; but I just made my
fingers as stiff as iron and left them alone. It is a surprise to me,
Mamma, to find that gentlemen in England behave like this, I call it
awfully disappointing, and I am sure they could not have done so when
you were young, it seems they are just as bad as the French. I told
Octavia about it when she came to tuck me up in bed; and she only went
into a fit of laughter, and when I was offended, she said she would see
that the next time I went to a ball with her, that I had a chaperon on
each side coming home.

[Sidenote: _An Awkward Situation_]

I bowed as stiffly as I could in saying good-night to Lord Doraine and
Lord Valmond, and they both looked so astonished, that perhaps it was
Mr. Hodgkinson after all; it _is_ awkward not knowing, isn't it? This
morning all the guests are going, and on Monday, as you know, Tom and
Octavia take me with them to stay at Foljambe Place, with the
Murray-Hartleys for the Grassfield Hunt Ball. It will be fun, I hope,
but I can never enjoy myself more than I have done here.--Now,
good-bye, dear Mamma, your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.

[Sidenote: _The Murray-Hartleys_]

_P.S._--Octavia says the Murray-Hartleys aren't people you would know,
but one must go with the times, and she will take care of me. E.



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