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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

The Tea Tent was overcrowded and I found Aunt
Evelyn sitting a little way outside it in comparative
seclusion. She was in earnest communication with
Miss Clara Maskall, a remarkable old lady who had
been born in the year of the Battle of Waterloo and
had been stone-deaf for more than sixty years.

My aunt was one of the few people in the neigh-
bourhood who enjoyed meeting Miss Maskall.   For
the old lady had a way of forgetting that the rest of
the world could hear better than she could, and her
quavering comments on some of the local gentlefolk,
made in" their presence, were often too caustic to
be easily forgotten. She was reputed to have been
kissed by King George the Fourth, She was wearing
a bunchcd-up black silk dress, and her delicately
withered face was framed in a black poke-bonnet, tied
under the chin with a white lace scarf.   With her
piercingly ain't eyes and beaky uose she looked like
some ancient and intelligent bird.   Altogether she
was an old person of great distinction, and I ap-
proached. h<:r with an awful timidity.   She had old-
fashioned ideas about education, and she usually
inquired of me, in creaking tones, whether I had
recently been flogged by my schoolmaster.

But the menace of Roman Catholicism was her
most substantial and engrossing theme; and up to the
age of ninety she continued to paste on the walls of
her bedroom every article on the subject which she
coulcl find in The Tinm and the Morning Post. Aunt
Evelyn told me that the walls were almost entirely
papered with printed matter, and that she had more
than once found Miss Maskall sitting on the top step
of a library ladder reading some altitudinous article
on this momentous question of "the Scarlet Woman*'.

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