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ing, it would have been a relief to confide in her. As
a practical proposition, however, it was impossible.
I couldn't allow my protest to become a domestic con-
troversy, and it was obviously kinder to keep my aunt
in the dark about it until she received the inevitable
shock.  I remember one particular evening when the
suspense was growing acute. At dinner Aunt Evelyn,
in her efforts to create cheerful conversation, began
by asking me to tell her more about Nutwood Manor*
It was, she surmised, a very well-arranged house, and
the garden must have been almost perfection.   "Did
azaleas grow well there?" Undeterred by my gloomily
affirmative answer, she urged me to supply further
information about the Asterisks and their friends. She
had always heard that old Lord Asterisk was such a
fine man, and must have had a most interesting life,
although, now she came to think of it, he'd been a bit
of a Radical and had supported Gladstone's Home
Rule Bill. She then interrupted herself by exclaiming:
"Naughty, naughty, naughty!" But this rebuke was
aimed at one of the cats who was sharpening his claw
on the leather seat of one of the Chippendale chairs.
Having thrown my napkin at the cat, I admitted that
Lord Asterisk was a dear old chap, though unlikely to
live much longer.   Aunt Evelyn expressed concern
about his infirmity, supplementing it with her per-
ennial "Don't eat so fast, dear; you're simply bolting
it down. You'll ruin your digestion." She pressed me
to have some more chicken, thereby causing me to
refuse, although I should have had some more if she'd
kept quiet about it. She now tried the topic of my job
at Cambridge. What sort of rooms should I live in?
Perhaps I should have rooms in one of the colleges
which would be very nice for meómuch nicer than
those horrid huts at Clitherland. Grumpily I agreed