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Full text of "The honourable Mrs. Garry [microform]"

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^^*^Je^. *^'^' /4<^ 






The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



The Honourable 
Mr 



s, oarry 



By 

Mrs. Henry de la Pasture 

(Lady Qifford) 

Author .|.'P.t.r'. Mother." ;• The Undy L.dy o. Gro.voor 
MMtar Christopher," eto., eto. 



•♦ How the world i« nude for each of ui I 
How at) we perceive and know in it 
Tendi to lome moment'i product thut, 
When a loul declaret itaelt^ — to wit 
By iti fruit, the thing it doea." ' 



BfowaJag 




Toronto 

McClelland & Goodchild 

Limited 



4 






PCC 



(^ f ^ ^ 



Copyright, igia 

BY 

E. P. DUTTON A COMPANY 



The HoaouraUc Mr.. Garry U published in England under the 

tiUeJSnfc«, 



ttbe ftnfctetbocliet prese, new fiotk 



o;'ti4ai8 



(To 

MY HUSBAND 

HUGH CLIFFORD 

WHO SUGGESTED THE WRITING OF THIS STORY 

I Dedicate It 



But if he finds you and you find him, 
The rest of the world don't matter: 



Rudyard Kipling 



i 
i 



The earlier history of Erica is related in 
Master Christopher by the same author. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



-r I 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



CHAPTER I 

"Journeys end in lovers' meetinga."— Shakespeare. 

Erica, sitting opposite her mother, glanced 
at the jewelled watch on her wrist, and observed 
that tlieir journey was drawing to a close. The 
truin was due at Paddington in half an hour. 
This, she judged, would give her time to make 
her explanation, and to receive her mother's 
ejaculations tliereon, without leaving a margin 
for too much repetition on either side. She had 
to allow, also, for the cajolery or persuasion 
that might be necessary to ensure Ladv Clow's 
perfect docility in following out the course of 
action upon wliich her daughter had decided: 
but experience had taught Erica that it r- 
easier to surprise than to argue her parent ini^ 
acquiescence with her schemes; Lady Clow was, 
like most persons of weak character, much given 
to after-thoughts, remorse, and the impulse to 
go back upon any given decision. 

Erica looked at the face opposite— large, 
flabby, yet cherubic; with light blue round eyes, 



2 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

innocent as a baby'H; and a tremulous curved 
mouth wliich had once been lovely, but was now 
rendered ridiculously small by the enlarged pen- 
dulous cheeks and manifold chin. Lady Clow 
met her daughter's direct look with an enger 
smile, pathetic from the very readiness of its 
response. 

" You have not spoken for a long time, darling 
I hoped you might be asleep." 

" I don't generally sleep with mv eves open " 

« I have had a little nap myself," 'said Lady 
Clow, apologetically. 

"You have had a couple of hours' sound 
sleep," said Erica, with sardonic truth " so I 
hope you've forgiven me for rousing you so 
early this morning to catch the train." 

" Oh, my dear ! Forgiven you ! " Anything 
in the nature of an appeal moved Lady Clow's 
too soft heart to melting. " I hope you 've not 
been worrying yourself— straining your dear 
eyes looking out of the window for hours— f er 
n>it. It is true I was . little cross," she said, 
remorsefully. " From a child I have always 
telt inclined to cry when roused from sle^p. 
And to end a visit so suddenly— a visit to the 
man you are engaged to, and when he was ill 
—but the moment you said you were in trouble 
I gave way-c^ven though I am still all bewil- 
dered with the shock- 



•>} 



" Do you want me to explain? " said Erica. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 3 

"I have lKH»n thinkiii;^ of n()tliiii<,' else, even 
in my sleep. I do not deny I have slept a little. 
The motion of the train is apt to make me drop 
off," said poor Lady Clow. " P.ut I would not 
let myself ask a single question. I thought it 
hcst to wait until you poured it all out to mc 
of your own accord. Oh, Erica, I hope— I hope 
—there is nothing wrong between you and 
Christopher? " 

Erica made an infinitesimal pause before mut- 
tering, half under her breath, " I feel inclined 
to make a clean breast of it all, and start 
fresh — " and was startled by the passionate 
fervour of her mother's response. 

"Oh, Erica, if you would. If you would! I 
sometimes feel I could forgive you anything in 
the world if you would but be open with me. 
But to grope about in the dark— never even 
knowing what the person nearest and de :-est 
to you is thinking about." 

"Who in this world ever knows that?" said 
Erica, rather bitterly. " Nine times out of ten 
if 1 told you what I was thinking about, I should 
never hear the end of it." 

" No word of reproach should ever pass my 
lips." 

"You take it for granted there would be 
mattir for reproach." 

" I can't help knowing what you are, Erica. 
My own child I " said her mother simply. 



4 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Erica laughed shortly. 

.Ihi^ ^"^^'",f « "^y revelation in the fewest pos- 
sible words," she said, "and I will ask you to 
refrain fpora useless lamentations over what 
can't be helped.' ''"^ 

y^Il^l ^\7 ^"™'''''*^ nervously in her shabby 
black handbag, and producing a handkerchief, 
whisked away the tears already gathering undei^ 
her large white evelids. 

the thick fluttering of her heart caused her 
actual breathles^ness; but her daughter did not 
realise this physical distress, caused by suspens 
and apprehension. 

t JJ" k"'*,'"™' ^"S""" *■"""' Mamma-Chris, 
topher b,«ke off his engagement to me jesterday 
afternoon-." Lady Clow sank back in speech 
1^ dismay-" because he overheard someThing 
ae was not intended to hear " 

W n«,«^' "I "'' "'""'^'•' "■«' "«»'« wit\ 
Her usual quickness that it must be as little as 

poTb,:' Tt"'"* ""'•' "" '""'' *"« *™'" « 
?/T.^ . . """' ^' '•"' "«•'"«'' " variation 
°han thft '.f ""^ ''"■P''^'' ""'' ■""•* "•■"P^di^t 
ih!!. ^. 'i '"' P'^^'"*'^ it«^lf to her mind; and 
the habit of a lifetime prevailed. 

"Christopher had been told that there was 
-ome hing in the nature of a flirtation bTtwln 
myself and_Mr. Garry," said Erica, ",^d 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 5 

though I night have explained that away, I 
could not explain away my own words; for 
he heard nie confess that I loved young 
Oarry; and that he, Christopher, bored me to 
death." 

The round, light blue eyes were fixed on her in 
anguish, 

" What is to be done? " gasped Lady Clow. 

" I am glad you take a practical view," said 
Erica. " There is, of course, only one thing to 
be done. I am going- to marry the man I love. 
He always wanted me to throw over Christopher, 
and I wouldn't. But since Christopher has 
thrown me ovei' " 

"Which Mr. Garry?" asked Lady Clow, 
helplessly. 

" Am I the kind of person to fall in love with 
a younger son? Tom Garry of course. You 
may remember that you reproved me once, at 
the beginning of my acquaintance with him, for 
being so vulgar as to call him the Honourable 
Thomas, \yell, I am going to marry the Honour- 
able Thomas." 

" You told me— you told me yourself that he 
was a pauper." 

"That was a figure of speech. He is a 
pauper compared with Christopher Thorverton, 
but not a pauper compared with you and me. 
His father makes him an allowance, and he 
means to chuck soldiering and to find a job 



jT 



IT 



■11 

1 1 
1 



« The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

"ff .v.«.r o„t!„K,.,„™.t. r,„„. ' ^ "k ; 

engagwl to marry H«m,.l,.«lj- oIhc?" " 

" ' "■'■'"e to Torn laHt niirht " Kni,! r-i » 
™Mv, "an,, he te.egrapheU t'„,X. t rt' 

, "l'."'" '""e JewelkHl watch that was ,>n,. 
of (-hriHtopher-B many p,e«,nt8. 
Engaged by telegram ! " 

limes, said Erica, impatientlv, "and onlv twn 
f-if «8° "V-S^l me to face-'chris ,pher ind 
t I him I did n't love him and co.Hd n't ma"ry 

me free, and then—" the slight laugh that m 
ped her held more of tenderness tha'n of'mo:;: 
Well I dM ,?•""■'■ ■"""■ "-'l-'aoe the mnsie. 
vervkinit T .'"^ "' "'" ""■■'• Christopher 
me free of his o«n accord. So I 'm eoinir to 
give Tom my hand an.I-f„oe .he .lusic'" ' 

Slid Tnr.V, "■','"' P""^""' «•"' <^<'°«'nt," 

aspect of the situation in turn as it revolved 
about her bewildered brain resolved 

"He wet ask them," said Erica, calmly. 



Mi 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 7 



We 

1k« ruarrh'd — jict- 
said iMdy Clow, 



" It could only Iwid to unncceHMary di-lay. 
do not iul«»u< .0 1h^ delayed." 

"Do you mean— you will 
ually married, very soon?" 
trembling. 

" Immediately." 

" When? " 

" To-day." 

Lady Clov; screamed. 

Erica looked at her watch again. 

" It 's past one now. If Tom has been able 
to make the arrangements, he will meet us at 
the station, and we must be married before three 
o'clock." 

" Erica ! " 

" You have often told me you objected to long 
engagements." 

" I don't l)elieve it will be legal." 

" Oh, yes. It 's in Whitaker's Almanack. You 
get a special license. It costs thirty shillings, 
and it is available directly you have it. The 
only condition is that one\>f the parties must 
have resided in the district for fifteen days. 
He 's had his rooms in Lower Belgrave Street 
for fifteen months. So we must be married in 
his parish." 

I^dy Clow cried silently. Erica judged that 
the moment for cajol^^^^ had arrived. 

"Look here, MaL : . , . did my best— my very 
best— to endure Cu..stopher. I honestly in- 



8 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

tendwl to marry lilm. \hit if you could know 
the i-elh'f of i(H iH'ing over, you M be glud I was 
marrying—" Hhe licHitated— "the man I h)ve, 
instead of a hoy who bored me to death. And 
I can tell y u thin. 1 <lon't resinrt many jwople, 
but I rewiH'ct Tom Garry. He is good' through' 
and through." 

"How can he b(> good through and through 
when he 's InHm m dishonourable as to make love 
to another nmn's pancief " 

"Don't you know me well enough to feel 
sure that was my fault?" asked Erica, 
sardonically. 

*' I daresay it was. Hut I can't help feeling 
sorry for Christopher," walled her mother, too 
distracted to speak connectedly. " So that is the 
reason he was too ill to come home last night 
from the Manor Hoube." 

" He had a cold in his head; and he probably 
took too much whisky, ' said Erica, contemp- 
tuously, "and on the top of that found out I 
was bored to death with him. So he very sen- 
sibly told me he did n't care to marry me. It 
Avas his doing after all. I can't see he 's so much 
to be pitied. Console yourself by reflecting how 
wiotched I should have made him. I could n't 
have kept it up. As i was, he exasperated me 
half a dozen times a day." 

" I don't see how I can— how T can let him 
go on giving us an allowance, after this," said 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



lAidy Plow, looking at lior «lniiKl>t<'r with wide, 
friglitoncHl vyvn. 

" I don't Mcc vliy not," wild Eric croHHly. 
"You nro tli« only nOatlon ho hiiH in tiie world, 
and he iH only continuing what hin father felt 
to be a duty, and ho it was. / shan't have 
anything more to do with it." 

"I don't fe(«l I can,'* repeated I^dy Clow, 
obstinately, "and then— then I shall have 
nothing in the world to depend on. Erica. I 
had better go to the worl.house." 

"Don't l)e absurd, Mauunu." Erica consid- 
ered for a moment. " Have you anything to go 
on with?" 

"Of course I have. I ha>e not touched my 
last quarter's allowauiv. We '-ave had no ex- 
penses all the summer and autumn that we have 
been staying at ^loreleigh. And Chris gave me 
that £500 — that time you went up to London; 
I paid the rent of our rooms up to Christmas, 
and settled up everything we owed, and paid for 
all the clothes you bought. I have two hundred 
pounds altogether at the bank, and that is 
literally all I have in the world." 

Erica thought of a great many bills of which 
her mother knew nothing, and which Chris- 
topher had joyfully paid during that week she 
had spent in London with him and his sister. 
She thought also of the magnificent string of 
pearls which he had given her and of two big 



-r--#ir 






I ^f 



10 



The Honourable Mrs. Gany 



white velvet eases at the bottom of her trunk 

whieh contained an emerald and diamond neck.' 

ace and tiara, which she h.d chosen rather fc. 

he va ue of the stones than for the beantv of 

tlie setting. She wcmdered iineasilv whether he 

^^.mld presently write and demand Uieir re urn 

She was conscious that she had never riirhtlv 

understood Christopher ^ ^ 

,.vn^ti^ 1 t " '*' Sone I shall know 

t'xactlj- where I am." 

"My darling! as though I wonhl sponge on 
.V'".. I could do with a hcl.sitting-.rm'^and 
my ».eals on a t.a.v," sohhed Lady cTow "'Per 
liaps It won-t be for loug." • -t er 

"Don't be silly, Jiamum," said Erica in 
bracing tones. " You 're co„,parativeh young 
and perfectly health.,-. There's no .^as'n "n 
earth why vou shouhl n't live for yea"? and i 
~o get^ „„ i ,,„ „.„,.,,^ ^^^, /^ ^^. and 1 

e^ ro„t':,rt,t'-;L-:---a; 

th.nk t over pre,se„tly. Meantime I wish vou 'd 

ti::z^' "" ''" ""'" '''' ''"" '''« -' 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry n 

" No wedding— no breakfast,— no bridesmaids 
— no trousseau I '' 

"I should say I had a pretty handsome 
trousseau," said Erica, drilv. 

* You can't— yon can't wear the things poor 
Christopher paid for," shrieked Lady CMow. 

"AA'hat do you expect me to do with them? 
Throw them away? " denmnch'd Erica. " Wliat 
good would it do Chris if I returned them? 
They would scarcely fit his sister. Poor little 
May! I think I see her dressed up in my 
wonderful bizarre creations." 

"I shall never be able to go through with 
it," said Lady Clow. " I shall faint dead away, 
or do something foolish. It 's too much. Too 
sudden." 

Her large face was really so white that Erica 
hastily unlocked the tiny crocodile-skin dressing- 
bag with its gold fittings, that had been an- 
other of Christopher's presents, and took out a 
miniature crystal flask. 

"Look here, ^Lnmma, you mustn't give way 
and spoil everything. We are almost there 
now," she .«aid auth(U'itatively, and forced her 
sinking parent to inhale some powerful salts. 
" And you have n't got to go through with any- 
thing. You simply collect the luggajre and 

1 • A • 1 ^ Oct O »*--»»• 

drive straight home and wait for us, while 
Tom and I go off together in a hansom to 
his parish church and get married. Then we '11 



13 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 






lunch together somewhere and come and call 
for my luggage, and incidentally get your 
blessing." " 

" Erica ! Is your mother not to be present at 
your marriage? Is she not to give away her 
child— her only child?" cried Lady Clow. 

" No, she is not. Even if you were fit for it, 
which you 're not, we shall be in a hurry and 
tbore won't be time. And besides. I don't wish 
It. Her tone was final, but at her mother's 
woeful expression she relented, and became re- 
proachful, even caressing. «I should have 
thought you 'd l)e too happy and thankful to 
know I was going to marry a man like Tom, 
to care whether you were present at the cere- 
mony or not, so long as it came off; instead of 
making delays and difficulties when your child's 
happiness is at stake and every moment of 
value. Think that all Uie anxiety about her 
future, which has tormented you by day and 
kept you awake by night, will be ended for ever 
and ever, when once I am safely married to 
Tom I IS he who will have to take care of 
me then." 

"Oh, my baby! My darling!" sobbed Lady 
Clow. "^ 

She could not help responding gratefully to 
Erica s caress, and dung to her daughter, mur- 
muring fond words of endearment. Erica on 
her side, and in the intervals of being kissed 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 13 

and wept over, found a cletau handkerchief for 
her mother, straightened her bonnet, which was 
apt to fall awry in moments of emotion, and 
jjenerally put her to rights in preparation for 
her arrival at Paddington. 

"Life is the strangest thing in the world," 
sighed Lady Clow. " It seems to me only yes- 
terday you were a little girl, the prettiest that 
ever was born as every one owned, though from 
the time you were three years old I could do 
nothing with you; looking like a cherub, when 
all the while y<m had thrown my knitting, 
needles and all, into the fire, because I refused 
you a lump of sugar. And I dressed you like 
a little princess, even after your poor father 
failed in the City, and we hardly knew where 
to turn for a meal, until old Ur. Thorverton 
came to the rescue, and even (hen it was a 
struggle. Two hundred a vear isn't much. 
Erica, for a woman brought up like I was, 
though I've learnt to be careful, God knows. 
And you never wanted for anything I could get 
you, though I 'm bound to say you were always 
discontented from the first, and no wonder, 
cooped up for ever in cheap lodgings,— a girl 
that had only to be seen — ! But there were 
only the wrong people to see you. And many 
and many a time you 've been angry with me 
for guarding you like a dragon, though I dare- 
say you '11 thank me for it now." 



m 



if 

;3 



14 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" Did you guard me like a dragon? » said 
J^rica, with a queer smile. 

" You know I did. I don't mean I could stop 
your flirting— no one could have done that," said 
Lady Clow, sincerely, " and I never said a word 
about either of the curates, or that poor young 
Dr. Morris, whom you treated so badly.*^ But 
at young Ilickie and old Mv. IJurcJiardt I did 
draw the line. I should have been thankful 
enough to see you settle down with a good, 
respectable man, however po(,r, and I could not 
know then that you would have a chance to do 
so much better for yourself. I am sure when 
your cousin May's invitation to stay with her 
and her brother came la;^t summer, it seemed 
like an answer to prayer; for a hmg visit in a 
great country house like Moreleigh Abbey, where 
you were bound to meet all sorts of nice, re- 
spectable, well-behaved people, was just what 
was wanted to make you look on life from a 
different point of view. And you had them all 
at your feet, at least all the men, just as I knew 
you would," said Lady Clow, exultantly, yet 
mournfully, "poor ChristopluM-, and Tom Garry 
and his brother Kobin, and all. And it did seem 
like Providence when poor Chris and you were 
engaged, for he was a very distant cousin after 
all, and it was somehow different from his father, 
and taking his money 'uid always weighed on 
me. But your marriage with him would have 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 15 



put it all right and made it natural enough. 
Well — it was not to be; and now here you are 
engaged to somebody else " 

" Here I am, engaged to the eldest son of Lord 
Erriff of Kellaccmibe," said Erica, impatiently, 
*' and if vou must indulge yourself in a short 
sketch of my biography, Mamnui, you may surely 
be thankful that you have that item to end up 
with. And I desire that you will never again 
refer to any of the persons whose names you have 
mentioned. I am beginning a new life, and one in 
which they will certainly find no place. Now, 
pull yourself together, and for heaven's sake, 
don't fail me." Iler tones grew hurried and 
almost beseeching. " Don't disgrace us both by 
making some foolish scene on the platform. 
Here we are." 

Though Erica replaced the flask, and fastened 
her little bag with a sicady hand, her heart beat 
perctptibly faster, and her beautiful face was 
l)aler than usual, when the train drew up k'side 
the platform, and her eyes searched the waiting 
groups thereon rather anxiously. 

But Tom had not failed her. With a leap of 
the heart, and a sensation more akin to pure 
gratitude than any she had ever known, Erica 
recognised tlia fact that she might always depend 
upon Tom. 

She scanned him rather breathlessly as he 
emerged f 'ra the crowd; she had seen him al- 



I6 



, 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



ways in the country, and generally in cricketing 
flannels, or in shooting or hunling kit,— a lusty 
and gallant young squire enough; it struck her 
now that he looked much more serious, and much 
more distinguished in his London clothes; with 
his tall, slight figure, straight, delicate features, 
and handsome, brown eyes lighting up with relief 
and eagerness as he caught sight of her. 

" Thank God, you 've come," he said, as the 
carriage door was opened, and he gave her his 
hand to help her descend. " 3fy man is here to 
see after your luggage." He turned and signed 
to a solemn, black- whiskered servant. « You and 
I must drive straight to the church. Two o'clock 
ras the hour fixed." 
" There 's Mamma," said Erica. 
" Of course! " Tom, recalled to earth by the 
substantial vision of Lady Clow, was full of 
apology. He gave her his arm, and she tottered 
across to a four-wheeler, whilst the porter, under 
Erica's capable direction, emptied the railway 
carriage of her belongings, and Tom's man 
collected the luggage. 

There was the usual yellowish mist of a Lon- 
don November day, but no actual fog. The 
noise, the crowd, the raw atmosphere, all brought 
a sense of home-coming to Erica, after her long 
sojOurn in the country. 

" The fog was thick this morning, but it lifted 
at twelve o'clock," said Tom. Lady Clow was 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 17 

far too much agitated for speech. She could 
neither collect her thoughts, nor trust herself 
to utter a word. 

Her four-wheeler drove off, and Erica felt a 
curious sudden pang of compassion at the last 
sight of the handkerchief held up to the large, 
sobbing face. 

The old toppling black trunk and shabby hold- 
all of faded green, rocked together on the roof 
of the cab, so that she could distinguish the 
vehicle among a crowd of others for quite a long 
time, as she stood on the platform beside her 
future husband. 

It was as though her mother, and, with her 
mother, all the shabbiness and sordidness and 
uncertainties of her past, were being suddenly 
driven out of her life. 



I. 






CHAPTER II 

Symbolic of the present was her new lug- 
gaj?e: three largo trunks, a monster hat-box, 
and a handsome dressing-case in a leather 
cover; the miniature dressing-bag she chose to 
retain m her hand. But Tom did not question 
whence came these signs of prosperity. That 
Lrica should be beautifully dressed, and have 
beautiful possessions, seemed to nim part of the 
natural order of things. Also, he was in a hurry 
He ordered his servant to drive to Lower Bel- 
grave Street with the luggage, and to see that 
luncheon was ready for their arrival a little 
ater Then he turned with relief to Erica and 
helped her into the waiting hansom. 

They drove away, and neither spoke until the 
hansom was speeding past the Marble Arch into 
■fark Lane, then she murmured ; 
" Are you sure you 're glad? " 
" I 'ye thanked Cxod every moment since I got 
your letter.'' He took it out of his breast 
pocket and showed it to her. " I feel as though 
I can hardly speak till-till "s done,-till 
we re safely married," he said. 

I8 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 19 



I forgot what I 



" Let me read the letter, 
said; I wrote so hurriedly." 

lie let her take it; and she read the words 
she could scarcely Indieve had Im'ou written less 
than twenty-four hours earlier; so strange they 
looked in her own writing. 

" I am no longer engaged to Christopher. Tie 
found out hy chance that I uas marrying him 
for Mamma's sake, and not because I loved him, 
and he has set me free. If you do not believe 
this, I refer you to Mamma. She ivill tell you 
what T only learned the day I became engaged 
to Christopher, that toe have lived for years on 
the allowance his father made us, and which he 
has continued. I do not know whether he tcill 
go on with it now or not. I only know I am 
very unhappy. If you really love me— if you wish 
to save me from myself, a,s tjou said— let it be 
all as you planned. It will only be a day later. 
I will marry you to-morrow if you wish, in the 
same way, and under the same conditions. 
Mamma and I will come to London by the nine 
o'clock express, and you can meet us and let 
her go home, and take me with you. Telegraph 
only one word to me here the instant you get 
this. One icord: yes, or no. Ebica." 

She refolded it mechanically, and returned it 
to him, and he put it carefully away in his 
pocket-book. 



20 



'f 



1 

^1* 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



I 



\on m-o mnvryiuir „„. ,vith ycur oven opoii " 
Hho snnl, looking strai^hr In^foro h.r, u„d s,\!.ak- 
nj; lu railKM- l.anl (......s, iKH-anst. 1,,.,. o(,ia na- 
ture was s.im.] to mm(Tust(„u(.l <U.i.ths, ami 
sl.e feaivd to In^fay tho novH o,uoti!,n ;M"h 
I.0HS.H.S..1 luM- "You know that while I was 
'•n«aso(l to (^h.iNt.,pher I-I mvUul with Rohin 
aH well as with vo..-" fie winced an<l .ttlv 
a Houml a,s of enlreaty. « U^t me speak. C.m- 
fossion IS not nnuh in my lin,, { ,..|.,,, „., 
fe-el inelined another tinn.. and I m tning to 
bo h«nest-as you iK^yj^^ed n»e U> be, whVn you 
told nje the other day that T was never n.ea^t 

IS'c^"'"^ ^"' '"^ "^'^ *^'^°^-" Her 
" pon't-don't remind me. I was a fool and 
a prig, he said passionately. "And you-vou 
never had a ohame. Brought up to think it 
your duty to marry a rich man. And now- 
after all-j-<>u are n.arrying a poor one, God 
lens you, ' he said, and, hcn^dless of passers-bv, 
lifted her hand to his lips. 

'; You make it difficult," sighed Erica, and yet 
smi ed. Her drooping self-respect raised itself 
a little from the dust into which Christopher's 
contempt and repudiati.m had cast it. She 
thought that after all, she m^ed not speak to 
him of his brother Robin's car.dess offer to make 
amends for Christopher's cavalier treatment 
She would be amply avenged on Robin-for 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 21 

his merr.v self-confidonce, his easy assuredness 
of conquoHt, the light and mocking method of 
Ills wooing— when he learned of her marriage to 
his eUler brother. He would have to realise 
then that she must have In^'u ridiculing him in 
her heart throughout all his assumpticm of 
suiKjriority, of knowledgo «»f the world, and of 
human nature, and assunin*. of liis power over 
her. The laugh would Ik» on her side. 

And she knew Hobin well enough to be sure 
that he would never give lier away to his 
brother; not only for the sake of his own vanity, 
but because he would secu-n thus to revenge 
himself upon a Avoman. 

Tom would know nothing of that episode un- 
less she told him, nor need any one know. Why 
should she tell him? Yet she wavered. 

"Suppose I wanted to make a clean breast 
of —of every tiling," she said, as she had said to 
her mother, " show yon all the ugly thoughts 
and sordid sehemings (hat I 've hated even while 
I 've gloated over them " 

" It 's enough that you 've hated them," said 
Tom. " I won't have you humble yourself to 
me, my Queen. I don't believe in introspection. 
Put all ugly thoughts Iwhind you, and start fresh 
from to-day— with our new life together " 

" He wants to put me on a pedestal and wor- 
ship me. Men are all alike," thought Erica. 
'' Vhy should I disappoint him? And after all, 



9t 



U ^1 



4* 



%i 



I 



92 



The Honourable Mrs. Gariy 



If 



I 'n\ not on mv dontli.YwMi t • , . 
MUM i> in(ie])t»n(|(.iif who onu ..ir . i x 

<^"l eyes eonvvv,.! tho evne .f. ' ^^^"f^«"- 
to a Door ft ^ • ; •'■"" '"'^'^'^ '^^' ^^^''^th to- 



The Hi)fiourablc Mrs. Garry 23 






" Thcro it Im," s1m» Hjiid, wlih a lovely tn'muhnm 
sniilo, " I put it all on Mamma. Iliit I— I am 
not Hiirc it wasn't just as much for my own 
Hjike that I wantj'd t«) 1h« rich." 

As Khc nmdc the a<lmissi«in, her starved con- 
science, unaccustomed to even so small a sop, 
Allowed with {^ratification; it was too small and 
weak from Ion;; nejjiect, even to perceive how 
scant a proportion of jiistice had Iwen render«'«l 
to that stout and jjuileless mother, who was in- 
nocent of any smallest <l<'sire to sacrifice Iut 
<lau}i;hter, and who would <m the c<mtrary have 
died willinjjly, and even ea{,'erly, to ensure her 
child's happiness. 

Nor did Tom pause to exaunne or regret the 
wrong done t«» }>oor Lad; riow. Actual tears 
of admiration and worship shone in his brown 
eyes as he looked at his betrothed's downcast 
eyelashes. 

"Oh, Erica— it needed only that," he cried 
unsteadily. " I love you for owning it. I 
honour you. It proves to me that I was right 
— I knew all the while that your soul was as 
beautiful as your face. And now — you 've got 
it all off your chest, and we can forget every- 
thing in the world except ourselves and our 
happiness — and the new life together that ve 
are to begin to-day.'' 

Erica, letting her suede-covered hand rest in 
his firm clasp, felt for the moment as though 



ii! 



ill 



!| 



24 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



.''^ "inch Ice iDoi KM- li-i.i 

'.oen forgive .„ri Tr'':~*" ''"'"' ""I 
"elusion ° I ;,"" ,'"'■■■. •"•^^ ,"'fl"™ee „f „„•, 

tl.e strange pen'o wl i ':' ""'""'"■"S "' 
■.ring t„ 'l" : ,:; ::f; 7''-;- i« apt to 

her n,in., .as t„„ L^' oV ,:';.-,!;r f '■" 

'YI'II th,. passionate intensitv „ t'/ "*" '" 
which T.,m-» telegram hJ^^.^'^J'^ ""f 
morning. "^^lij^uc m the early 

thrown iier ove M" -.><-e n.ristopher had 
thing akin to "al h Imt v T' ""'' ^'""- 
novel sensation of g ^ f™ '/ »»-'<'"■>« 
Tom's generosity an,l 7- measure of 

He^vasnotlVra'TheT"""'"""^- 

-H jhii.,t .nng„:v t;!"iCin,rr' 

changed attitude ,o,vanI.s him.se"f ' il "■' 
her a god.Iess huinbled to eirlni ■ f '" 
salien, and nrove,l ,./ ' "''a^hed, f„r. 

, ouu pi(ne,i „f commonest clav i...f .1 
lover and cliimninn 1 . • — ""t the 

ana.asp:prt:Xdtr;V"-'^%^"''' 

perfection in the face of h ™ "' •»"• 

and of his Letter .-,1 . "''" '-"Imissions 

«he unders'r,^" J:S .e'"'" *"" ""* "■"« 
"o^v much deeper was his feel- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 25 



mg^u' her ri„..i Ohristophor'a calf-love or 
Robii N .'aivloss adiniiation Lad ever been, and 
with u ciiti;ii fold yet fi<'rce resolution peculiar 
to her nature, she determined that his niar- 
riajie should neither disappoint nor disillusion 
him. 

Vaguely, as one groping in darkness, she 
sought to form high resolves for the future; but 
her imagination was so unused to exercise in 
such directions that it produced only the slang 
formula, / tciU play the game; before flying 
back like a bent twig, to the engrossing subject 
of herself, her prospects, and the question which 
had been at the back of her mind ever since she 
received Tom's telegram, as to which of her 
trunks ought to go with her on her wedding 
journey. She supposed there would be a wed" 
ding journey. . . . 

" Here we are, my darling," said Tom. 

No human being known to either of them was 
present at the short ceremony which made Tom 
Oarry and Erica Clow man and wife. The wit- 
nesses received gratuities, and Erica received the 
certificate of her marriage which she folded ab- 
sently and put into her little bag, and the officiat- 
ing clergyman shook hands with the bride and 
l)ridegroom and ottered polite congratulations. 

Erica, tired physically and mentally, felt the 
whole proceeding to be somewhat dreamlike, but 



'■I 






' '■ii'\ 









J n 



Sir 



26 



The Honourable Mr;;. Garry 



No« «o I g„ au,l have s.„„e I„nolie„n, for vo„ 
must b.. staning. I kn.nv I am " 

Tlio.y ,l,,,ve straight to his rooms and Im 
op.....;<I the front door with his totchkoV 

I'.rioa never forgot the look of that'iloor- a 

X!"rr'''"' "■'« -ith polished brass i ;„ 
y«Iged between two shop fronts. She felt ,7, 
"« the short d,.U,v while Tom paid the ,1 "^ 
though she were waiting for adn.ission „t , a 

forever. ''""""■''''''''''•' '"^^'•'"^e 

The rooms consisted of three upper floors -md 
a I.a.seraent; eon,ple,ely shut otf f ,,„ .he" ,,' " 

whKh so encroache,l upon the g ,„d L r m 

oither side, that nothing was ief" «a o a n n ro w 
passage leading to the steep staircaT. 
I'.ricas trunks, piled one on the ton of the 
"TCfV^ gangway yet narrowed " 

i^pst. i" tw , r '™Y' •'""' ''*""' ""' "«' "'"-aas 
upsians, two steps at a time. 

Eriea half e.xpeeted, from the .lingiuess of 

the position and the e..terior walls ^8^1 

■•ooms resen,hling her mother's lodg i'n^r. but 

U,.s^_ was, as she again realised, a^ dli^>r™t 

The front room was furnished as a sitting- 



1 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 27 



room, and the back, divided by a curtained 
aicli, as a dining-room. 

" ^^'Jiy? yoii must have wonderful taste, Tom," 
she cried, with delight. 

" Not I — these rooms are miles too fine for 
me. I took them over to oblige a pal, and I 'm 
glad I did, for they aren't too fine for you. 
They were furnished and done up by Finguar 
—he 's a bit of a sybarite and rolling in money, 
and he let them to me cheap because he kneW 
I 'd take care of them. All that china 'a worth 
a lot of money. His housekeeper dusts it and 
cooks my breakfast. Luckily she and Gudwall 
get on well. Both rather Psalm-singing sort of 
lie / I think she means to marry poor 
Gui . .1. Oh, here he is. Luncheon ready? " 

The black-whiskered, serious servant brought 
in a tray noiselessly. 

"Mrs. Jarmin is in the bedroom, sir. She 
thought perhaps " 

" Mrs. Garry would like to see her room — of 
course," said Tom, gaily. '' It 's the room over 
this— Finguar's own room, and as pretty as 
this." 

Erica glanced round the sitting-room, with its 
delicately tinted grey walls, throwing into high 
relief a few brilliant modern water-colours, and 
the gay red and blue and gold and green of the 
Dresden china figures in severely plain cabinets. 
The brocade curtains were of the same mouse- 



m 






II i 



ill 



til 



28 



^ i 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



grey shadP, which was repeatod in th. velvet 
liangmgs of the archwav 

and a ^ide divan piled with cushions and -, 
ow solid elhow-talde whe.o T<nn. p ^ '. 2a a 
few books found a restin-place 

scheme of decoration was repeated in the little 
dming-rooni, a perfect background for the p 
nres, and for the silver and crystal which .Ti - 
feral imdop fl,e ros<.-«ln,i„,i i„ " 

from the ceiling '"■*'"'•"'<■" >«■»? ""^-^nded 

The ]„x»ry appoalod to Erica, and she nodded 
«ppr^,„„, ^ror. she vanished „p the na^- 

which Mr, r "'^''"""•»■'' ''<"««^" tHe one into 

it which T ,'"r """•"*" '""•' """ •l"'t next 
It nhich Tom had made Iiis oivn 

The front room which was t,, 1« hers, was 
very m«Iern and comfortable; with a carv« 
woo< French bedstead, painted white, and wim 
ft.™.t,ire and pictures of the same period 

She judged Lord Finguar to be somewhat 
effemmate ,n his tastes, and with a glance at 

rrdrobes?.' '"""'^ ^•"'' ^" --'^- "-«-« 



I 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 29 

" Well, Da 'ni, I iM'lleve they was furdislied 
for a lady," said Mrs. Jarmin, who had a chronic 
cold. " IJut I devei seed dorhing of her. So it 
bay be ody talk. But you should see the bath- 
room, all ro:5e-colour tiles and silver fiddini;s." 

" Are you Lord Finguar's housekeeper? " 
asked Erica, abruptly. 

" Id a madder I ab," said ^frs. Jarmin with 
conscientious elaboration of detail. " I was 
reely caretaker to the Dowager, as was, before 
she was took to Ken.sal Green. I lived in Lon- 
don all my life, and I wooden live away or I 
could have gone to the fambly long ago. But 
I 'ates the country. So when the yug gentle- 
man cub into his own, I was sent here; bud he 
went away dreckly and Mr. Garry toog his 
place.'' 

" You keep everything very nice,'' said Erica, 
graciously. 

" I do keeb things as dice as I can, but the 
furditure people 'as orders to come reg'lar too. 
And Mr. Garry is a quiet yug gentleman, and 
Gudwall gives no trouble." 

"Where is Lord Finguar now?" 

" I heai'd tell he was somewheres in Africa, 
shooting-like," said Mrs. Jarmin. " f ^ad I do 
anything else 'm? There 's a dice hot luncheon 
ready for you." 

Erica took the hint, and hastened her prepara- 
tion^A. She looked at herself in the glass, re- 



I 



.•;»; 

M 



30 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



n.nw.l the ,,r„„u velvo, t„q„o ,vitl, i,s aiRroH,. 

« nderf,, sablcB win.,, r„ris,„pi„., „„., '^Z 

"flf 'i« purity of l,..r c,.,„„.ox-|„„ „„„ Z^ ^ 
«oi.l ,nt.s of he,. lu,ir. 8,,e ha,I «„•„ a ,. 

traces of railway ,I„»t, an,] re-arran-,.,! tl„. 

iTf / , "'"" "' •'"""'' "'"f ™'>'«1 Pros,.nt 
»o fresh ami cl,ar,„i„« an apiK.aranoe, af . a 
sleepless n.ght a„,l a fo,„...,onr ,,•»,„.,„.; i^y^J 
TA hen she ,le.seen,I<-,l, «l,e fo,„„i (ha, Tom ha, 
<l.sm«sed (!,i,hvall and was p«.pared „. ,„ 
upon her himself. "* 

He carv-ed chicken an,l ponml out wine, and 
hovered about her, serving h,.- deferenfia h 
and she liked ,o 1« served ,loferentiall i~ 
appeal to him, her dependence on him-h , 
awakened all the chivalry of his nature- 
he was the mo,-e reverent becau.se of the ci -c 
stances Which had brought them together Zt 

" ^.'l' ^r''"'" ''« *«''«l' " If I M onlv known 
all this time that I 've been so down on mv 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



31 



luck, that t]w bonr was close at liand. when 
you would he sitting oi)i)osite me liere, at the 
verv tal»]e where I 've propped up the newspaper 
or a bo(»k against the tea-pot, and read through 
my breakfast, morning after morning; after 
thinking of you and dreaming <( you all night! 
I 'm glad you 've taken your hat off. Oh, darling 
—say you feel at liome." 

" I feel very mucli at home, and the rooms are 
charming," said Erica. Her red lips parted— 
the slight smile that was her loveliest expres- 
si(m showed the perfect teeth, slanting inwards, 
and the dimples set at the corners of the beauti- 
ful mouth, and in the centre of the soft white 
chin; narrowing the cold blue eyes until only 
a glint of colour was visible between thick 
golden fringes. If the oval face were too large, 
and the stately throat a trifle overfull— who 
could quarrel with the pure, faint rose-colour 
that flushed th<'ir almost infantile softness and 
whiteness under his gaze. 

"Darling!" he said. "I can hardly believe 
It all, even yet. It seems too good to be true 
that we 're actually married." 

" Was n't it very difficult to arrange it all- 
in such a short time? " 

" It seemed impossibio," said Tom, « but as it 
happened, things fell out rather luckily for me. 
To iH'gin with— as soon as I 'd settled the license 
question— which was naturally the first thing I 



. I 



I 






!-i 



Ij^f 



3a The Honourable Mrs. Gany 

-and ,^v a m.racle „„t ,I,e ,I,ing tUroZgJ " 
Ua.^V' """"^ ^'"" "'"''' 8"' °"''"«1 withouc 
" Von can," mid Tom, cliilv « n„f i„ „ » 

nave much further use for a uniform." 
^^ \\hy--what would happen?" 

all y!!!T J^'\ ''"'' '""'' ^« ^«^'k> that's 
ai'. lou don't belong." 

"But surely " 

"Of course there are exeeptions-and if von 
c oose to keep your marriage dark"' t '.^^ 
ns-there \s no question of anything of tl n t 
kind," he interpolated hastily «f°1., f 
got tow, and the sooner Ihe^^,^^^^^^^ 
refufed ?""''''"'' ^'"' ^^"^^anding Officer had 
He smiled. 

" ^'« «liould have got married just the same 

sweetheart! And I slm„i.i i, ' 

-tiuu 1 Should have sent in mv 

We'd "o to """" ■"■"^ "'"•''^•^ '^ ™'y 8-" 

« Whe'ldTd"!""""' ,".'" ''"'' Erica-interested, 
vvneie did you see him?" 

" Barracks— inspection— " said Tom in« • 
callv "Tniri+K^ AT / ^°°*' laconi- 

taijy. Told the Adjutant I wanted leave and 
explained matters more or less to him as 'he 's 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 33 

a jrreat pal of mine, and askod for a moment 
alone wit h the Commanding Officer. He arrantred 
it all right." *' 

''Bnt I want to know exactly what hap- 
pened," said Erica, inii)atiently. "What he 
wild, and what yon said, and what the Adjutant 
said." 

Tom laughed. 

"I went into the orderly-room where the two 
W(>re sitting side by side at the table and 
saluted and said, 'Couhl I speak to the Com- 
nuinding Otticcr, sir,' and the Adjutant said, 
'Lieutenant (Jarry to speak to vou, sir, will 
you .see him?' and the Tolonel said, ^ Yes, cer- 
tainly,' and asked me what he could do for me, 
and the Adjutant got up and went out. So I 
began at once by pulling out the license and 
showing it to the Colonel. It seemed the easiest 
way; and he said, 'What on earth's this, 
Garry? ' and I explained the circumstances." 
" How did you put it?" asked Erica, curiously. 
"I told him the truth," said T(mi, simplv, 
" exactly as though I \\ been talking to my old 
Dad. He 's a splendid old boy, full of under- 
standing. I told him how much I cared for 
you, and that I'd had reason to believe for 
some time past that— that you— cared for me, 
but that you were engaged to another man whom 
I did not think worthy of you in any way— and 
that rightly or w rongly, I 'd urged you to break 



»i 



I 



111 

S i J 



n 



34 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

it off, and you would n'f, and that now I 'd sud- 

<J<'niy got this lottcr from you-saviu- " 

"That he-d thnnvn me ovor, and that I was 
at a looHc end," said Erica, in a hard voice. 

Tom, flushing, " hut he ha.l to knc.w that v(,u M 
I'onoured me hy appealing to me in a waC- that 
not only j„,tified n.e in the course I nr;,pos<.d 
to take, but ma<le it imperative for h.e sake 
of my myn honour and happiness that I shouhl 
respond instantly. Oh, he saw tluit all right - 
)nt what he jil.hed at was my father 's ilot 
known.: Of course he had to talk about ehlest 

sons av Juties to one's family, and so on.' 
Uia n t he want to know who / was'' " 
"Oh, well, of course," said Tom, hastilV, « j ^j 

to d him my mother and sisters knew vmi, and 

a It at and that my father n.>t only kne^ "u 

tint JiKeu j-oii excossivolv^ '* 

"You wei-e ccrfainl.v jiistifiwl in saving tliat " 

«>..! Eru-a, with «,.-,„ h,„uo„r; and she laix-h,. 1 

ti.m to Chnst(,i,hor Thorvorton's hcti-othiHl 

lint tlion of coaivse he sai.l wliv not tell 
I-n.? and I could only a,«„e that ii n,ust in' 
evitahly cause delay, and consequently place you 
in a painful position, and that even if mv father 
sympathised with „,e, as I felt sut^e he' would 
my mother was bound to make difficulties, and 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 35 



want a conventional wedding, and pverything 
that in the circiimHtances we whouUr most 

dislike " 

" So he gave way ? " 

" Well— I expect he saw I meant to do it, all 
right," said Tom, "and after all, as he said, he 
<ouldn't treat the thing as though I were a 
youngster. I 'm nearly seven-andtwenty, and— 
and— well— h(' doesn't i>ay compliments as a 
rule," said Tom, rather shamefacedlv and with 
an effort to laugh— " but the things he .said 
about looking on me as one of the steadiest 
fellows going, and things like that, made me feel 
that it was all v<My well to talk lightly of 
chucking soldiering, and all that— but that 1 
will be something of a wrench when the time 
comes to— to unbuckle one's sword for the last 
time. Well— he ended by saying he trusted me 
too much to stand in my way, and just told me 
to put down the leave I wanted, and called in 
the Adjutant and asked if it would be all right; 
and of course the Adjutant said it was, and 
the dear old boy initialled it and asked me if 
that was all, and I said ' Yes, sir. Thank you, 
sir,' and .saluted and went out, wondering how 
I 'd done it." 
"And did you tell any of the others?" 
" Not I. I just saw young Woosnam in the 
oflScer's ante-room, and told him I 'd got leave, 
and put him down for my duty." 



'I ! 



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Hi 






if 



36 



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The Honourable Mrs. G 



arry 



" Wan he pl(':is«Ml? " 
Kri,-a caiv.1 notliing for niusi,. |,„t „he lik«i 

''T.e":'„T' ","" '"'" '^""' - ™-.v Luii;""^ 

T.e only tl,„,g , ,,,■,,„.< d,H-„as to tako 
our ticket, to PariH," he said, " b,„ we j!h 
8<. down to Folkestone this aftirnoon, Ld "o" 
to-morrow „r next day a« yo„ prefcr-on,; , 
wa« n^t «„,. what yo„ VI wi.h. or ff vou UlpLl 
any other place, or if y„„ y think. aH I o Tha 

J»eIl,Jmt I thought you said you'd Bever 

Erica reflected. 

When an idea was presented to her it inter- 
ested her, if at all, solely a. it affected Lr^llf, 



The Honourable Mrs. Carry 37 



and tho dlsadvantajjcH of Tom'H proposal became 
apparent t<» lier when thus rcpiKh-d. 

She was shrewdly aware of the value and un- 
forgefaldeness of first impressions. She knew 
that sunoundiuKM eount for much, and that in 
unfaiuiliar surroundiiifjs she would he at a «liH- 
advantatje. Tom knew l»arls fairly well, hut 
she di<l not know it at all. She r(«meinl»en'd 
that ljm\y KrrilTliad boasted in her pres<'m«» onct? 
that her sons sjiokr Trench and (Jernian with 
equal fluency; Krira's French was a ne<;II}rih|e 
quantity. Tom was a good sailor ami she was a 
bad one. Travi'llinj; was a test of temfM'r, and 
Erica's temper was far from jM-rfect. Mhe was 
sufticiently shaken by her re<ent experiences to 
realise that she had hitherto overrated the power 
of her charms to conceal the.sc ^leliciencies of 
character, of which she had become tlimly and 
uneasily aware; and f(»r which Christopher in 
one way and Kobin iu another had manifested 
ccmtempt; she was the more determined that 
Tom should re<,'ain every lost illusion of her 
perfection during his houeymo(m. 

In short, she wanted to go to Paris, but not 
now; not until she had made her position in 
Tom's heart doubly secure, and established the 
ascendancy she craved over his mind and 
judgment. 

"Tom, dear," she said, with a new and en- 
chanting meekness which made his heart throb, 



M 



t 



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Pi 



38 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

"when you-when you fold me to go to Chris- 
t«pl.er honestly an.l toll hi,,, the truth -that I 
<l.d not o.e him,-and ask him to set'ml ?L 

^u my hand, an.l we VI face the mnsic togetfer 

' "n ar™>d-it will look to the world very m„ch 
-^though I .d jilted him, to r„n away to 

"'"'nJ' '^'" ^'ll ''""'' S""^- '^"'' •"' quoted- 
nen my. Mhat do tim, «„„? /J „,: 

-..- I shall tell my father' t^tf nt'n 
-ler^tand. I don't care a hutton for an" l" 

uujjiii^ »i>>a3 man facinjr the mnsjiV " 

:4\^T;r • - ^^•''•>- •""->'' ■>•' - s.:yThe;e 

Jfelt-'i'tT.' "" 'r.""^-^" *'"' ^"?««««on 
sne telt it to be an admirahle one 

s range hotels, wee they likely to find such 

sotil.vliglifed rooms? 

Erica, like a cat, loved warmth and softness 
and luxnry; and indoors appealed to her Jar 
more than the outer air. 

There was no lack of amusement in London 
and she would have the a<lvanta.e of u^er-' 
standing what was going on when they wen to 



ir 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 39 

the theatre together. Rhe would know what to 
wear, and when to wear it, and be at her very 
best. 

Her dressing-table upstairs was perfect; 
there was sufficient wardrobe space to accom- 
modate her new dresses ; and she would be saved 
the trouble of packing and re-packing. When 
she thought of doing this for herself— of brush- 
ing her own hair, and fastening her own dresses, 
and mending her own clothes. Erica was dis- 
mayed; for hitherto her mother had done all 
these things for her. She began to realise the 
possibility of missing that willing service of all 
her life. Well — while she remained where she 
was there was old Mrs. Jarmin— anxious to do 
what she could. She supposed in time she 
would get used to waiting on herself— but this 
was not the moment to begin 

She did not realise that the reason she had 
given Tom for her dissent from his scheme was 
an unreal one; and if any one had pointed this 
out to her she would have said, in all sincerity, 
that no woman could make a man of Tom's 
calibre understand the importance of such de- 
tails, i'nd that the woman who tried to do so 
would be a fool. She clinched the matter by 
saying, with that thrill in her low voice which 
was not the least of h^r charms : 

" You know, it 's bad enough for me— know- 
ing you 're going to hurt your people by this 



40 



i 



i,^" 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



--andthat it \s you wbo will probably be blamed 
for Christopher's unhappiness " ^ 

th^t^'"'" 7!'\ ^"°'' '^""''^y^ "^^ it comes to 
that, I would have made you throw him ov'r 
and come to me, if I could, at any moment, be- 
cause I knew you didn't love him and that vou 
^^^ love me," he said, with a happy looko'pri " 
and fondness; and she thought to herself He L 
very simp], , after all. ' ^ '^ 

" ^"t I 'm glad it did n't have to come that 
way," he said, " thou-h anvthin,, ^"me tnat 
l)PPTi hoffo« fK '"""»» an^\ thing would have 
been better than your being sacrificed to a lout 
of a boy hke-there-I ought to be the last man 

incehisT '•'' "" ''" ^^"^^«' P«- f«^"" 
since Ills loss is mj- gain." 

" Who could cail iim anything but a lout' " 
Erica said, with a hint of vindicUvoness in h«r 
voice. Then she recollectc.1 hemdf, and change 
her manner. "I could have found it in m 
heart to pity him-if he had n't been so bru^alTv 
hideously, frank-in-in_the ,vay he didT " 

The colour floo<led her fair face again, and she 
put up two white hands to hide ft; and Tom 
knel beside hor, and laid his arms about her 
and his face against hers ' 

sp^afoTitT"- ?"•'*"""=<"« again. Don't 
f^hu T""' ■"-' ™"' Po-^sionately. " i 

forbid you. You 're my wife now. I i „ J 
to take care that no one in the world ever shows 
yon one word or look of disrespect. And as fl^ 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 41 

Paris — you 're not to consider anyone's wishes 
or feelings except your own. What do I care 
where I am so long as I 'm with yon. Oh, 
Erica. ..." 

Erica leaned against him, vaguely glad of the 
support of his strong young clasp, for she was 
tired, mentally and physically; at once amused 
and attracted by his authoritative assumption 
of the role of her protector and champion. 

He was a year her senior but she felt in- 
finitely older and wiser than he, and had hitherto 
regarded him as a boy ; a gallant, well-mannered, 
handsome boy, less charming because more seri- 
ous than his brother Robin; but on the other 
hand, infinitely more to be trusted. She found 
herself thinking stupidly—" I am really married, 
and this is my husband," with a new sensation 
of shyness and fondness for Tom, who had not 
failed her; who, she believed in her heart, would 
never fail her. 

" Let us stay here," she said. " Tom, let us 
stay here. I 'm tired, and shaken, and not a 
bit inclined to go to Paris. And wouldn't it 
take a long time for letters? If you are going 
to write and ask your father's forgiveness, as 
you said? Besides— I don't want to go. You 
brought me home, here, from our funny little 
wedding— <ind oh, Tom— poor Mamma ! " Erica 
found herself, to her surprise and disgust, bat- 
tling with an inclination to cry. "She will 






I 



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42 



The Honourable Mrs. Gariy 



think we are lost! I promised to go straight 

«Mv darling; am I likely to let you go anv 
where alone, to-day?" said Tom, tenderly' ^ 



CHAPTER III 






Lady Clow sobbed uncontrollably for some 
moments after finding herself alone in the 
cab, giving way completely to the emotion that 
possessed her, now that there was no fear of 
incurring the sarcastic reproof of her daughter. 

The outburst sensibly relieved her, and by the 
time she had lifted her face from her hand- 
kerchief, and looked out upon the familiar 
scenes— half shrouded in the raw London mist, 
through which she was passing— she felt, it is 
not to be denied, a sudden lifting of the spirit, 
in the realisation of all that Erica's marriage 
might mean. 

Somehow, the appearance of Tom Garry at 
Paddington, with the respectable, black- 
whiskered Gudwall in close attendance, had 
brought a measure of consolation to her 
troubled mind. Erica she did not trust, but 
there was that in Tom's clear eye, alert yet 
steady bearing, and low distinct voice, that 
inspired confidence. 

Poor Lady Clow was on Christopher's side; 
certain that he had been badly treated; filled 

43 



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44 



The Honourable Mrs. Gariy 



showered kindnesson upon her and her child- 
and readj to be angry with Tom, though in 
her heart she doubted not that he, too, was but 
a piil)l)et answering to wires pulled by Erica's 
cool and skilful hands. Yet, when Tom Garry 
offered her his arm, with that gentle deferenc'e 
of manner which became him so well, she could 

a gratitude almost affectionate. Nor could she 

th?nr'T'°^, ""'' '^'^^'^'^^^^ P«^it^«««« With 
the uncouth and unmannerly ways which dis- 

t nguished Christopher; who, in like circum- 
«ances would probably have stood by, whistling, 
^vith his hands m his pockets, allowing her to 
scramble out of the train and into her cab, as 
best she could, unaided. 

fn"i^^ TT ^^''''^'^ ""^ comparison," she said 
to herself, tearfully. « There 's that excuse for 
Erica. Poor Chris is plain as well as bad- 
mannered and Tom and Robin both so good- 
looking that I never could see a pin to choose 
between them, except perhaps that Tom has a 
bit of a moustache and cuts his hair as close as 
be can, while Robin has the sense to let people 
.see his handsome mouth and his curly hair 
which must be a satisfaction to his poor mother.' 
htill every one says it 's Tom that is to be 
trusted, so I can only thank God Erica 's got 
Tom, quite apart from his being the eldest son. 






The Honourable Mrs. Garry 45 



Rut I feel like a traitor to everybody all the 
same, and I shall write to poor Christopher and 
beg him not to fret, the minute I get home. 
Poor boy; I only hope the shock won't kill him. 
But Erica must manage her own affairs, an<l 
at least there will be a gentleman now to have 
the responsibility instead of me. I was m^ver 
fit for it even if she had n't been so wicked to 
me — oh, what am I saying ! Wicked ! Jily little 
Erica ! My baby — and it is her wedding-day ! " 

The tears gushed forth again, but with less 
violence ; and a fresh idea suddenly occurring to 
Lady Clow, she thrust her large face — crowned 
with a flowered bonnet, and mottled with weep- 
ing — through the open window of the cab, and 
cried to the cabman to stop at a certain con- 
fectioner's shop in the High Street, Kensington. 



f 

Ml 



Tom persuaded Erica that to walk part of the 
way, at least, to her mother's lodgings, would be 
an exceedingly pleasant and wholesome proceed- 
ing, and she consented not unwillingly. Erica 
liked new sensations, and it was a new sensation 
to walk in London beside this immaculately 
dressed young Guardsman who was her lawful 
husband. 

The young couple entered the Park at Hyde 
Park Corner, and walked briskly past Knights- 
bridge Barracks towards the Albert Memorial; 
and Tom received several greetings, and Erica 



I* 



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46 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

the attention from passcrs-h.v which her beauty 
always excited, and which wax considerPbT in 
creased now by the magniflcence of her sables 

orheratr"^- ^■^'""''™ "- ^•^""■'« -- 

"I don't lilie walking in the coimtry-I hate 
h^ns-and n,„dd.v b,K„s, and seeing /„ „n^" 

wa's'inrr'neTt."""^" *'"" '""" <"" "»' ■<-• '■"« 
liant colour to her face when at length she 
^a^ran^dCrC;.-^ ^^ « - 

».::h":r-:aircTeaioTsr ■""««•"''-- 

She vouchsafed again that slight, loyelv smile 
but behind it lurked the recollcJion tLtle 
had to live up to an ideal, and that Tom had 
once reproved her for her studied indifference 
to jhe feelings of her fond parent. 

ing foneMT""' " '"" ""'"' '" ^^^ '<"-' "-ook- 

thL th!t n 7" ™ '"•"" """" »""■■•'" '» ker 
than that newborn meekness. " Do vou cru.lm. 

zt::^' """ »" '""^ *" -eingirsS-at 

taken r ' f ^' «'"^<J"'g'Kv, when yon have 
taken me away from her for ever and ever' " 

exeentC^* ""'\ *"™- ""^ °"« i" '"e world 
except me, a word, or a thought, or a look, on 






The Honourable Mrs. Garry 47 

our wo(l(1iiig.(lay," bo said, with tho fervour that 
bccamo hin .youth and good looks so well; and 
thoy drove tho rest of tho way in silence, with 
hands clasped nndor tho sheltering sables. 

Tho afternoon light was failing as they 
reaehed Lady Clow's lodgings, and the gas was 
lighted in the dingy hall and on tho narrow 
staircase, and flaring in tho chandelier which 
hung over the centre-table of her dismal sitting- 
room. 

Erica had forgotten how dismal it was, and 
in size it seemed to have dwindled. The months 
spent at Moroleigh Abbey made even Tom's 
rooms in Lower Belgrave Street seem absurdly 
small, but they were palatial in comparison with 
these lodgings. 

There was the dreadful c.' '->\ with its 

cheap vases on mats, and tho liiscuit box, and 
solitary dim decanter; the old-gold plush suite, 
that was the landlady's pride, i nd which Erica 
had not known to be so hideous until she looked 
at it in the light of her recently enlarged experi- 
ence; the chimney-piece with dyed grasses in tall 
china vases, with bulging bodies, whereon were 
depicted unspeakable landscapes; the fly-blown 
mirror, partially obscured by the bunch of poppies 
painted across its spotted surface, by the land- 
lady's accomplished daughter, who was also re- 
sponsible for enamelling the wicker arm-chairs 
in sealing-wax red. 



ij 

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IM' 



48 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

I^dy Plow had iH^n 8t>ato(l in hoi favourite 
ror„or,wi,hhor back to U.e light, and .or knit 
ing on lier lap; but the arrival brought her to 
HT foot and Hhe was hovering over the centre- 
able- wuM-eon the tea-thingH were grouped 
•'>o" a large iced-eake-by the time steps we^ 
heard ascending the staircase. 

Tho opening of the door seemed to W a irreat 
deal of f.vHh air into the close aMnospherof 
the imie room tainted with gas, and the smoke 
of a fire which though made up to an unusual 
size, did not draw pt^rfectly; a:;;l there entered 
I^ru^s tall and comely figure clad in white 
do h and sables, and cap of velvet, with the 
bnlhant colouring of her lovely face shining 
through a gossamer veil; and Tom, slight, tall 
'ipnght, with clothes so perfectly cut r. to b^ 
mmoticeable and the light of a happine almost 
unrealisable m his bright, young eyes. 

"Let me introduce Mrs. Tom Garry, Mamma," 
«a,d Erica, gaily, "with her distinguished hus- 
'nnd. I 'm sorry we 're late. Good gracious- 
how on earth did you raise a wedding-cake'" 
She broke off ini ) a short, vexed laugh 
"Oh, my dear, my dear, I hope you don't 
mind. It eemed so dreadful, no breakfast, no 
bridesmaids, nothing-of all the things I ever 
dreamed of; and me providing nothing at all, not 
even a trousseau,-and I knew I could get this 
ready-made," said poor Lady Clow, distractedly 



I 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 49 

"Isn't It my buHincBs to cut it?" said Tom, 
aiul he came forward, and smiled so reassuringly 
at his mother-in-law that she gave way to her 
inclination to fall on his neck and embrace him. 
He endured it manfully, though he could have 
h(»ld his own with any man in England where 
feeling for his collar was concerned ; and he put 
her very gently and respectfully into the chair 
before the tea-tray. 

"There, you've congratulated me and for- 
given me for springing it so suddenly upon you, 
all in one breath," he said, "and now I hope 
you '11 give us some tea." 

Erica could not help regarding him with more 
respect as she perceived his perfect ability to 
cope with the embarrassment of the situation. 

And as usual, poor Lady Clow began to repent 
her impulsive action. 

" How can I forgive you when I 'm still all 
in a muddle?" she said tearfully. "My head 
is in a whirl—and when I think of poor 

Christopher " 

Erica's fair brow darkened, and once more it 
was Tom who intervened. 

"Dear Lady Clow," he said, very decidedly 
and seriously. « We 're not going to talk anv 
more about that. If there 's anything to be said 
on that subject it will be said between Thorver- 
ton and me. But I think you '11 find there is 
nothing more to be said. Your daughter »s my 



ii 



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50 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



II. l.pler- 1„H ,„„.„ tr,..nl>I.Kl wiili 8ii,l,leB oarn- 
'» "CHH, « than sbe V ,.,..,• !«,.„ ,„ „,.,. y^^^^;,^^ 

Imt she maiTUMl ti.e n,„n hI,« I„v<,1, even 
t "-"Kh he's a po„r man, in..,™,! „f a rich nan 
Hhc c,.„ d n't and di,, „'r ,,,,.0." a certain .^vo^ 
winch he eonld .,„ i„.,p, „,„de ,„•„ vouns faci 

<•.« aH he rc.n>..,„lK.,„, ,„a, Kriru's n,„Z had 
brought „p he,. da„«h(,.r t„ Indi.-ve it a duty t 
J.mrry f„r wealth rather than l,,v..; b"t hl',^ 
;...« h.^.,. tue pite„a„nes» „f „',„«« rontT,, 
•'•'■fill ev,.«, and added kindlv, "r<,n.e von 
m"«t n't „p„i, „,, ,,„,„i„^.„ ;; ^™^ y«« 

""" '«»;"nta'i'm«, „r I shall he «„rrv I 1^^ 
emne. I.„t she wanted .„ tell ,0,, h.^rsidf thit 
"he » married, an,I that she ,!,„..; „•, „,,o„t It-'- 
he s™.d tenderly at Eriea-"and that I'm goi„« 
m , if as"' : •■' r" "'" *° ^""' """ """'« "P "» 

Oil, Mr. Oarry!" sohlHxI Liidv Plow She 

o:'^,:;. s'rr '"'" t"" -""^ -•-' "-^"^"^ 

h ,t ,1 , •" f"'P''™'I' for she knew not what^ 
'"" •^""'•^ «''e reali«.d that Tom tho„..ht si c 
™s so„,eh,,w to hlame for Erica's e,„en 
o Christopher; ami in her humilitv .-TndTerv 
ousness she was only too re.-idy to"a«,t with 
nm; too gratefn. for his eonsi.Lation' and 

n der^fa r '"'^"'' *" ''"' "''<' 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 51 

" Oh, Mr. Oarry, wlint ran I say? I am nrh 
a poor creature. I cau only cry when T feel 
deeply— but a mother knows— a mother thinkn 
—of other days. And if only you had seen hrr 
when she was little," soblMnl I^.dy Clow, "you 
would have thoujjht she was a chernl) diopptnl 
from heaven. I have her photo«,'raphs— " ticrn- 
bling with agitation she nnl(M-k«'(l a eupl»oar<l in 
the chiffonier, and with sliakinj,' liands, pulled 
out a folding,' case of photographs, and thrust it 
upon her son-in-law. 

" Take them," she gasped, « it is you who liave 
the best right to them now. I have other ioj>ics. 
But these were the ones she used to fetch out 
of the cupboard when she thought I was down- 
hearted, or wanted to get lound me. She had 
such pretty ways, Jlr. Garry." 

"Don't you think it might be *Toin'?" said her 
son-in-law, smiling. H(^ was touched, in spite 
of the absurdity, and he received the Utt'.o case 
reverently, as he would have r(M-eived an relic 
of Erica. IJut his bride's calm, incisiv tones 
cut into the confidences which Lady Clow now 
began to pour forrh volubly for his benefit. 

"Now, Mamma," she said, "you 've forgotten 
all about tea, aod while they bring it, you and 
I will leave Tom to look at the photographs 
alone, and come and have a look round upstairs. 
There are one or two things I want you to send 
me " 



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52 The Honourable Mrs. Gariy 

Tom to follow evoiy step of his mother-in-law's 
ascent to the upper flr,«r, and the trembling of 
be cbandeher betrayed each movement she made 
m the room above his head. 

" She mnst weigh twenty stone," he reflected, 
but there was a shade of dismay in his amuse- 
ment. 'Lrica must take exercise. It's all 

very well for her to say she hates walking - 

Upstairs, Lady Clow, as was natural, em- 
braced her daughter fondly, and cried over her 
afresh. Enca suffered the infliction with more 

tCl.*.'"" "^"'^' '^^ ^ ^-^ moments, and 
hen ^.thdrew herself kindly, but decisWely! 

from her mother's encircling clasp. ^' 

That will do, Mamma," she said, in her low- 
est tone, yet speaking as she always did, with 
the deliberation and distinctness that gave an 
authoritative flavour to her utterance. « There 's 

tions sufficiently for one day, and if you go on 
hke this, you'll have a splitting headache Z 
morrow. I^t us settle one or two things. 
First, you must promise me, once for all, never 
again to mention Christopher's name to Tom " 

to do itT !^'*J"^%«^ «»«> darling, I'll try not 
to do It again; but I don't like to promise. My 
feelings are so apt to carry me away." 

lour feelings will carry me away from you 
altogether, I promise you, if you don't control 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 53 

them," said Erica, with cold displeasure. " Do 
you think it is all going to be so easy for me, 
u paui)er and a nobody, marrying Tom without 
his people's consent, and with the task of pacify- 
ing everybody before me — that you must needs 
try and complicate matters? Do you think it 
will be very pleasant for Tom to hear you praise 
Christopher's generosity, and lament his disap- 
pointment, and all the thousand and one refer- 
ences you will be betrayed into, if I don't forbid 
the subject once for all?" 

" Forbid is not a word for a daughter to use 
to her mothei , Erica." 

"I haven't time to chf>ose my words, we're 
going in a minute. It will be a long time before 
I come here again." 

"Oh, Erica! I wish you wouldn't talk so 
cruelly — on your wedding-day. Dear Tom spoke 
very differently," sobbed Lady Clow. She had 
already admitted her son-in-law into her ex- 
pansive heart. 

" If I 'm being cruel it 's in order to be kind," 
said Erica, impatiently, " and as for Tom ; you 
know very well that however nice he mav in- 
tend to be to you— and he does intend to be 
nice — it all depends on me really whether he 
ever sees you again." 
" Erica 1 " 

"Well, you do know it. Besides, I could 
carry him off to the other end of the world. 



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54 The Honourable Mrs. Gariy 

Ho 's got to earn a fortune somehow. And it \ 

ZrZ '"" ''"''• '' ^^"" ^'^"^^^ *« "^ake me 
one or two promises- " 

" I must know what thej are. I won't pro- 

Kiicas i„,i,ationce t„„k the tovm of "greater 
Hlownea, and distinctnox^ „f speech; atuf every 
Avord cnt her mother, (igurali elv speakmra^ 
»>.arp.v a« the lash of a whip." "V„, Sut 
proimse me on j-o„r ,™„I of honour neTeTto 
.m-ntion Christopher at all to Tom-nor Lj- 
tl..ng to do with o„r private business." ^ 

Christen. u •'" "'"■ "''""t *'"' ""-^nce 
Christopher has made us all these years' " 

He knows it; and doesn't want to hear anv 
more about it," ^ 

o„!bt"l/i?"' *° j!"""' "■'"'""^'- ''« ♦links I 
nof n,o, ''"r '^'"•'•''♦"I*- g" on with it 
now. I have a strong feeling that I can't accept 
It, under the circnrostances." 
"If there is one thing I despise more than 

Ima.j delusion entertained by a certain tvpe of 
«oman that she is bound to divul^ ail her 

Zv Tod, " ''"' "'■™ ''""^'- Tom yester- 
„, • ; .T'-'^"-'' '™" ^™>'f to run and confide our 
most intimate affairs to him." 



Il 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 55 

"He's my son to-day," said Lady Clow, 
piteously. 

"I'm much more your daughter than he's 
your son. Very well, then; you can choose 
between us." 

"Oh, Erica, my darling! How can you?" 

" I 'm going down," said Erica. " It 's no use 
talking to you. You go round in a circle." 

" Erica ! Don't go. I give in. I daresay I 'm 
foolish. Don't go." Her mother clung to her. 
" After all, what does anything matt( r to me? 
It 's only you I 've lived for all these years. I 've 
nothing else in the world to care for. I '11 never 
mention Chris again to Tom. I won't do any- 
thing you don't wish. Do you think I would 
be the one to come between you and your 
husband?" 

She did not see her daughter's smile. 

" Oh, my darling. I 've been praying on my 
knees for your happiness almost ever since I 
came in. My baby's wedding, and me not 
there! I couldn't unpack. I couldn't touch 
my luncheon. I could only think of you going 
ofle all alone with Tom Garry, and ask God to 
bless your married life, and let it all be for the 
best." 

" Of course it 's all for the best," said Erica, 
more kindly, « if you '11 only cheer up and look 
on the bright side for once. Old Thing." 

It was only in moments of expansiveness that 



^11 






I; 



■< 






56 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

she indulged in this affectionate expression, and 
Lady Clow brightened instantly, kissing fondly 
the smooth white hand she held in her own. 
" Now, listen, Mamma. I 've married the Honour- 
able Tom, and I 'm going to take care of you, 
but It must be in my own way. You can see for 
yourself he 's as straight as a die and as good 
as gold " ^ 

"I can— I can— I'm sure now that he had 
nothing to do with it," said Lady Clow, earn- 
estly, and Erica burst into a laugh which 
bewildered her parent. 

"Let us admit my sole responsibility," she 
said. « We have only to concern ourselves with 
the future. I mean to live in London if I 
possibly can." 

"Oh, Erica, then I can come and see you 
often." 

"/ can come and see you often," said Erica- 
and met her mother's innocent, round eyes 
firmly. « You 're always here; so I shall know 
oxiere to fiud you at any hour of the day or 
night." 

"And I shall always be longing for you, mv 
darling. Counting the hours between your 
visits." 

« " ^"* *^at does n't apply to me,'' said Erica. 

I don't want you to come toiling half-way 

across London only to find that I 'm busy with 

visitors, or not at home, or that it 's just the 



If 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 57 

moat inconvenient moment for you to turn up. 
It avoids all heart-burnings and ail bothei*s to 
make plans beforehand and stick to them. I 'm 
to come and see you here whenever I can — and 
I promise I '11 come often " 

"God bless you, my darling. I know you 
will; but what I shall do without you I don't 
know." 

" — and you must promise," said the cool, 
unrelenting voice, " never to come and see me 
at all unless I send for you." 

Lady Clow looked helplessly at her beautiful 
daughter, and the fond, foolish smile died from 
her large face; the surprised amiability of the 
round eyes gave way to the piteous, bewildered 
look of a hurt babv. 

" If you '11 promise me this — I '11 promise in 
my turn to be — nicer to you than I 've ever been 
yet. I know I 've often been rather a l)east," said 
Erica. " But it 's made me savage to be poor 
and of no account. And — and it may seem odd 
to you, but I 'm happier to-day than I 've ever 
been since I was a kid. Tom may not be rich, 
but he's a gentleman, and a good fellow, and 
I like him, which is much more important than 
loving him — ana I like to think th«t I'm the 
Honourable Mrs. Garry row, and that I shall 
be Lady ErrifiF one day. I don't pretend not to 
be a snob. I 'd far rather be somebody than 
nobody. As much perhaps for your sake as my 



?! 

t 



,.f. 



\i\ii 



J I 



N 



,^'' ? 

sf^ 



i: 



58 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

own Perhaps I 'm fender of you than you 
think, 01(1 Thing." Something, in the expL- 
8ion of her mother's face brought that note of 
coaxing into Erica's hnv voice; but Lady (Mow 
did not, as usuj;!, melt into anv grateful re- 
sponse. She looked instead, in a' strange, wist- 
ful silence that held nothing of reproach, into 
her daughter's face. 

" Promise," said the imperious tones 
;* I promise, Erica," said Lady Clow, and her 
voice trembled. " I will never come and see vou 
unless you send for nie, and I shall always be 
Maitmg for you here." 

"I knew I could depend on my own Mammv," 
Baid Erica, and the relief of her expression was 
unmistakable. « I knew she was the one per- 
son who could never fail me." 
" How could a mother fail her only child' " 
" \^'^^l\ quarrel with you even for dropping 
into the third person to-day," said Erica, good- 
humouredly. « Oh, and there 's one other thing. 
I shall bring you round one of my big trunks 
to take care of. There 's so little space in Tom's 
rooms, and I shall know it 's safe with you to 
look after it." ^ 

" It shall stand here, in my own room, under 
my own eye." 

. ^"^^' looking round, could not help wonder- 
ing where. 

" By moving the dressing-table a little,^' said 



hf^ ? 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 59 

Lady Clow, " and squeezing the wash-stand into 
the corner " 

" That 's all right," interrupted Erica, " and 
now we really must go down. It 's rather hard on 
Tom, you know. After all, it 's his wedding-day 
as well as mine. What are you looking for? " 

" This," said Lady Clow% 

Lightly as she moved, the rickety floor shook, 
and the crockery on the wash-stand rattled, as 
she crossed in haste to the corner of the room 
where stood a small, solid, chest with brass- 
bound corners. Letting herself down on to her 
knees with difficulty, she unlocked and lifted 
the heavy lid. 

" Of all the things I used to have," she said, 
breathlessly, "when your dear father was rich 
and respected," the unconsciousness of the ad- 
mission was pathetic, " there 's nothing of any 
value left but this. This and the forks and 
spoons at the bank. I shall write and tell them 
that those must be sent to you at once. liut 
this I 've always kept myself, to give you on 
your wedding-day. Your dear father gave it to 
me on the morning he was knighted." 

She dived among the miscellaneous articles 
with which the chest was filled; old baby linen, 
packets of letters, bundles of receipts, old bank- 
books, and queer, worthless mementoes of the 
past which were valuable in her eyes — and pro- 
duced a card-board box. 



II 



6o 



'1 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



4 

i 



Hoisting herself up from her knees aimin «>,« 

rXTf ^ ' """ '"""^ '■■"■» 'h* bo^t a parcel 
there flnallj- emerged a leather case containinir 

wo ild ,n the present day be condemned as Tulcar 

wotidt' f ""'" "* *"" "■»« It ™» •>„„£ 

Mrable. She removed a slip of paiwr with a 
faded writing and replaced It alone n thlcL 
and put the bmcelet into Erica's hand ' 

it T!u '"*''*'' "'"''•' '"'''« "i«i you to have 
It, and there 's nothing wrong. He gave uo an 

I b« ttr^ "• -'' '^«»" an^ -Ven 

itlZt't h ' ^.T* ""^ "'^^''e: l-"* he said 
It wasnt honest to keep it. And thev sent it 

back to me; I suppose they must have'rerthe 

.nscrlption inside-about the occaslron wh ch 

sent i ^ ^"^ ^"""^ '""' I ™"^* ™'''e it; thev 
Bent It back ^vith some of tie forks and spoom 
hat ,j.re o d, and had belonged to the Clo", 
for a long time; and a few other things t' 

tlv Cr'i/h- "M""- ''"* " '""-^ ^^- 

weytbooguc of him, that they should have sent 
anytimg back," she said, with pride. 

" Z-f ""TT': ^'*' ^'''^^' '" a low voice, 
t .!. '•"">■ l^ept it for this. I 've been 
tempted to sell it lots of times, but I knew 5 



u 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 6i 

could n't evpr hope to be able to buy you such 
a handaonie we<l<iing pi-eaent. If it 's old-fash- 
ioned — " she siiid hurriedly and wistfully, " you 
needn't wear it regularly, you know. I dai-e- 
say the taste for that sort of thing will come 
round again, though. But I should like you to 
put it on now. Your father would have liked 
you to wear it on your wedding-day." She 
clasped the bracelet on her daughter's arm, and 
relocked the chest, and they went downstairs 
together. 



I 

I 



N 



'I 






CHAPTER IV 

Erica and Tom, loaning buck in the big 
luxurious nioloi— wliici, a won! on the tele- 
phono to a fri,.nd of Toni'.s had placed at 
their dispoHal-glidod down the Fulhani Road, 
through the motley 'i-owd in its Sunday garb, 
over Putney liridge; through Kingston,'bv the 
riverside, and across the downs past Leather- 
head, and along the Dorking Road, pausing at 
an historic wayside inn for lunchecm. 

Now Tom was an outdoor young man, who 
could not imagine that any one would spend a 
Sunday in L,mdon uhich might by any pos- 
sibility be spent in the country, and though 
he had the motor closed in deference to his 
bride's wish, he wouhl greatly have preferred to 
('njoy the fresh air, and supposed that she ^youl<l 
bo as glad as he was to emerge from the car, and 
walk into the old-fashioned garden of the inn, 
while the waiters bustled abcmt to get lunchecm. 
I 11 take you up to the top of Box Hill after 
liinch," he told Erica, « and show you the view 
Fancy your having lived for twentv-five rears in 
London, and never having seen it." 

63 



W 



. I.i. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 63 




Erica would wlllinglj have lived another 
twenty-five years without Heeinp the view in 
queHtion; but her smile concealed her thought, 
as she followed Torn across a damp lawn into 
a leafless and deserted arbour. 

The faint, red, November sunshine had here 
conquered the mist of late autumn, and showe<l 
the still branches of the trees against the blue. 

The faint, clean, aromatic smell of wet earth 
and crushed leaves r«'placed the raw breath of 
the London fog. 

« Nice huntinw day," said Tcmi, inhaling it 
with unaffected enjoyment. " So mild we might 
really lunch out here. What do you think? " 
Erica shook her lovely head. 
" Everything would get cold, and the dining- 
room looked so snug," she pleaded. In her heart 
she wrmdered how Tom could imagine it would 
amuse her to come to this primitive hostelry, 
when they might have been lunching together 
luxuriously, either in their own dining-room, or, 
better still, at the Ritz or the Savoy, where as 
she reflected, she could both have .seen, and b- on 
seen by, a gay cro\N(l. Also her palate, nat- 
urally fastidious and now educated by the 
cimine at Moreleigh, revolted from fare which 
recalled the cheap and careless cookery of her 
mother's lodgings ; whereas Tom ate contentedly 
the underdone beef with its usual accompaniment 
of watery potatoes and cabbage now set before 



'I 



i' 



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M i. 






64 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

them, nnd enjoyed a pint or m of draught, 
l»it<er ale; nor did it oaur to him how Had it 
iH, that tlie eoiintry which prmluces the best 
ve^etaldeH in tlic world, Hhould have evolved so 
little ability to prepare the same wholesomely 
and palatably for the table. 

Erica wore on this occasion a big, black pic- 
ture-hat, and a neat suit of dark red cloth, and 
had discardeil her sables for a set of white fox 
furs. She looked very lovely and very happy. 
Her distaste for the plainness of the meal, the 
shabbiness of the waiters, the darns on the table- 
cloth, and the draught from the ill-fitting window 
on one side, and scorching of the fire on the 
other, could not shake her relief in her growing 
conviction, that in becoming the wife of Tom 
Oarry, she had done the best possible thing for 
herself. 

They had plenty to talk about, for though 
they had fewer tastes in common than either at 
present realised, they had all their interests in 
common, and that is a great bond. 

Tom had written to his father and calculated 
that he would get a telegram about noon on 
the morrow, allowing for the time it might take 
Lord Erriflf to persuade his wife to forgive her 
son's act, and estimating this time at a couple 
of hours or so. 

" Of course my mother is sure to be annoyed 
since the match is not of her own making; but 






The Honourable Mrs. Garry 65 



whoti once sbo knows yon, slic is honnd to pet 
fon<l of ,von, even if she wasn't tlio kimlest- 
heartwl wonuin in tlic world," Tom lunl re- 
iterate<l with a ffeqnen(.\ that made it (dear to 
Efiea that JauW Eiiiir disliked hcf, ami had 
ojMjnly expressed that dislike to her son. " And 
my poor old Dad is liu ked after you already." 

"Do yon think lii -v 1. ask us do\/n'.'" 

"Of conrse. T!i!it wiH h- tin- very first ihhv* 
they will do. Only, in uir » irenmslances, I e.\- 
pect they wmild think it Im' c:* <:isie noi to hsive 
nnich of a reception foi- us, ;is Ihey would in 
the ordinary course," la» said, apolojrctically. 
"lint I'm only too <j;lad to 1m' spared anything 
of that kind, and I 'm snre you would n't have 
cared for it." 

Erica wotihl have cared v«My nmeh. She 
would have like<l triumphal arrhes, and speeches, 
and to he the centre of ol)s»Mvali<»n and admira- 
tion in a crowd. Dut she had the "jfiMMl sense 
to realise that, in the cireumstances, as Tom 
said, their arrival at Kella('ond)e must Im shorn 
of these glories. 

" I must have a talk with my father, and de- 
cide what to do. I 'm afraid he won't like my 
going on to the Stock Exchange as well as 
Robin, and I expert he'll want me to stay on 
in the Brigade; but if 1 do, I 'm afraid it will 
be a tight squeeze." 

"What do you call a tight squeezed' Erica 



i •• 

i is 

1" 



Vm'i 






r4 



'Vi 



■■? 



^ 



66 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



asked the question rather auxiouslv. Hitherto 
Tom had vaguely apologised for his poverty, and 
entered into no details. 

" My father makes my income up, including 
my pay, to between six and seven hundre<l 
pounds a year," he said. " I doubt if he '11 be 
able to give me more than another two or three 
hundred at the outside." 

Erica was silent. Her ideas had naturally 
b*3come very much larger since her engagement 
to the rich young man, Christopher Thorverton- 
and above all since her visit with him and his 
sister to the Ritz Hotel, when he had bidden 
her order anything she liked, above and bevond 
the sum she had brought i , o London to ex- 
pend upon her trousseau, and to send the 
additional bills in to him. 

Even Christopher had been startled at the 
sum total. Erica loved beautiful clothes and 
jewellery, and was intoxicated by the novelty 
of finding herself able to acquire so much that 
she coveted. 

She argued with herself that Christopher was 
too much in love to quarrel with her for ex- 
travagance, and that this happy condition of 
things might not last. Wherefore she deter- 
mined to profit by the opportunitv offered, and 
to indulge her passion for self-ornamentation to 
the uttermost. 

She limited the quantity of her gowns, be- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 67 

cause she possessed a business instinct, and 
knew that the ehanginj; fashions would render 
them quickly valueless; but the quality she did 
not limit. Lace, she said to herself, was im- 
mensely becoming to her, and would last inde- 
finitely; and the same remark applied, in a 
lesser degree, to the stock of furs which she 
prudently laid in. 

Her collection of fans would not have dis- 
graced a Duchess, ami even an Italian lady of 
the last century would have been satisfied 
with the lingerie with which she provided 
herself. 

Every possible article was end)roidered with 
the name Eri<a, in a replica of her own large 
flowing handwriting; and the gold fittings of her 
dressing-case bore the like stamp. In (his de- 
tail her innate caution displayed itself— her cold 
and wary forethought. 

"Why don't you have E. J. T. put on your 
dressing bag and everything else? " Christopher 
had said, fondly. " That will be vour name, vou 
know. Erica Jennifer lliorrerton." 

" It 's not lucky to put it on iM'forehand," 
Erica had said, ami he had argued no more. 
The mere thought that anything might happ<'n 
to prevent his marriage had sent a cold chill 
of apprehension through the young nmu at that 
time. 

" I spent more than eight hundred pounds on 



1 1. 



M& 



68 



'he Honourable Mrs. Gariy 



n u 



if ' 



my clothes durinjr tlmt week at the Ritz," she 
now thought to hiTself, as T.)m looked across at 
her, waiting for her answer, " and I wonder how 
much more Christopher six-nt over all the other 
things he gave me— yet what riches eight hun- 
dred a year would have seemed to me a few 
months ago. I wonder if I ought to make Tom 
leave the Guards? As long as he is in them I 
shall live in London-nud I am stocked with 
everything I can possibly want in the world just 
now " 

"It's not much, I'm afraid," Tom said 
anxiously. " I don't know if we could manage. 
I shall give up polo, of course, entirely." 

She did not realise the greatness of this sac- 
ritice to Tom. 

" It 's so difficult for me to judge," she said, 
cutting the cheese on her plate into little squares, 
without attempting to eat it. Erica felt that 
she had had enough of bread and cheese. " I 
don't know what our expenses will be." 

" I expect your dress costs a good deal," he 
said, as though he had just awakened to the 
fact; and Erica could hardly help laughin.r 
aloud at his simplicity. His brother Robin 
would have perceived quickly enough the ex- 
travagance that must have gone to the dressinc 
of Erica. *' 

" Anfl then," he said, in a low tone, " there 
was something else in your letter, which we 



T«a«;!^»t 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 69 



niiist discuss, you und I — about the allowance 
Thorvertoii has J>eon niakin*; your mother." 

Erica now wished very heartily that she had 
made no such allusitm in her letter; Imt at the 
time she had thouj,dit only of that justifieaticm 
of her oriijinal aceeptanee of rhristojdier, which 
the dexterous misapplication of the fact of her 
mother's dependence ui)on him would afford. 

" Of course I understand she is (me of the only 
relations he has on his father's sid<', and that 
it is therefore, in a sense, his duty to provide 
for her as his father did before him; but as it 
is our action which will now probably make 
it very painful fen* her to go on accepting it, it 
looks to me as if it has become rather my duty 
than his to take care of her — as if she 'd 
naturally look to us " 

The perce]>tion of his recklessness, rather than 
of his chivalry, leapt to Erica's brain. 

Here was Tom, who but a moment ago was 
showing her the distressing ]>oorness of his own 
immediate prospects, now proposing to shoulder 
an immense additi(mal burden. She felt that 
she must defend herself and him from any such 
quixotic generosity of intention, and almost in- 
voluntarily she snatched at her accustomed 
weapon. 

" I don't think it would ever enter Mamma's 
head to refuse Thristopher's allowance. I am 
sure she looks upon it as a right, und would 



s;i;' 



1^ 



70 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

be both distressed and annoyed if you men- 
tioned the subject to her at all.'' 

The moment she had uttered the words, her 
conscience, inspirited by the unaccustomed re- 
sponse to its feeble call on the previous day, 
cried to her once more. 

She looked into Tom's unsuspecting eyes,— 
those soft, hrown, long-lashed eyes of the Garrys 
that held as much of kindness as of beauty,— 
and saw that they were unsuspecting, and 
despised herself for having lied to him; though 
she tried to stifle her self-reproach by reasoning 
that she had lied for his own good. 

" I won't get into the habit of it," she assured 
herself. " I hate it. I 've made up mv mind to 
start fresh. It 's only for this once." 

"You know ^est," said Tom. "Of cour.se I 
can't interfere with your mother's affairs. Only 
suppose he won't go on with it, as y(»u sug- 
gested, then we must look after her ^" 

"It's time enough to discuss that when it 
happens," Erica said. " Mamma evidently does 
not think it likely to happen. I wrote in great 

haste and confusion " 

"Well," said Tom slowly— « it 's not a.s 
though 1/oH pfM'sonally would benefit, I suppose. 
Of course I could n't allow that." 

His honest eyes, full of love and admiration 
and pride, met hers, across the table, ami she 
tried to smile; but a vague sense of apprehension 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 71 



made her smilp a difficult one; and it died away 
altogether as his jrUince, waiidciinjr over the oiit- 
\iw of her l>eautiful throat and shoulders, Avaa 
suddenly arrested by 'he long string of pearls 
she always wore. 

The room was warm, and she had thrown 
aside her furs; lu'r op^'o jacket disclosed a 
blouse of exquisifeiy end)roi(lered muslin and 
fine lace, through w liich the blue ribbons of her 
under-bodice showed faintly; the ii<cklace, 
twisted twice lightly about her throat, rose and 
fell upon her bosom. 

" I love those pearls," he said quickly, " I love 
your always wearing them. They have .some- 
how iK^come for me almost a part of your per- 
sonality. When did you first begin to wear 
them?'* 

She was furious with herself because she 
could not control the warm colour which sud- 
denly flooded I he face and neck, which were not 
less pure in colouring than those pearls she 
loved. 

" Erica,"' said Tom, in a low voice, expressive 
of distress and nK^-tirication. "Was it— Thor- 
verton who gave them to you? " 

It took all her self-control to hide the ex- 
asperation which possesse 1 her. 

She had felt ho bappy, so secure, so free from 
care, ever since they had walked out of the 
church together as man jtud wife: ever since 






I 



^'t 



72 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Tom had said to her in triumph: "You're 
Mrs. (Jan • iio\v,"-and already, her peace was 
threatened. 

Tom— in tiie very first liours of their married 
hfe, worsliippinjr her as passionately and sin- 
cerely as any wife could desire that her husband 
should worship her —was yet jjoing to be, what 
Erica, for want of a more comprehensive word 
called tiresome. ' 

And there was no time to weigh her answer. 
His brown eyes held hers, full of love and trust 
indeed, but full also of authoritative questioning. 
During that momentary hesitation she had t*o 
decide whether she would lie to Tom again or 
not; and with the full certainty that if she did 
not she would lose the possession she valued 
mo- 1 on earth. 

T!o worried look of a hunted animal came 
into her great, blue eyes, as though her spirit 
knew not which way to turn. For that brief 
space of a few seconds her pre^-nce of mind 
failed her; not because she lacked power or in- 
genuity to invent a history for the pearls, but 
because the memory of the suspense and misery 
which had preceded her wedding with Tom 
rushed upon her and unnerved her. Her suffer- 
ing was too recent to be forg(.^ten, and all her 
present happiness could not efface the memory 
of that, jicr dark houi-, when the folly of her 
cunning had been made manifest to her, and 



^s^-Tmtrtsti^aiBMem'x^Si.iiBKi^xs^^St'SB^am 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 73 

when she had vowed, in her agony of mortifica- 
tion and wounded pride, that if another chance 
were accorded to her, she would prove herself 
worthy. . . . 

" Your silence lias answered me," said Tom, 
rather pale, " forgive me for asking, my 
darling." 

He dropped the subject, but with it his blithe- 
ness of manner; asked her if she had finished 
her luncheon, paid the reckoning, and proposed 
that they should return to the car, and go to 
the top of IJox Hill, where they might get out 
and look at the view over the vales of Surrey 
and Kent. 

Erica assented, and followed him, wondering 
whether he meant to say any more about the 
pearls. She was not altogether certain in what 
direction the nicety of Tom's sense of honour 
might lead him. Faintly and doubtfully she 
hoped that it might forbid his ever mentioning 
the subject again ; in which case she would take 
care to put the pearls out of sight altogether 
for the present. 

Her hopes were dashed to the earth; for al- 
most as soon as the motor had started, and as 
she nestled down in her dark corner amonir her 
furs. Tom slipped a j)()ssessive arm round her, 
and said, gently but authoritatively, 

" You '11 send back the pearls to-morrow, my 
sweet." 



ap 



.lif^ h;v -, -.J-,,. 



P* . i 



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74 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



u 



Very well, Tom." 



Her subiniHsion enchanted him, and he told 



her she wan an 
Erica 



anyrel 



8 mind busied itself with possibilities 
as she .yiehled to the caressing arm, but Tom 
followed up his victory with unexpected prompt- 
ness, and asked her to take the pearls on her 
neck and give them into his keeping then and 
there. 

"Now that I know where they came from, my 
darling, I can't bear you to wear them a moment 
longer." 

"Where can you put them?" she said: an- 
noyed, but not visibly so. 
" In my pocket." 

"Suppose you get your pocket picked? Or 
the string may get broken." 

" I '11 see to that," he said, briefly. 
She was obliged to take off the necklace and 
hand It to him; looking very meek and lovelv 
as she did so, with lashes downcast to veil the 
vexation in her eyes. 

"Darling," he\said, stuffing them into tlie 
pocket of his light overcoat with a carelessness 
hat exasperated her. " I 'H get you some like 
tliem as soon as I can afford it." 

Erica had some ado to pivserve herself from 
laughing derisiveh'. ^be felt bt-r chance of ov(^r 
owning .such another rc.jH- of moonlit, perfectly 
matched globes, was rvmote indeefl 



fSP-'-V 



^A'V&smiw. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 75 



"I wonder if you luive any notion of their 
vulno? " she said, nicfully. 

" Not mufh, I 'in afniid." 

" I l>eliev(» Ihoy cost over two thousand pounds. 
Perhaps more." 

Tom l«H>ked so crestfallen tliat she relented. 

" I would give up more than that to i»lease 
you," she murmured, and showed him a jjllnt 
of blue eyes beneath thick golden fringes, before 
turning her face to stare at the lan<lscape past 
which the motor was speeding. 

" There's no good in doing things by halves," 
she thought, drearily; "yet how absurd it all 
is, and what possible good Avill the pearls do 
Christopher? It 's not as if he could n't afford 
to buy any amount more." 

Tom, meantime, was silently realising' that a 
certain instinct, which he tried not to define 
too clearly to himself, was missing in Erica. 
Yet his thoughts of her were very gentle. 
Though he c(juld not doubt, that, left to herself, 
she would have worn the pearls happily enough, 
untroubled by any sort of scruple, and with an 
unconsciousness that surely i)roved her inno- 
cent of giiile, he said to himself that a woman's 
standard of honour differed from a man's, that 
her desire for jewels is as natural and instinctive 
as that of a child's for a toy, «»r a butterfly's for 
a flower, and that she had b<'e« brought up by 
a poor, fond, foolish mother, incapable of incul- 



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76 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 
eating high principlPH which nhe did h.k herself 

p088(>RR. 

" Sweetheart," he naid, lifting her wnglovod 
hand to h,8 lips. .^ If I ean't get you all yon 
want now, at least you Ml have all the Garry 
things one day. My grandfather, you kno^, 
collected jewellery, as well as furniture and 
pictures. There's the diamond pendant that 
belongetl to the Empress Josc,,hine; and my 
mother has some beautiful things. I suppose in 
the course of nature they '11 all come to you " 

" I don't want them," said Erica. She an- 
fiwered mechanically as she thought he wished 
her to answer, but she was thinking of the jewel- 
cases that lay at the bottom of her trunk 
When the pearls were sent back to Phristopher 
would he ask also for the return of the tiara and 
necklace he had given her? And if he did not 
what was the use of jewellery she dared not 
wear? But it was worth a great deal of money ; 
and presently, would she not be in need of 
money? 

The afternoon was so mild that they put a 
rng on the grass and sat (here for nearly an 
hour, gazing from Rox Hill up,m the beautiful, 
misty landscape spread before them, illumined 
by the faint, low sunshine of the November 
afternoon. But the glory of the dav was 
dimmed for Erica. The glow of her own self- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 77 



approval bad faded luto the regret of reallHed 
I088. She hankered after the pearls, aud though 
«he did not wwh that she had lied about them 
to Tom, she wished that she had not be- 
trayed the truth by that untimely blush; and 
that he had been content to take the iwarls for 
granted. 

Was he going to begii» to ask tiresome ques- 
tions concerning the rest of her possessions? 
She must draw the line somewhere. She would 
warn her mother. With relief she remembered 
the promise she had extracted from Lady Clow, 
who was scrupulous on the subject of keeping 
pnmiises. She was thankful that Tom would 
not be likely to see Lady Clow often; and de- 
termined that, at any rate, a long time should 
elapse before he saw her again. 

Erica was not sure whether Tom's manful 
assumption of authority bored or attracted her. 
Perhaps — taken in conjunction with his good 
looks, and gentle manners, his impassioned 
love-making, and the admiration for her beauty 
with which his brown eyes were over-flowing — 
it gave an additional thrill to her feeling for 
him, which if not actually love, was something 
near akin to love. As she had told her mother, 
she liked Tom, and her liking was another term 
for respect. But how far she would be able to 
tolerate interference with her own plans and 
wishes and possessions, was another matter. 



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78 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

She shook herself free from annoyance with 
a certain philosophy which belonged to her 

" I wonder what they will say when they get 
your letter? " ^ 

" Just what I was thinking." 
"Do you care very much?" 
He considered. 

" I care most, I suppose, because the view thev 
take will make all the difference to your material 
comfort," he said frankly, - but I should hate 
to vex them, too. However, I can trust mv old 
IJad. He'd have done the same in my place 
And he 's generosity itself. He 'II do what he 
can, and my mother will come round." 
" I always felt she disliked me." 
Tom wished, almost unconsciously that Erica 
had not put this feeling into words. But he 
only said, apologetically : 

" I suppose mothers are always a little jealous 
where their sons are concerned. But she 's the 
soul of good nature, and you can make her adore 
you if you like." 

Erica was well aware that Lady Erriff would 
never adore her, but as she did not care in the 
least whether her mother-in-law adored her or 
not, she said no more. 

Nothing matters so long as we are together," 
Tom said, unconscious that he was but singing 
the refrain of the old song that every lover utters 
m turn. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 79 

Erica looked at liim with a curious thought- 
fulness in her china-blue eyes; the black picture- 
hat made a wonderful background for her glori- 
ous hair and the pure colouring of her fair face, 
and Tom thought that he had never seen her 
look so beautiful. 

" Nothing matters so long as we are together," 
she echoed mechanically, and to herself she said : 

" I wonder if I shall ever feel like that ab( ut 
anybody? " 



m^ 



CHAPTER V 

Morning brought the rostleHsness of expecta- 
tion: but no telegram by noon, as Tom had 
confidently hoped. 

He wished secretly that Erica had consented 
to go to Pans, where they could have filled up 
their time with sight-seeing. As it was he had 
to content himself with booking stalls for the 
(xaiety that evening, while he found time hang- 
ing rather heavily on his j^ands during the after- 
noon; for though Erica was willing enough to 
dawdle down Bond Street and look into the 
shop-windows, she did not care for the brisk 
walk in the Park which Tom craved; and 
decidedly negatived any proposal for a second 
motor expedition. 

He went off for a solitary constitutional, and 
was rewarded on his return at five o'clock bv 
finding her, a vision of loveliness in a tea-own 
of mauve and purple chiffon, seated behind the 
bubbling urn, whilst on a silver salver beside 
her lay conspicuously an unopened telegram 

To herself she had already commented deri- 
sively on the proof of the influence Tom had 

80 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 8i 

established over her, that the non-opening of the 
telegram afforded. 

Had Christopher Thorverton been in Tom's 
place, she knew that she would have coolly torn 
it open, and read it, to satisfy her curiosity the 
moment it came. Had it been her mother's 
property, no sense of propriety would have re- 
strained her from the same course. But she was 
not only a little afraid of Tom, but determined 
that he should believe in her and look up to her 
as his ideal of perfection in womanhood; even 
that she would, so far a; circumstances would 
permit— this reservation was almost unconscious 
—be worthy of the belief she intended to in- 
spire. So she had left the telegram lying there 
unopened. 

Ana behold! Tom took this noble behaviour 
as a matter of course; tore open the yellow- 
envelope without comment, and read the con- 
tents tv'ice over before he turned to her and 
said: 

" Tt, 's from Robin." 

: .a could not help starting a little, but she 
recovered herself instantly, and Tom was too 
intent upon the telegram to notice her increase 
of colour as she said imperiously ; 

" Let me see." 

Instead of handing the telegram to her obedi- 
ently, as Christopher would have done, he 
retained it; and read it aloud. 



82 



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The Hor.ourable Mrs. Garry 



*S«m/,,o,/rf/ Ao///r o,/ orr-oj/»f o/ your news. 
Jalcr ,, wrifuHj to you. Tlnnk all rujht vow. 
Itotf, as u-cU a, ran he crprctcfl PcrsonaUu 
hearty vonyrutulotions to you both. 

Robin.'' 

" It was just like him to wire, and avvfuHv 
considerate. Good old Boh," said Tom, in a 
tone of some relief. « Of course he 's done all 
he could to put it right. Well, after all, I 'd 
rather hear my father's views at length. I sup- 
pose It ^vas too much to expect him to wire 
Ue shall have to possess our souls in patience 
until to-morrow." 
Erica, too, was relieved by this telegram 
"So that is the line Robin is going to take 
He IS going to ignore everything— pretend he 
does n't care," she thought to herseJf, and smiled 
sardonically, yet approvingly. 

They dined together at the Ritz, and went to 
the Gaiety in the best of good spirits, onlv 
dashed for a brief moment by Tom's venturing 
npon a criticism of his wife's dress. 

"You taought it pretty enough at Kella- 
combe," she pouted. 

"Yes, I know. But London is a different 
thing. We're dining at a public restaurant," 
said Tom, and again *hat note of authority 
sounded in his low voice. 

He was unconscious that his point of view 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



83 






liad chan^'od .'ntiivly, uihI tliat imnl. that had do- 
l>f,'ht(.d hlni in rhi-ist.,plu.,- ThovynUm's fianrrr 
was displ^nislnn; to hini in his wif,.. Vj,.r,HOv 
ho irnuMnlMMvd thaf h<' had hnimMl with in(n.r„a. 
tiou dunn- a cai-ch'ss c.nvcisafion at KHIa- 
«(»nibe, wh<'n tho cx.H'ssivc flnoHrfaf/c of .Aliss 
(Mow's sni-piisiuj,' I„it exquisite toilettes liad 
heen discussed an.l eondenined in liis presence 
Tlien he had hroodc-d in l)itter scorn over the 
(•oniemptiI)h; feminine jealousy disphtved by tlie 
plain, the flat-chested, an«l the middie-afr(.;i <,f 
the noble perfection of that statuesque vc.un- 
fiSiire— the white dimpled shoulders, the fuir 
round arms. Now he simply, and sans phrase. 
bade Erica fetch a scarf, and veil these charms 
fi-<mi the curious and vul-ar gaze of the multi- 
tude. And a-ain, her meekness enchanted him 
and turned what mi-ht have been an uupleasiufj 
incident inio a v.M-y pretty love-scene; when she 
came downstairs,— shrouded in chiffon of a deli- 
cate pale sea-jrreen, that would have been fatal 
to colouring less exquisitely fair, but from which 
lior l)eau.y emerged triumphantiv, if modestlv, 
and the more triumphant for the subdued ex- 
pression of the lovely curved mouth, the down- 
droop of the golden lashes-Tom almost threw 
himself at her feet; he did kneel to kiss her 
hand, thus paying homage to his queen for her 
submission. 

" Oh, Erica, it needed only that touch of meek- 



* if fin 



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84 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

neHR to make you adorable," he said. « You 're 
perfecf " 

He did not know why Erica Hijrhed, as he took 
her info his arms and kissed her. 

It might have been the sigh of love content; 
of a woman's soft yielding to the masterful -less 
of her chosen mate; of a soul faintly protesting 
Its unworthiness of worship. But it was for 
none of these reasons that she sighed. 

Erica missed her pearls. They had been the 
key-note of that gown which had for its scheme 
the suggestion of a sea-nymph's draperies. T» e 
pale green scarf was in harmony ; it floated abmu 
her like a sea mist, from which emerged the 
beauty of her face and head, crowned with its 
rippling glory of red-gold hair; but the rope of 
pearls that should have been her solitary adorn- 
ment was missing. 

In her delicate ears alone, shone two perfect, 
pear-shaped specimens. Hourly she trembled 
lest Tom should ask some question concerning 
these; but he possessed none of the feminine 
acuteness of perception in such matters that 
distinguished his brother Robin. Had not her 
blush roused his suspicions, he would probably 
never have dreamed of enquiring into the origin 
of the pearl necklace. Nor, having one « ex- 
plained his feelings and wishes in this matter, 
did he dream that Erica would ever again wear 
jewellery given to her by Christopher Thorver- 



The Honourable Mrs. Gany 85 

ton. She had removed from her finger the 
half hoop of diamondB which had Xtecn her en- 
gagement ring, and lock:ed it away; and her 
sliapely, rather large, white hands were innocent 
of any ornament save her wedding-ring. She 
missed the diamonds sorely; for she loved 
material beauty in every shape and form, and 
especially she loved the light and sparkle and 
colour of gems; there was also, that touch of 
avarice in her nature which not infrequently 
accompanies any excess of vanity. 

As Tom kissed her, murmuring words of ten- 
derness, he thought with a new thrill of triumph, 
underlying the triumph of possession that was 
already his, that the very force of his love 
had conquered the wilfulness of this beauti- 
ful woman who was his wife; he cimld now 
think even of those faults in her which had 
stung him into sharpest pain and disapproval, 
with indulgent tenderness, so ready she seemed 
to throw them off and to emerge perfect. How 
jealously would he guard that perfection. 

" If I can help it, she shall never know an 
unhappy moment," he said, vehemently to him- 
self; as though such a fate were possible, or 
even desirable, for any mortal. His reverence 
for her obsessed him not less strongly than his 
passion, even in this first ardour of union ; and 
Erica's filternating moods of chill indifference 
and soft response only increased that ardour. 



86 



I 




The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



On the bivakfuHt tahlo uvxt nunniug lay Lord 
Evritrs let lor. 

" HI}/ tJ car liny: 

" You irill umlrrMtand that the news contained 
in your Htrr of Sutunlaij's -late nntut harr hern 
ftoinrthiu;/ of a xhovk to your mother ami myself. 
W/r is, as I think, very naturally displraseil and 
hurt: hut of her ultinirtr foryirrness, you knoin 
hf'r lore for you, and kindness of heart, too well 
to entertain any doubt. 

''As regards myself, to he frank, your letter 
made me fear that you had committed a dis- 
honourable action by running away with another 
mans promised wife: hut your brother Robin, 
on his return heme, rclicred m^i mind on that 
point, as he was able to e.ijdain that the young 
lady had cnnfid'^d to him on Friday afternoon 
the fact that Mr. Thorrerton had himself broken 
off his engagement with her. 

" j have therefore to apologise for doing you 
an injustice in my thoughts, but your letter was 
not very expVHt. I understand, however, that 
having the younr, Itdy's feelings in the matter to 
consider as well as your own you found it diffi- 
cult to cj-plain to me so clearly in writing, as 
you will, perhaps, when we meet, the reason for 
such unseemly haste. 

"It is unfortunate that you covld not see your 
way to allow a proper interval to elapse between 



I 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 87 

the hreiikiHff of the h ///N nif/affrt»fnt irith an- 
other man, aiitl her niarriai/e with ijf^K. I eouhl 
winh, in short, that if it had to he ilone, it had 
heen done differenth/: hut this, in the eirenni- 
stance of your tnarriaffe heintj alreadi/ an ae- 
eotnjtlishfd fact, is the stionfjest erpremion of 
opinion which my respect fur my son's wife per- 
mits mc to indnhje. There remains for me only 
to add, my 'lear Tom, that you hare heen the 
best and dearest of sons to me, and that to sai' 
/ wish i")H happiness is a very mild tcay of (x- 
pressing my earnest desire that erery blessing 
may attend you in ytur marriayc as in all else, 
I am glad you eontrired to make it all right with 
your C'loncl; my only comment is, that the C. (). 
of your day must be eonsidenihly more amenable 
than the C. O. of mine. However, no doubt he 
took your age and excellent record into con- 
sideration, and his attitude is, at least, a com- 
plimentary one, affording proof of his opinion 
of your judgment. 

"As regards ways and n>eans, I can under- 
etand your anxiety: and I only irish, my dear 
boy, that it was in my power to relicre it by 
an immediate offe of such an increased allow- 
ance as vjould make everything easy and com 
fortable. That I can to ivhat I noic propose 
to do is rather owing to your brother Robin's 
generosity than mine. lie is as anxious as I 
am that you should remain in the Brigade, at 



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88 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



all n-enfM for ihr prcHnit; ami to ,nnkr thin pon- 

(tihle tlfHiiTM to fjirr up the afloiranre I futrc 

hithrrto nunlc him. Ilr has prornl to nir that 

it ig no lont/rr a nrrrssit,j to him, ami it is, of 

rourse, a prrat rrlirf ami plcasnrr to kmnr that 

he is doing so irrll on the Stork E.rrhamjr: 

jnstifyin,) his choice of a profession so that I am 

forced to cease mif lameniatioas at his refusal 

to carry on the family tradition. If he is not 

to he a great lawyer like his grandfather, he may 

as well become a great financier. 

"Xoir if I add this sum of three hundred 
yearly to what I allow you already, and increase 
that by another hundred on my own account, 
your income will be brought up, as I calculate, 
to a little over a thousand a year. Do i,ou think 
you will find it possible to manage on *his.' I 
fear it is the utmost I can do at pre.s nt; but 
as you know I am crippled by m,/ efforts to pa,/ 
off that mortgage, which will be to your advan- 
tage hi the end; also you must remember that 
your sisters arc growing up and must hare jus- 
tice done them. If, therefore, you feel it iciser 
to give up soldiering while you are still ,/oung 
enough to seek a more lucrative profession. I 
have clearly no right to dissuade you. Of course 
you could come to Kellacombe, settle down in 
the agent's house, and manage the estate and 
the home farm in his stead; but I am never very 
sure whether that kind of arrangement is a wise 



^ ^ 






The Honourable Mrs. Ga»Ty 89 



one, and old Amery would he very uuhappy if 
we nuperanHuated him, lie and I jo;/ ahnuj 
merrily etunnjh, and vvrUiinly to the vontcntmcut 
of my tenant H, in the old irai/^- Still, no doubt 
thene could he iniprored upon, and the land be 
made to pay better than it docH noie, and I would 
deduct a portion ff the salary you would, 
so to speak, inherii jroni old Amery, for his 
pension; and make you the allowance I have 
already proposed. You would have the advan- 
tage of a very pretty little home amid the sur- 
roundings you know and love best, and be able 
to lead the country life you prefer into the 
bargain. 

" You icill of course, desire to talk all *his 
over with your M'ife, and if you prefer we 'H 
also discuss it together before you make j ^ur 
final decision 

"My feelings would incline me to persuade 
your mother to agree in the suggestion that you 
should both come here as soon as your honey- 
moon is over, but I think, for your Wife's sake, 
it would be wiser to defer any return for the 
present, in the circumstance of poor young 
Thorverton's critical condition. 

" / quite understand that, as Robin says, you 
could neither of you have been aware of the 
serious nature of his illness, which nly mani- 
fested itself as pneumonia on Saturday — the 
very morning of your wedding. , 



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90 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Tom raised his eyes and looked at Erica across 
the breakfast-table. 

She was radiant in a pale blue wrapper, beinj,' 
given to breakfasting en dcHhahiUi; when she 
descended at all for that meal ; a habit disap- 
proved in secret by Tom, though it was hard to 
disapprove of so fair a vision. 

She met his troubled gaze serenely. 

" Are you thinking of telling me what your 
father says? " 

" He says everything that is kind— a little stiff 
—but that is natural enough, poor ohl bov; and 
he will do everything in his power," said Tom, 
hurriedly. « Erica, I am afraid it will shock vou 
to hear that poor Thorverton is ill— pneumonia." 

She raised her eyebrows with a faintly in- 
credulous air. 

" May I see your father's letter? " 
Tom coloured slightly, and handed it to her 
across the table. 

As she read it, he tore open a letter from his 
brother. Robin wrote in his characteristic tele- 
graphic style of cheerful flippancy. 

''Dear old Man: 

''An more or less blown over, hut advise you 
to keep clear of this during nine days' wonder, 
etc., and especially until young Thorverton is 
out of the wood. 

'' I got hold of old Dohrec and the other doctor 



i 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 91 

yestcrdai/. Pneumonia and chill on liver from 
yetting wet through on top of had cold. Sags 
ordinarg healthy youth icould hare thrown it 
off, hut poor Thorverton's love of good cheer 
seems somewhat against him. Jlowcrer, no 
douht he 11 pull through — though of course our 
llamma, icho as you know never hesitates to 
diagnose any case without seeing the patient or 
knowing the symptoms, says hrokcn heart. Tell 
Erica with my love, that this is all ruhhish, and 
that no sane man ever yet died of that com- 
plaint. Meanwhile let me explain to you that 
having left home on Sunday night, I got to my 
office on Monday morning just in time to get 
the wire summoning me hack to Kellacomhe in- 
stantly. Heaven hless you! But the journey 
seemed short as my mind was full of an offer 
to go off to the Straits at once and inspect certain 
propositions there. I 've decided to accept. Ex- 
pect there 's money in it, and anyway I shall be 
u-ell paid, so don't he agitated ahout the alloic- 
ance suggestion. It 's heen on my conscience for 
some months that I teas too well off to let the 
dear old man go on anxiously screwing out pence 
for me. And don't chuck. / should he awfully 
sick if yon did, and so would he. Stick to it 
like a good fellow and here 's to you! After all, 
you were jolly lucky to avoid the intolerahle fuss 
and boredom of a conventional society wedding. 
Your aff. brother j R. Q." 



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92 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

P. S.—f consider the ' traditional good looks of 
the (Uirrys ' now secured for at least a couple 
of operations, and shall devote myself entirely 
to the search for the plain millionairess, so in- 
valnable a stay in the background for all families 
of position." 

Erica returned his father's letter to Tom, and 
devoted herself in silence to her cofifee and 
omelette. 

Tom, seeing her fair brows knitted in thought, 
came round the table, and kissed her, and, all 
unwitting of the trend of her thoughts, said 
tenderly : 

"You're not to worry yourself about poor 
Thorverton, my <larling. Kobin says he 's cer- 
tain to pull through all right." 
^^ " I 'm not worrying," said Erica with truth. 
" If it were the gardener's boy, every one would 
he laughing at all this to-do over a common 
cold. But as it 's the rich Mr. Thorverton all 
the doctors in the county are making a fuss, 
and calling it pneumonia. I don't blame them. 
It 's their business." 

« I don't agree with you," said Tom, straight- 
forwardly. " Old Dobree is the most scrupu- 
lously honest old fellow in Christendom. I 've 
known him all my life." 

"You always think that the people you've 
known all your life can't do wrong," said'Erica, 



Hi 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 93 



with a shade of impatience. " I 've seen him 
fussing about over Christopher. He was always 
getting liver attacks or unpleasant thin<,'s of that 
kind. Everybody knew that he 'd hav«i been i>er- 
fectly all right if he 'd left off that horrid habit 
of drinking whisky and soda at every spare mo- 
ment of the day and night. Of course he 's bound 
to l>e more feverish if he gets a chill than other 
people, who have n't soaked themselves in alcohol. 
Often and often when I 've said good-night to 
him I 've known he could only just pull himself 
together to shake hands. As to opening the door 
for one — such small attentions never entered his 
head. Those were left to his thieving agent, 
Captain Sandry, who hated me because I found 
him out; or to his tipsy sycophant, Joe Murch, 
who encouraged him iu all his bad habits. You 
need n't look so serious. I did what I could. 
Took him out for walks in the evening, and 
ruined my shoes and the hems of my gowns, to 
keep him out of temptation. But lately, he got 
worse in spite of all I could do. I knew what 
it meant when he stared at me with his eyes all 
glassy, and talked thickly — men dazed with 
drink are like ostriches, thev think that so long 
as they can walk about and talk no one notices 
any difference. Sometimes I 've had hard work 
to hide my disgust — '' her shudder was partly 
theatrical and partly real. 
" Hush, my darling. The poor chap 's ill, and 





94 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

paying dearly for ir all now," said Tom, and 
lie read his brother's letter to his wife. 

"Good old Robin has played up splendidly, 
hasn't he? You know he is one of the most 
generous-hearted fellows in the world, in spite 
of his head for business." 
Erica nodded approvingly. 
" ^^'bat are we to decide? " Tom asked. « Will 
you try and get on, as my father suggests, on 
what we shall have; about eleven hundred 
pounds a year, I suppose; and stay where we 
are? I don't pretend it will be very easv— but 
it 's more than I dared to hope for, thanks to 
Robin. Or shall I give up the attempt to stop 
m the Brigade and retire to the country, where 
we should be comparatively rich? " 

" I think we ought to try this first," said Erica 
decidedly. '' I like you to be a Guardsman, and 
I'd rather be poor in Loudon than rich in the 
country. Of course I must make a few altera- 
tions here if it 's to be our permanent home- 
but I don't think we could ever find anything 
nicer— my bedroom is perfect ; and if you 'H 
hand over all the managing to me— I '11 do mv 
best." ^ 

Tom jumped up with an expression of relief 
and pleasure. 

^^ " You shall do anything you like," he said. 
"I can't tell you how I hated the thought of 
sending in my papers. It was— worrving me 









The Honourable Mrs. Garry 95 

like unytliinj;— " he spoke liiiniedly, shy of be- 
traying the emotion which possessed him. " I 'm 
most awfully grateful to my old Dad, and to 
Kobin — and to you, my darling," he came to her 
side, and bent his knee ami kissed her hand. 

Erica just touched his closely cropped dark 
head with that white hand ; a touch almost to«) 
light to be felt, and yet a caress. 

She liked to be made love to, and if the 
reverence in which her young husband so obvi- 
ously held her sometimes provoked her secret 
mockery, it nevertheless flattered her vanity and 
touched her heart; while it added piquancy to 
the occasional luasterfulness which she found 
attractive fi-om its very novelty. 

Rethinking herself, she uttered slowly the 
conclusion to which she had come during her 
momentary reflection. 

" And now, if you like, and as we can't go to 
Kellacombe, I '11 come with you to Paris for the 
rest of our honeymoon, Tom." 



1i. 



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Jl 



iii 



Lb: i 



I 









CHAPTER VI 

Christopher Thorvertox died on the follow- 
ing Saturday, and the news of his death reached 
Tom in Pari& on Tuesday morning. 

Tom, looking rather white and troubled, 
sought Erica in her room, and told her, and 
was hal "-relieved, and half-angered by the calm 
with which she received the news. 

"What did you expect me to do? Make a 
scene? " she asked, with a touch of the derisive 
insolence which she usually permitted herself to 
employ only in converse with her mother. 

"I certainly did not expect you to make a 
scene," he retorted. Tom was more easily pro- 
voked than Lad^ Clow, and if he had Ir' U eyes, 
had also something of Irish quickness of temper. 
"But I thought you might have sliown some 
feeling for the poor fellow who, after all, must 
have loved you in his own way, boor as he was." 
" You '11 be joining in with the rest of the 
neighbourhood soon, and saying I killed him," 
she said, disdainful 1 v. 

" How do you know what the neighbourhood 
is saying? " 

96 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 97 

"My knowledge of their charitable ways — 
and a distracted letter from my parent," she 
showed a crumpled sheet. " Apparently she 
cannot get it out of her head that it must 
have been / who jilted him, in spite of all my 
protestations to the contrary. I own, on the face 
of it," she uttered a slight laugh, "it seemed 
more likely." 

" You can laugh — and he lies dead ! " 
" I suppose you would be better pleased if I 
sentimentalised over him," said Erica, sardoni- 
cally. " It does n't happen to be my way. When 
I have reason o dislike people, I dislike them, 
whether they live or whether they die." 

She was combing her long, red hair, and hei 
face was half hidden by the thick waves hanging 
on either side of the white shoulders — lightly 
draped by a muslin wrapper — and past her 
waist. 

Tom felt suddenly a strange ache of doubt 
and -misery. AYas she then really callous, heart- 
less, impudent? He resented intensely the tone 
she chose to adopt towards him. His taste was 
outraged and his love wounded. But as he 
stood thus, looking down with the light and 
fire of anger in his brown eyes upon the beauty 
of the woman he loved, the careless lifting of 
a heavy tress frciu Erica's brow showed him 
that the face beneath had lost its lovely colour 
— that the sweet, curved lips were pale. 



If 



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98 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

His brief indignation melted into a rush of 
pity and remorse. 

"Erica I" he eried, "my darling! you are 
Buffering all the lime and won't ^ 'low it. What 
a brute I ami What a fool, to misunderstand 
you because you don't wear vour heai-t on vour 
sleeve as I do." 

" Let me alone," she said, struggling out of 
his embrace, ami speaking in a t(me that Lady 
Clow had heard more than once, but Tom never. 
" Is this marriage? " she panted, with rage and 
tears in her voice, " that one is never to have a 
moment to oneself — that one's very thoughts are 
to be pried into and commented upon — and one's 
privacy invaded whether one likes it or not? 
For if it is, I wish to God I 'd never married." 

Tom released her instantly, and stood still for 
a moment looking at her very gravely and ten- 
derly. Then he said, " I beg your pardon, 
Erica," and turned and left the room. 

" I 'm glad I hurt him," said Erica. 

She caught sight of herself in the glass, and 
her anger vanished as suddenly as it had arisen. 

With those copper-coloured tresses hanging 
about her face and neck, that were now scarlet, 
and her light l)lue eyes blazing, she was quite 
extraordinarily handsome, but looked also like 
a fury incarnate. 

The vision inspired her with mingled shame 
and triumph, but it startled and sobered her. 






yi.1! 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 99 

" I believe I have mistaken my vocation — I 
ought to have be<>n an actreM8," she thought, and 
tried, whu great interest, to recall the expres- 
sion; but the light and colour of anger were 
gone from her face, and sh<; abandoned the 
attempt, and sank down in her chair again, 
leaning her elbows on the dressing-table, and 
resting her chin in her hands. Her anger 
against Tom was already dead, and she was 
coldly displeased with her own lack of self- 
control. 

" It is Mamma's fault. She has let me bidly 
her all my life ; instead of punishing me for flying 
into rages when I was little, she was frightened 
and gave in. I 've got into the habit of venting 
my temper on her — and even on — on Christopher, 
nut he irritated me to madness, and I could 
always bring him to heel at a word until— until 
— he found me out," her face burned suddenly 
and an odd choking feeling oppressed her throat 
— " and now he 's dead." 

Listlessly, and to escape from an intolerable 
thought, rather than because she was interested 
in it, she reread her mother's letter, which had 
evidently been dashed off in much hurry and 
agitation of mind, being scrawled and blotted. 

"Oh, mv darling, darling Erica! I am so 
shocked and upset. The tcrrihle news has come, 
and poor J poor Christopher passed away on 



m 



loo The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

l^atfinfuf/ (ihotit .h id n iff fit. Hear Mai/, like the 
kind little cousin nhr hun aliniijH Imn, wrote to 
mc at once. ' Tell loor Erica: nhe naifn, 'I do 
not knoir where nhe in, or I irould irrite, I know 
she will he rerif norri/ and rerij unhuiipij. Please 
tell her I know thin, CouHin Jenvifer/ you nee 
how f/enerouM and forfjiviny; and ^he goes on to 
tell me he died of phurisi/ and pneumonia, and 
that the doctor from London said he had no 
constitution, and had not taken care of his 
health. I am sure she rrrites all this, in the 
midst of her sorrow, out of tenderness for you. 
Hut oh, how my heart aches over it all. I had 
a line also from Mrs. Foss, the housekeeper, who 
was always a friend to me and attcr.tive to my 
wants, anu from Dr. Dohree, who attended trie 
for my rheumatism, as you remember: he wrote 
very kindly, saying he feared it would be a great 
shock to me. Oh, what must not they all be 
thinking of you. I am so miserable, my darling, 
about it all, and to think how. your honeymoon 
which should hare been the happiest time of your 
life will be spoiled by this sad happening. May 
(lod in His mercy forgive us for the share we 
had in bringing it about, for I ivould rather stand 
by your side in this. God forgive me, it was I 
who first put the idea into your head, I daresay, 
by being so andious to accept his invitation to 
Morelcigh; or if it was not. you knew how much 
I wished such a marriugt for you. Perhaps it 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry loi 

icni partly to plrasc mr that yov tried to he nice 
to trim and votihi w7. and ..av he han died of a 
broken heart, for no doctor irill permade me a 
common chill would hare tarried off a fine, jfountj 
man like that if he had uinhed to lire, lint he 
had lost you, and irhat was there for him to lire 
forf ft was just the same with your poor father 
—he was ruined— and he hadn't the heart to 
lire, and just dwindled into his grave. But it 's 
orer now, and the poor hoy is at rest from his 
suffering. 

"/ daresay I'm writing foolishly and in 
coherently, hut there's not much time, and I'm 
crying so when I think of his poor little sister, 
and I daren't off' r myself to go to her for I 
should he ashamed to show my face after all 
poor Christopher's kindness. 

" Do for pity's sake write a word of comfort 
to me. Erica. It is lonely work sitting alone all 
day, and the evenings are so long. If all was 
as it should he I should n't care so much. It 's 
the natural end for a mother to he left alone. 
Hut as it is I get thinking — and rememhering 
some of the things you 've said to me— hut don't 
fret over them now or ever, my little one— I 
know you didn't really mean them. And I've 
often wondered if it ivas your fault. I don't 
mean only hccau.se of the mistakes I may have 
made bringing you up. hut wheth ^^inging up 
makes so much difference afte: . It 's odd, 



102 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



1 



hut I cairh mijHvlf thinking of i/on murh more 
often UH you wnv irhm yon n-rn- a littfe thimj. 
You had a iha meter of yonr onn even then, and 
vay you couldn't hare learned from any one 
round you. It 'ft all ho ntramje n'hen one nitn 
thinking, and thinking, u,i alone, orer the days 
that seemed an if they were gating to hint for 
• r and yet are all gone so quiekly, and it ^rems 
natural to you, I daresay, that I should he grow- 
ing into an old woman, hut I can't get over the 
surprise of it myself, and it wouldn't seem 
strange to me to find myself a little girl again 
in the ne.rt world. Those photos of you that 
Tom ^couldn't take, I 're put on my little tahlc 
next me now, where I can see them all day, and 
junry you running to get them for me as you 
used. 

" Y< H 'II do trhat you decide ahout writing to 
May, hut in your place, my darling, if I were 
you. I 'm not sure I would write a^ all. Oh, 
Erira, it 's aU like a had dream. lim / try to 
take comfort in the thought that you 're married 
to a g< >d man now, an I can hcgin fresh, and 
perhaps he a hetter and a happier woman in the 
end than you could ever have been if you'd 
married that poor hoy. . . ." 

Erica laid clown the letter suddenly, because 
the suddon realisation of what lu^r position 
would have been to-day had she married Chris- 



i 



The Honourable ^trs. Garry 103 

topluT, iiiMtj'n«l ()f Tom, fluRhod aoroHH her 
mind. 

She moved um'tiKiIy, an tlunijj;li trying to Hhako 
off thuii;jIitM of whitli luT lu'tfcr self — that M«'lf 
in whii-h Tom bt'Iij-vi'd ho ffrvi'ntl.y — wum 
usIuimihI. Hill her inia^'inathm had ](m<; lM>(>n lH>r 
maKter, and tiaiuiMl Htcadily foryt'aiM to ivvolvo 
about the inrnt^i! of ht-i' own glorilicd iwrHonality. 

Thcrt'foi'L' Hhe th«»uj;ht, — not of Christophfr 
Thorverton, tho boy who hiy dead at two-and- 
twenty — n<»r of his litth? sister's j^i'lef — nor of 
tlie Hiitfeiinj; tlirouj;li whieli he had passed io 
his rest — Imt of a I>eaiitiful younj; ehAteUiino 
rolM'd in ch-ep monrninj;, with a li<»atin}i veil of 
crepe, brilliant hjiir, and a rope of pearls about 
her neek — niovinj; throu<,di the dim ha 1 1.4 of More- 
leij^h Ablx'y — her own mistress, ri( !•. and free. 
Free to wed whom she liked, do what she li -d, 
go where she liked, and wear what she chose, 
unhampered and unquestioned. Free also from 
this absurd and intolerable burden of blame 
which fate seemed ready to assijjn her. 

All these a<]vanta'fes she had thrown away 
deliberately, throuj;h her own vacillation and 
the weakness of her vanity; she, who had ad- 
mired herself for her cold si)urning of her 
mother's advice and Christopher's entreaties, 
and dawdled through the long summer months, 
indefinitely postponing the marriage that would 
have given her so much; she, who had thought 



11 

Hi 



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ill. , 

llHJ 



•I 



if. 



ii- 
H TV 






104 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

herself so infinitely wiser than that poor, weak 
mother; so astute, so calmly able to play with 
her destiny; and the hearts of men. 

The faint chiming of a little silver travelling 
clock roused her with a start from these un- 
profitable dreamings, to the vivid realisation of 
their unprofitableness. The clock belonged to 
the fine dressing-case which Christopher had 
given her. He was dead, and for him Time was 
over ; but to her was Time yet given. 

She had recognised the measure of her folly 
clearly enough during the night of misery and 
suspense which had preceded her marriage; but 
Christopher's death brought home to her even 
more clearly the material cost of that folly, and 
she suffered in proportion to the strength of her 
inherent craving for riches and luxury and 
beautiful possessions. 

But the suffering of baffled ambition did not 
altogether blind the dim eyes of her soul to the 
fact that all was not lost with that fortune of 
Christopher. That Tom's loyalty had given her 
the chance which she had dumbly craved; the 
chance not only of a measure of prosperity, but of 
regaining her own self-respect and peace of mind. 
With a mental effort she put from her the 
futile vision offered by the slave who had be- 
come the master of her brain, and having in- 
dulged her imagination for a full half-hour, 
called her common-sense to her aid. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 105 

With something like terror she remembered 
that she had revealed to Tom an Erica he had 
never known, in spite of her resolution that as 
his wife, she would restore to him every lost 
illusion of her perfection. 

Her mind, cleared of vain regrets and dream- 
ings, worked rapidly; her knitted flaxen brows 
relaxed their frowning, and with her sudden 
change of mood, the expression of her face 
became composed and purposeful. 

She brushed her long hair with energy, and 
twisted the thick coils deftly about her head; 
slipped off the muslin wrapper, and rang for 
the chambermaid to fasten her dress. Awaiting 
her advent, she stood for some moments looking 
through the net-shrouded windows of her lux- 
urious room, over the white walls and grey roofs 
of Paris, stretching far away through the clear 
and smokeless atmosphere. 

The pretty chambermaid brought hot water, 
and exclaiming with a shiver that :Madame must 
find the room cold, turned on the hot air, and 
commented admiringly upon Erica's open-work, 
purple silk stockings and suede walking shoes 
to match, before advancing to fasten the smart, 
short gown of violet velvet. When she had 
finished, she took up the little tray of coffee and 
rolls that the sonimelicr had brought to the bed- 
side an hour or two earlier, and looking round 
with a deprecating smile, as though to apologise 



i' 



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'f- M 



't-: 






'' I 






ft ['-[ 



106 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

for finding nothing further to do, finally de- 
parted. Tlie hands of the electric clock on the 
Avail now pointed to half-past ten. 

Erica opened the door of the sitting-room. 
Tom was sitting miserably by the window, 
looking out uixm the Champs Elysees, and 
making pretence to read a newspaper. He 
lifted his eyes when his wife entered, but he 
did not move, though with every sense he real- 
ised the beauty of this v'-Ion in violet; the glory 
of hair and freshness of colouring, and alluring 
curves of the tall and shapely form. 

Erica came straight to his chair and knelt 
beside him, and hid her face against his arm. 

She was acting, and yet she was in earnest; 
and she neither knew herself, nor could it be 
possibly judged by Tom, where sincerity ended 
and acting began. It Avas true that she desired 
his forgiveness sincerely, and that if she could 
have passed the sponge of oblivion over the slate 
of his mind, she would gladly have wiped out 
the ugly scrawls she had made upon it during 
the last hour. 

It was a1 ■> true that she despised herself 
heartily and was ashamed of her own display 
of anger and rudeness; but the very truth of 
these emotions made her pose the easier, and 
gave reality to the thrill in the low voice, which 
she nevertheless used with full consciousness of 
its effect when she said, very simply : 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 107 



" I 'm sorry, oh, I 'm sorry." 

The innto appeal of her attitude' liad already 
gone to his heart; and he lifted her ami caressed 
her in silenee. 

" It was my fault. I made no allowance for 
the shock. It affects people so differently." 

She caught at the suggestion, blending excuse 
with truth. 

" Ever since I was a little girl," she said in 
a Ic , tremulous voice, " I 've always been angry 
if anything hurt me. I was angry when my 
father died, though I was hardly more than a 
baby ; and it 's always been my instinct — my 
devilish instinct — to revenge myself on some- 
body. If I fell down and hurt myself, and 
Mamma flew to help me, I used to bite and 
scratch her hrcaufir I 'd hurt myself. It — it 
hurt me to think that Christopher was dead — 
and I struck out blindly at you " 

She rested against his shoulder, and ai-: m the 
relief of confession stole into her soul, and again 
she was at this moment only h; 'f aware that she 
had in reality confessed nothing of her real 
feelings in the matter of riiristopher's death. 

" It is I who should be asking forgiveness," 
said Tom, caressing her. " I, who suspected you 
of being heartless, because you do not show your 
feelings easily, though you were suffering so that 
you did not know what to do. Another time I 
shall know better. And if it eases your pain to 









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1 08 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

be angry with me—" Tom broke into an un- 
steady, tender laugh— " why, you may be as 
angry with me as you will. But don't let your 
natural grief for poor Christopher make you 
morbid, my sweetheart. It 's true what Robin 
says, aien don't die of love. Did / die when 
I thought you were going to marry Thorvarton? 
Yet God knows whether I loved you! And if 
he had n't caught a chill that particular day, it 
would n't have entered any one's head that his 
broken engagement had anything to do with his 
dying. That was just bad luck. Though if there 
is a shadow of possibility that the unhappiness 
of losing you hastened his death, you know / 
share the responsibility with you, my darling. 
I wish I could take it all. I can't bear you to 
be unhappy. Only let it comfort you a little, 
my sweet, to know that I do understand, and 
am only grateful to you for coming to tell me 
your thoughts and feelings." 

Then Erica realised that Tom understood 
nothing, and that she had no more revealed her 
thoughts and feelings to him, than he was 
capable, without such revelation, of divining 
them. 

He trembled with sympathy for the remorse 
that he believed was gnawing at her soul; but 
it never even crossed his mind that it was 
Christopher's great possessions that she was 
regretting, rather than his unt^'mely end. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 109 

Her self-contempt struggled with contempt 
for Tom's simplicity. Yet she perceived dimly 
the depths of the difiference which divided their 
minds; and the generosity of his, which was 
unable to suspect the meanness of her outlook. 

Tom kissed her tenderly. 

" Let 's come out, my darling, into the fresh 
air. It will be the best thing for vou after this 
awful shock and horror. Come out into the 
sunshine and away from the hotel. We will 
lunch at Paillard's, or anywhere you like, and 
talk over w hat you 'd prefer to do. I 'm ready 
to go home this moment if jou like." 

On this November morning Paris was bright 
and white and sunny, as London had been dull 
and yellow and dark. 

They walked briskly together down the 
Champs Elysees ; past slouching soldiers, muffled, 
white-hatted cabmen, fat drivers of elongated 
three-horse omnibuses, and smart French babies 
with bored, sokmn English nurses. 

Erica, threading the bewildering rush of 
motors, trams, electric cars, and bicycles, which 
complicate the dangers of Paris horse-traflftc, 
under Tom's steady guidance, was more acutely 
conscious of his personality than ever before. 

Unmistakably British; unnoticeably weU- 
dressed in his dark t^'eed suit and Homburg 
hat; serious and quiet, with grave, brown eyes, 
and slight moustache half concealing the tirm 






S^m^ 



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no The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

lines of a well-shaped mouth and decided chin ; 
a spare, boyish figure, with muscles developed 
by traininjj and har»l IxMlily exercise, upright 
and alert in carriage aud hearing; a voice rather 
low and i)h>asantly modulated in conversation, 
though it could ring out clearly enough when 
occasion demanded. 

Altogether an intelligent and honourable spe- 
cimen of young manhood, frank, open-handed, 
modest, and well-behaved; taught by the rough 
and wholesome discipline, to which youths of 
his class are fortunately still subjected, to abide 
strictly by tlu^ code of honour in force among 
his fellows; to show respect to his elders, de- 
ference to women, and courtesy to all men; and 
by the same system to hold his own with his 
equals, and hold his tongue concerning himself 
and his opinions, and more especially concern- 
ing any of his attributes or achievements 
whereon he might have reason to pride himself 
in secret. 

Thus shorn of all possible eccentricities, he 
conformed in every respect to the required 
standar<l, and consequently exhibited little out- 
ward sign of either the strength or the weak- 
ness of his individual character. 

Erica had been married a little over a week, 
and at the '^nd of a week she had intended to 
reduce him to complete submission. Given the 
opportunities of an unlimited tCte-a-tvte, in the 



■5»JRi-^*i' 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry iii 

intimacy of a honeymoon, she had iniaijined her 
task would be a l''<,dit one, for that h(^ was madly 
in love with her she conld n< t donht ; and of 
her own cleverness she held jjerhaps, an almost 
e.Najjgerated opiniim. She had supposed that 
Tom, with his j-cntle deferential manner, an«l 
anxiety to ren<ler her every possible honmge and 
service, would be an easier subject than Chris- 
topher—an ill-mannered youth, spoilt by fortune 
and the flattery of parasites, and of a disposi- 
tion something sulky and obstinate. Yet in his 
roughest moods, and after her most capricious 
treatment, she had always been able to subdue 
the surly Christ(»pher with a look or a word. 
She had begun to be aware that she had no such 
power over Tom. 

Erica was half angry, half amused. FTer 
vanity was piqucMl, l)ut her fancy was attracted 
by this personality which ha<l proved so much 
stronger than she had anticipated. 

And yet— "It will be very tiresome," she 
thought, with a kind of humorous despair, " I 
trant to start fresh— I want to i)lay the game- 
but if that means T am to be gn'<'ed in all I do 
by Tom's sense of honour— I 'm not sure whether 

life will be worth livinjr " 

They reached the friendly colonnade of the Rue 

de Rivoli, and her attention was caught by the 

endless display of bijouterie in the shop windows. 

'•*ls there anything you want?" Tom said, 






»l 







112 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

slipping a fond hand nndor the violet velvet 
Klecve, in the shelter of Erica's sables. 
She could have laughed aloud. 
Anything she wanted! She wanted every- 
thing. She wanted to go into those shops and 
turn over those glittering heaps, and pick out 
and carry away every tritle that took her fancy. 
The mania for shopping is not less strong and 
uncontrollahle in some women than the mania 
for gambling in others; and yet the former mani- 
festation of the greed of desire is not recognised 
as a vice. She thought of Tom's pocket-book, 
and the few notes she had seen him unfold and 
count carefully before they came out, and that 
on the morning after their arrival in Paris he 
had chosen for her at Cartier's, under he.' own 
guidance, the ring that was to be his wedding- 
present to her— a large, deep-coloured sapphire, 
set very finely in platinum and diamond dust. 
': at he could not well afford it, both knev/, but 
he had not the heart to deny her or himself 
this one indulgence, and excused the extrava- 
gance with the reflection that the sale of his 
l)olo ponies, hitherto his dearest possessions, 
would bring in a sum of ready money. 

The dark blue of the single sapphire was so 
beautiful that Erica almost ceased to regret the 
half-hoop of brilliants shut away in her big 
dressing-case. 

" I like looking. The designs of the in '^ation 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 113 



jewellery are always prettier than the real," she 
said, with the ghost of a sigh. "But you 
must n't buy me any more things till your ship 
comes in, Tom. How I wish some one would 
leave us a fortune- 



» 



She broke olf rather suddenly startled by a re- 
collection which had hitherto, curiously enough, 
escaped her. 

" Paris is certainly no place for paupers," Tom 
agreed cheerfully. " Don't you think you ought 
to come and have some breakfast, darling? " 

Erica meclianically allowed herself to be led 
away, and Tom talked on, but the sense of his 
words did not penetrate her brain, which was 
busy with speculation. 

Her own careless suggestion echoing in her 
ears had reminded her suddenly of the paragraph 
in the will which Christopher had shown her, 
and in which the testator gave the sum of 
twenty thousand pounds free of legacy duty to 
his betrothed wife, Erica Jennifer Clow. 

She was ignorant of business, and did not 
know whether her marriage to Tom would 
render this bequest null and void. If not, she 
thought with a beating heart, surely, in so sud- 
den an illness and unexpected a death, he would 
not have had time to destroy that will and make 
another? He had never even returned to the 
Abbey, where she had seen the document locked 
away in the drawer of his writing table; but had 



114 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



..i 



'ti. 



Niwnt the vv»'<'k (»f liis illneHs at the Manor TTouw*, 
ill tho care of his couHin, Authoiiy Deii^H,— and 
tbere died. 

She found herself Heated opposite Tom in a 
lestauraut, lM'f(»ie a nolr au ynttin, and some 
rather sweet Hdutvrnc. He watehed her a little 
anxiously, thinkin-; that she still looked pale, 
and that her nuinner was ahstruted and dreamy. 
IJut she relieved his mind by di.inj,' full justice 
to the meal set forth; even if she showed herself 
disinclined to talk until the Turkish cotfee and 
cigarettes were brought. 

In ii, 'fa dozen different mirrors innumerable 
replicas of Erica— Erica in perspective, Erica 
lost in distance, full face, side face, and back 
view— could be seen by Tom. He brought his 
eyes back to the original, and studied tlumght- 
fully the fair face beneath the violet velvet 
toque. 

Erica, conscious of the perfect cut of her 
gown, sat very upright; her eyes were down- 
cast; her bosom rose and fell beneath a semi- 
transparent vest of exquisitely embroidered 
mauve chiflf(m; she was tranquil, thoughtful. 

The dark blue sapphire became very well the 
plump, white hand which was from time to time 
lifted to remove the cigarette from the pretty 
lips. 

She raised her eyes. 

" Turn. I have been thinking." 



The Honourable Mrs. Carry 115 

Tom had l)o<'n tliinkin}? niso, but ho ihMirlcfl 
that it was not th«' inonwiif to a<qiialnt Erica 
with thn Huhjcct of his thou}j;hts, IW did not 
Mkc Ids wife to siiioko iu a pnldi*- n'siaiiiaiit, 
and it st'cnicd to him that slie on;,dil to have 
known by instinct timt he won hi not lik«« it ; 
hilt he had already expressed surprise or dis- 
approval in the matter of several small lapses 
from convention, which he nusht have rather 
admired in Miss Erica (Mow, hiit wiiich he «le- 
tested in Mrs. Tom Garry, and he f»dt that she 
was more inclined to snspect him of prifjf^ish- 
ness than herself of ignorance, ho that <m this 
occasion he refrained. Also, he ha«l begun to 
realise, during the last ten days, how very 
limited was Erica's experience of the world in 
which he had lived all his life. " After all," he 
thought, "these are not the things that matter. 
The unconventionality of one year is the fashi(m 
of the next ; and she is so rpiick, she will see 
the nuances for herself iu a very short time, 
and learn all the unwritten laws." 

Aloud he asked, " Of what have you IxM'n 
thinking? " 

"That I see no particular need for us to 
hurry home if you can make it all right about 
leave. Whih' we are known to be abroad the 
Moreleigh and KellacomlKi people cannot l)e dis- 
cussing our possible or impossible return to 
that neighbourhood. We get our letters for- 



w 



w '■ 




ii6 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

warclo<l— MO that if tlu-rp wore au.vthinK more 
to hoai-— auy more d<'(uil«— the delay would be 
trifllnj;. And we could n't jjo to theatreH or 

about much In London — whe^'aM here " 

"You wouldn't care to go to theatreH juHt 
now? " he wiid. 

Erica'H blue e.veM looked straight into hiH with 
a candid expression. 

" I 'm not going to pretend, Tom. You know 
my way. I Hay what I think in wmson and out 
of season. What good could it do any one for 
us to sit and yawn over illustrated pajHirs in 
our little mlon all the evening? In London, I 
grant you, we couldn't go to the theatre— yet. 
We might be seen. But here no one is likely to 
see ns, I suppose, if we go to some out of' the 
way place. And if my French is not good 
enough for me to follow the dialogue, I like it 

all well enough— it 's amusing to look at " 

Tom informed her bluntly that nothing would 
induce him to take her to a theatre while 
Christopher Thorverton lay yet unburied. 

"Whether one was seen or not— and one is 
always liable to run up against people in Paris," 
he said, " I should feel it most infernally bad 
taste, as well as heartless, to show the poor 
fellow's memory so little respect under the 
circumstances. Sometimes I can't understand 
you, Erica." 

" I think you never understand me," she said 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 117 



rather bitterly. " You tell me you hate me to 
HufTer, but when I MuggeHt oomethiug that would 
diHtract my thoughts " 

" I won't let you do what might cause you to 
Im» mlHJutlged, apart from everything else — " he 
Ha id, warmly. " Ilarling, let 'h go and buy some 
books, and have a quiet evening or two together. 
I 'd read aloud to you if you 'd let mt " 

Erica did not care for books, and hated to 
1h» read to, and she had already discovered with 
wonder the intensity of Tom's affection for liter- 
ature which she thought e.\traor«linarilv dull. 

Hut she assented listlessly to his proposition, 
dropped the end of her cigarette into her coflfee- 
cup, and slowly drew on and buttoned her gi-ey 
suMe gloves. 

" Sweetheart," he said, contemplating that not 
altogether assumed pow of dejei-ti'^n with deep 
distress, " I seem to 1h' always forced into this 
hateful position of denying you something, op 
finding fault. It g(H's frightfully against the 
grain. IJut what on earth can I do? It 'a my 
business to take care of you." 

Erica liked the sound of remorse, and the 
suppressed tenderness of his voice. " I know," 
she said, submissively. 

" You think I 'm a brute to you? " 

" No — only you never think of my point of 
view," she murmured. " I daresay you 're right 
on this particular point," she added^ hastily, 



fi^J 






ill 



i 

tr' 



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iiii 



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ii8 The Honourable. Mrs. Garry 

"I'm not conventional, and you know how I 
was dragged up— not even sent to school. Poor 
Mamma content to teach me what little she 
knew, so long as she could only keep me with 
her. I 'm not even educated,*' she spoke with 
real bitterness. 

" It was abominaldy seltish of her." Tom 
spoke with extra warmth because he was so 
glad to be able to sym])athise with Erica. " She 
never seems to have thought of you." 

Again her atrophied conscience lifted its puny 
head and reminded i:rica of a fastidious littTe 
girl who had eaten three pennyworth of cream 
with her po .-ridge every djiy, and lived on 
chicken and mutton-chops, while a stout, flabby, 
feeble, anxious woman sat over a tray of weak 
tea and lodging-house bread and butter, and 
declared she was not hungry. 

The problem tluit had troubled poor Lady 
Clow in Erica's childhood had been the probhin 
of how to f(MHl and clothe her child, and keep 
a roof over her head. 

" I daresay she could n't afford to send me to 
a good school, and she'd have worried herself 
to death over my health if she 'd sent me to a 
cheap one," she said, hastily. "The poor old 
thing did the best she could for me, according 
to her lights. She had a pretty hard struggle 
to kee[) going at all— and she has a great horror 
of over-educated women." 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 119 



" I like you to stand np for Ikm-," said Tom, 
"and I hate to s'.L'iv >f aiiv woman liavini; to 
striig<»Io with p .vcity." 

Erica's heart llrrol)be<I . iiddenly. Slie seized 
her opportunity t.s h; i cirstimi was. 

" Perliai)s poor Christopher lias left her some 
money," she said, boldly. '' Fie ou^ht to— she 's 
about the only relative his father had, I believe. 
Of course I 'm not counting his sister, and I 
know the Denys family are more nearly related 
—but that is througli his mother. After all, the 
money came from his father.'' 

Tom was silent. 

She waited a moment and thought to hers(df. 
" xVnyway, I 've put the idea into his head." 
Then yet another idea occurred to her. 

" Tom," she said in a low voice, " what did 
you do with my pearls? " 

" I packed them in a cigar box and sent them 
back by registered post," he said grimly. 

" For him to get when he was so ill? '' Erica's 
voice betrayed anger, though the cause of her 
anger was not that which her words implied. 

" I did not know he was ill on the Monday 
morning, when I sent the pearls." 

" Did you write a letter? " 

" I put a note inside the box," he said, shortly, 
" saying ' You will understand I should not like 
Erica to keep these now/ and signed my name." 

" Who do you suppose would open the parcel?" 



* !! 



'-ft 






120 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" The poor fellow's executors, I suppose." 

" Who will they be? " 

"I can't tell you. His sister, probably— or 
Anthony Denys— how should T know? Must we 
talk about it? " said Tom impatiently. 

Erica said no more, but as they walked to 
Galignani's library she thought of nothing else. 






CHAPTER VII 



Lady Clow welcomed her daughter with tear- 
ful delight. 

" Oh, Erica — the time has seemed so long — 
and so much has happened. My darling, how 
pretty you look! I am glad you are wearing 
violet, — it is half mourning. Poor Christopher! 
And your furs suit you so well. To think you 've 
been married over a fortnight! I needn't ask 
if you're hap^^"? At least as happy as you 
can be, after ^ad blow." 

She poured .u ejaculations, lamentations, 
congratulations, in a breath; and Erica, in 
accordance with her invariable custom, waited 
to let her mother's first outburst of emotion 
exhaust itself. Then she spoke clearly and 
decidedly. 

"First of all, Mamma, let us talk business. 
You wrote to me that you'd heard from Mr. 
Gethell? " 

" Such a very kind letter. He said that May 
wished him to write to me at once, and tell me 
that my allowance is to be continued. There is to 
be a charge on the estate for it, and May says if 



IP 



121 




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122 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



there were not she should h)ok upon it as a sacred 
duty left to her by her father and brother. This 
is, I am sure, to soothe any scruples I might have. 
It is Providence, Ei-ica, for I was at my wit's 
end what to do when my balance was finished. 
I could n't consent to live <m you and Tom; and 
I couldn't have felt comfortable taking money 
from poor Christopher while he was alive. IJut 
a legal bequest is a very «liflferent thing; his 
father wished it, and .^Ir. Gethell says it has 
nothing whatever to do with the twenty thou- 
sand pounds which i)oor Christopher has left 
to you." 

" And which Tom refuses to allow me to take," 
said Erica, bittei-ly. 

Lady Clow exclaimed in dismay. 

" Look here, .Alamma, for once I 've come to 
you for help. If you fail me " 

"Erica! How could I fail you? Rut you 
won't ask me to go against Tom? He must 
know best," faltered Lady Clow. 

"How do you mean, he must know best? A 
quixotic prig of a boy," said Erica, fiercelv, but 
perceiving her mother's terror, she softened her 
voice. " I 'm thinking of his interest quite as 
much as of my own. Don't you realise we 're 
poor? We've got to live an expensive life 
whether we like it or not while Tom remains 
in the Brigade. Do you think I want to have 
his career cut short because he 's married me? 



ir.H 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 123 



—and do you think it 's v(M-y pleasant for me 
to 1)0 llvinji expensively while my mother is in 
wretched lod<>injrs vegetatinj; on two hundred a 
year, and tryinjj; to save somethinj; out of that 
for my future?" Lady Clow hunj; her head 
guiltily. "No, Mamnui, all I can tell yon is 
that I 'm not fjoinjj: to be robbed of that money 
that riiristoi)her meant me to have, and which 
is le<?ally my own. If you won't help me?, I '11 
help myself. I '11 quarrel with Tom,"— Lady Clow 
screamed— " and stand on my rij-hts. No one 
can refuse to pay it to me. He can't prevent 
my takinj;- it. Only if you knew how pig-headed 
and tiresome he was, you 'd realise that <lefying 
him simply means an open breach— he would n't 
stand it— there 'd be a sei)aration." 

"Erica— for ])ity's sake. At the end of a 
fortnight! I'll do anything in the world to 
prevent that. Oh, and I IioikmI so much that 
you were settled,— resjK'ct ably, happily settled," 
sobbed her mother. " Only don't— don't ask me 
to walk in crooked ways. 1 never have. I never 
could." 

" I 'm not asking you to walk anywhere," 
Erica uttered a short laugh in spite of herself. 
" I 'm asking you to protect my interests. 
Suppose I have children " 

Lady Clow uttered a low moan in v.hich sym- 
pathy, reproof, and hope were oddly mingled. 

"Are they to be left totally unprovided for 





ii 



■'HI 



tr- . 



124 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

because their father has ridiculous scruples? 
You see I'm reduced to talkinj; in the third 
person myself in m.v extremity," said Erica, 
derisively. "Are they to starve because their 
fjrandmother was afraid to stand up for 
them ? " 

"Oh, Erica! God forjjive you. Me— that 
would shed my heart's bloo,! for them— or for 
you. Everything I have in the world—" she 
sobbed incoherently. 

" I 'm not asking you to shed anybody's blood. 
I am simply asking you to be tirm— though I 
know I might as well ask a jelly-fish to be firm 
— and to avoid a row with Tom." 

" I 'm sure I should be only too thankful to 
avoid a row with Tom," said Lady Clow, in 
great alarm and distress. "I hope it would 
never come to that, and I cannot think he would 
ever have a row with a lady. He is much too 
gentle." 

"Let me tell you he can make himself very 
unpleasant when he likes," said Erica, crossly. 
" And when his absurd high-flown principles are 
at stake, he cares not a jot for his interests.'' 

" Your dear father was just the same," put in 
Lady Clow. 

Erica paused; surprised at the force with 
which she resented this comparison. 

She remembered all that she had ever heard of 
the old bankrupt father, who having reached 



m 



H 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 125 






the brink of ruin,— without, so far an she could 
gather, nmkiiig a singh' effort to save himself, 
— had surrendored his all meekly, ami thence- 
forward resigned himself to live on charity, 
which hurt his feelings, but not sutliciently to 
goad him into making any fresh exertion to 
earn his own livinjr. 

Her mother had cried out to Erica, when in 
the hardness of her youth she had criticised this 
inaction, that it was not for her to blame the 
father who had loved her; that he was old and 
weak and broken in health before the disaster 
occurred, and that he had his pride, since, al- 
though he was obliged to accept the Thorverton 
money he could never endure to think, far less 
to speak, of the obligation. 

Erica had curled her lip, and in pity, been 

silent. 

Nevertheless the impression created in her 

mind was one not complimentary to her dead 

progenitor, and she did not like to hear any 

comparison made between him an<l her husband ; 

though she was ready enough to declare that 

Tom was pig-headed aud tiresome. 
" But if it 's against his principles to take 

this money," said T^dy Clow, " I don't see how 

you can stand out against him— far less how 

I can help you? " 
" I 'm going to tell you how, if you '11 listen 

for a moment. I shall tell Tom I will refuse 



-m 



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III 



i:ri' 



126 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

this lojracy sinco lu' insists, jiinl I 'm going at 
the sanu' tinn' to wiite nivsclf to Mr. (icthcll, 
and accept it for ^oj/— tliat is, have it paid into 
voiir haidv in voiir name, — whenever they 'r«; 
ready to han<l it over, whicli of course won't Ini 
for months." 

"Erica! my (hirling. It's very generous of 
you," prol<'sled lier motlier, and her round in- 
nocent eyes were thioded with tears of gratitude 
and admiration, "lint I dou't want it, I (hm't 
indeed." 

" liut I do," said Erica, in that cold and cut- 
ting tone born of exasperation at her mother's 
invariable readiness to attribute to her high and 
unlikely motives. "Only I mean you to take 
care of it for me. I can come and ask you for 
money then whenever I want it, and it will be 
a provision for the future besides." 

"Will Tom know?" said Lady Clow, trembling. 

Erica deliberated, and said, " I don't know 
why he should. ]Jut I can't be sure. He 
certainly won't know if I can help it. Rut 
if he dom know he can't ask you to give 
it up." 

" Will he be very angry with me, my darling? " 
said the poor woman. " If he came and argued 
with me, I don't think I could stand out against 
him. I don't indeed, Erica. Gentlemen have 
so much more knowledge of business. I know 
I should be convinced in a moment, and every- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 127 



thlnj? I sjn«l w(Mil«l sound all wronjr," she ended 
in a lanicntahic voico, 

" He siian't ronu' and ai-{j;ii(* with .v(mi," said 
Erica, setUnij: I»<m- niiuiII white teeth almost 
jjiinily. " I tell you what, Mamma, you must 
have a telepliom ]n\i in." 

" A telephone I ' 

" Hei-e, on your writinj?-lal>le. If I want to 
tell you any(hin«,' in a hurry it mi^ht Ik^ useful. 
I can't rush <lown hei-e every tinu? T want to 
speak to you. And think how convenient if you 
wanted to get something from a shop on a wet 
day." 

" But I am never in a liurry. And it would 
he a dreadful exj)ense. IJesides, I should never 
dare to use it. It would tlurry me dreadfully." 

" Nonsense," said Erica. " I have one by my 
hcdsich', an<l I would call you up and say good 
morning regularly while I was having my break- 
fast. You would he at your accounts by that 
time." 

" kSo I should," said Lady Plow, much struck 
and delighted. " It would be much less lonely. 
It is very kind of you to think of it, Erica." 

" Only you must n't be for ever ringing me 
up," said Erica, warningly. 

" I should n't think of ringing any one up," 
said Lady Clow, " unless the house was on fire 
or anything like that," she added cautiously. 
"I am not very likely to have anv news that 



i 






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P- I 



t' 



128 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

is urgent," she sighed. "My letter from Mr. 
Oethell wsjH an event, however; and I have 
thought <»f nothing else? ever since, 

" I supp»)se lie tokl you ("hristopher has left 
the Abbey to Anthony Denys instead of to 
May? " said Erica. 

" Left the Abbt-y away from his only sister! ■' 
gasped her mother. 

" Well— Anthony is his nearest male relative, 
and if his father bought the Abbey, it had be- 
longed to his mother's people for generations; 
and it doesn't signify much, since ^lay and 
Anthony are going to marry eac!' other." 
Lady Clow ut red an exclamation of joy. 
" He is a sensioie man after all. I was afraid 
he would think she was too young." 

"Considering he is twenty years older than 
she is—" said Erica, sarcastically. 

" What does that matter when people love 
each other? " cried Lady Clow, warmly. " Your 
dear father was nearly thirty years older than 
I. It is better to be an old man's darling than 
a young man's slave." 

" I 'm not sure I don't agree with you," said 
Erica. 

" Though it would be absurd to call Anthony 
Denys old. He is not yet forty, and she is a 
very old-fashioned, steady, little thing for her 
age. She will make him very happy. She was 
kind and considerate even to me. And now she 



u' 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 129 



will live ill Iut own hcjuitifnl liomc, jui.l I ho|M» 
livo to .s(M' hvv <hil(licii's cliildic n. After all, 
Krica, pciluips ii has all tiiiiK'd out for tho 
Ix'st?" Slu' sijiuiKMl her «laiiy:lit»'r's face; anx- 



cn 



so Hooii after her 



ioiisly. "Thoii;,d> I am Niiriirised at their 
gajieiueiit being ainiotineed 
poor brother's death." 

"It was settled before he died; and it isn't 
announced. Toiu had a letter from his mother, 
and you know how she ndleets j^ossip. She 
had heard of my 'egacy, and wrote in a j,n'<'at 
state to Tom because Loid Errilf had declared 
that Tom would certainly refuse to allow me 
to accept it." 

" I am j,'lad Lady Erriff is on your side." 

Erica laujihed. 

"It was the twenty thousand pounds which 
bn)ught her over to my side so suddenly, unless 

-im mistaken. She actually writes to Tom 
that she is sure I am too sensible to allow him 
to induljie in quixotic notions." 

" He should listen to his mother," said Lady 
Clow, shaking her head wisely. 

"He prefers to listen to his father,— one of 
the most high-flown, unpra<tical, light-hearted 
Irishmen in the world, always ready to give 
away what he has n't got." 

" Gentlemen have very odd notions of honour, 
my dear. One often has to humour them with- 
out knowing why. Even your poor father " 






III' 



.1 i'^ 



I'A' 



130 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

"One comfort is, Old Thing, that I can alwayn 
(h'lH'nd on .vou," said lOiica, inlciniptinj,' with- 
out ceremony. '* I \l rather trust you than I^dy 
ErrifF, liowcvcr willing she may Im' to help me." 

"I should think so," wud I^idy Ch>w, jeal- 
ously. " I never liked T^idy Erritf." 

Erica rose and slowly fast<-ned on her white 
furs iH'fore tlu' dim looking-glass. 

"After Christuuis, I shall tind you muw nicer 
rooms." 

•' I would rather stay here, my <lear. I am 
u.sed to the landlady. Strangers make me 
nervous. And the place is full of memories." 
" Very horrid memories." 

"Oh, my darling, how can you say so! I sit 
here and fancy I can see you in that chair 
opposite, in your old, blue wrapper, holding up 
a newspaper to keep the t'm^ from scorching 
your ])retty face, and talking to me while I sat 
over my mending. Often and often you have 
made me laugh, Erica." 

Some faint perception of the amplitude of her 
mother's capacity for forgiveness touched Erica. 
Slie had surely given her oftener cause for tears 
than laughter. 

The nostalgia of childhood, which is generally 
strongest in later life, or in solitude, thrilled her 
curiously for a moment. 

" Well, Old Thing, those were n't bad times, 
though I 'm thankful they 're over. It used to 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 131 



l>o picasanf «'noii<'Ii — Mitl} 



i\}X nvcr flM' i\rv, nil 



ulijibhy ami .m-oitImmI, roasiinir ,lirsiniits or lunsi 
in^ iimnins on wiiitj-r cvi'iiin^js; and nMiiinniinj,' 
my old hats in MnninuT to j;o oni and sit in ilic 
Tat'li nndrr tin. tirrs with .von, and conic hack 
on the top of an oninihus. It sounds too awful 

now — hnt still — now and then I miss yon— " 

"Oh, KHca— ami yon not married thn-e 
weeks!" Lady Clow conid have wept for joy 
and snrprise in the admission. " I ofu-n worrv 
myself over yonr thin<,'s, my darlin<,f -ycm "vc not 
Ihh'U used to mcndinj; and pmkinj; for yoiirs«df.'* 
" I shall he aide to have a maid soon— thanks 
to poor Christopher's Ic-acy," said Kric.i, as slui 
kissed her mother and haile her farewell. 

As she climlM'd into the waitin-i' hansom and 
drove back to Lower IJel;,Mave Street, she 
thonght : 

"It's all very well to talk of starting- fresh, 
and being absolutely straight and tnie and all 
that, but Tom nnikes it impossible. There is 
mich a thing as deceiving people for their own 
good.'' 

Tom had gone off to parade before Erica was 
awake, and she had hoi)ed to find liim awaiting 
her on her return, but she was half-way through 
her solitary luncheon before he came back fnnn 
a court martial, and she had the pleasure of 
seeing him for the first time in uniform, with 
sword and sash. 



i I. 



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132 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

The sordid plottinj,' and scheming, that had 
filled her busy hiaiu, fled before the natural 
healthy pride of ownership, with which she 
could not help secretly regarding her husband, 
be she calm and collected as she would. 

Tom's handsome brown face \\as so beaming 
and honest in his joy at greeting her; his en- 
trance seemed to bring such a cheerful whiflf of 
the outer world of men and action into the 
severely artistic rooms. 

" It 's rather jolly to be back in London," he 
said. " I say, the Colonel 's going to bring his 
missus to call on you this afternoon." 

"I suppose they'll all come," said Erica, 
composedly. 

"It doesn't follow. Anyway, Lady Wil- 
helmina is a most charming woman. Every- 
body likes her. And he 's pretty well the best 
friend I 've got in the world, I believe— apart 
from pals of one's own age, of course. Oh, and 
I met old Billy Tudor to-day." 

"Who is old Uilly Tudor—?" Erica was 
annoyed by her husband's habit of taking for 
granted that the names, at least, of well-known 
people, with whom he had been acquainted from 
childhood, must be familiar to her. 

" Oh — rather a club bore — but he knows every 
one," said Tom, vaguely. " He told me my old 
Dad was up here last week, boasting to every 
one he met that T 'd married one of the most 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 133 



beautiful women he 'd ever seen in his life. 
What do you think of that? " 

Erica smiled demurely, but she was pleased 
with Lord Erritf. 

Gudwall brought Tom's luncheon and waited 
up(m him deferentially, while she sat l)y, making 
a ripe pear last as long as possible, in order to 
keep him company as she listened to his cheerful 
talk. 

She contrasted her present with her former 
lot, and while she experienced a faint thrill of 
triumph, was also conscious of an under-current 
of discontent. Could it be, she Avondered vaguely, 
that she was, in some measure, already bored 
with her new life? 

She thought of her mother, lonely and shabby, 
seated in a p'nsh armchair with broken springs, 
in a corner of a room whereof the glaring ugli- 
ness was infinitely more apparent to them both 
since their long sojourn at Moreleigh; and of 
the hashed mutton and milk pudding, dingily 
served, which had probably formed her luncheon; 
and then saw herself as in a picture, beautifully 
dressed amid beautiful surroundings, before an 
exquisitely appointed table, with its central 
silver basket of hot house fruit, and opposite the 
handsome young officer, who was her devoted 
husband; and said derisively to herself that it 
was obviously impossible that she could be bored 
or disappointed. 



M 



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^' 



M 



4* 



134 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

But the fact remained that for some months 
past she had lived in an atmosphere of intrigue 
which had excited her vanity and amused a 
totally uncultivated mind. Xow that she had 
sailed into this haven of safety, there was no 
denying that the calm had also an element of 
flatness. 

Also, beyond this question of Christopher's 
legacy— upon whi( h she did not greatly care to 
dwell in Tom's presence and with his trustful 
eyes looking into hers,— there w^as nothing in 
particular to occupy that narrow, active brain. 

The wheels of her small household ran 
smoothly without help of hers, since her dwell- 
ing had been swept and garnished long before 
her entry; her wardrobe needed no replenishing, 
and she had no money at present to spend. 

The honeymoon allows of many silences, and 
of intervals which may be filled with rational 
converse if two minds are in tune. Tom and 
Erica knew little of each other's minds, and 
each, perhaps instinctively, feared to know more. 
She was interested neither in sport nor in 
politics, nor in abstract subjects, and their only 
mutual acquaintances were members of his own 
family, whom he did not care overmuch to dis- 
cuss with her, since her comments were rather 
candid than complimentary; and the Thorver- 
ton's, whom for obvious reasons they did not 
discuss at all. Tom endeavoured to fill the 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 135 

blank which he was vaguely beginning to real- 
ise, by reading aloud to her, an accouiplishment 
in which he delighted and excelled, but Erica's 
efforts to be interested were not very successful : 
for whether he chose prose or poetry she had 
always some ado not to fall asleep. 

But they were young, and loved each other in 
proportion to the capacity for love at present 
allotted to each: so that when he asked her to 
come and talk to him while he changed into 
mufti, she assented affectionately, and they went 
upstairs together, the narrowness of uie ascent 
almost necessitating his arm about her waist. 

" Tom, are you ever bored? " 

" Often. I 'm bored at dear old Bubble and 
Squeak coming this afternoon," he said, frankly, 
" though I want them to come all the same. But 
it will keep us in till they do come." 

" I should get on far better with them if you 
were n't there," remarked Erica. 

" I 'm afraid I ought to be there, as the dear, 
old boy warned me they were coming," he said 
doubtfully. 

"It will make it so much stififer," she said 
slowly. " I think you make me nervous, Tom. 
I always feel as though you 're criticising me." 

"I'm awfully sorry." His cheerful face 
clouded over. " I suppose it 's because I love 
you so that I want every one to think you 
perfect," he said rather lamely. 



P; 



i 

t 1 



If 



136 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



m 






" If you were a little more in love with me 
you wouldn't criticise me at all," she said 
gently. 

"I don't think I'm like that—" he said in 
rather troubled tones — " I 've never quite be- 
lieved in love being blind — but be content, sweet- 
heart, to know I do love you." lie took her in 
his arms and kissed her. " Every time I come 
back to you — even if I 've only been away an 
hour or two — your beauty seems to come upon 
me as a fresh surprise, and I think what a lucky, 
lu< ' V devil I am — and how — " his voice grew 
hu>ky— "I'd lay' down my life for you a thou- 
sand times over, Erica, if need were " 

" That 's what Mamma is always saying," said 
Erica. She stretched her shapely arms above 
her head, and yawned slightly— perhaps aware 
that the action displayed the curves of her 
statuesque form, and the tine lines of her throat 
and upturned chin. 

" Have you been to see her? " 

" Yes — I went this morning.'* 

" Ought n't I to go? " 

" I '11 take you again one day," said Erica, 
slowly, " there 's no hurry. The old thing would 
be flurried to death if you went alone. And she 
likes plenty of notice." 

" Right," said Tom. 

Lady Wilhelmina was a charming woman, 



m 



n 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 137 

according to English ideas; that is to saj, she 
was good-looking, well-bred, kind-hearted, and 
as incapable of talking scandal as of offering 
an original remark on any given subject. A 
native of any country but her own would have 
pronounced her incurably dull. Her husband, 
however, did not find her so. She busied herself 
with many harmless hobbies, cared for her poorer 
neighbours, and in social matters guided him 
gently in the way he should go, without unduly 
monopolising his time. 

Between the ages of thirty and fifty she had 
not changed perceptibly, though her figure had 
become perhaps, a little fuller; she was fair and 
colourless still, with good teeth and a charming 
smile. She was dressed exj)ensively, but not 
artistically, always in a modified, and never in 
an extreme form of the prevailing fashion, and 
her voice was peculiarly low and soft. 

She sat on a high chair, which suited her 
figure better than the waist-breaking lowness of 
the divan which accommodated her husband; 
and praised the colouring of the rooms. 

" We are not responsible for the decorations. 
They are Lord Finguar's. He only let his rooms 
to Tom, — while he went off to shoot big game, 
—for a nominal rent," said Erica, with the 
frankness she affected. "I should never have 
thought of anything so delicate as this dust- 
colour, or mouse-colour, or " 



l! 



If- 




(M 


V.f 



138 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" Pearl-grey—? " suggested Lady Wilhelmina. 
"It is such au effective background—" She 
looked at the water colours on the wall. 

"3Iost effective," echoed Tom's Colonel, and 
looked at the peach-blossom colouring of his 
hostess, blooming against the grey velvet 
curtains. 

He was very susceptible, and a slight and 
h)vely smile, and a glance from the china-blue 
eyes, completed Erica's subjugation of all that 
was left of his heart. 

" Then I suppose you will be house-hunting? " 
said the gracious voice. 

" Oh, yes," said Erica, to Tom's surprise, " but 
we are not in any hurry. Our plans are still 
rather unsettled. Of course this is incon- 
veniently small." 

''Hut so charming," said Lady Wilhelmina, 
tind again her husband echoed the words, look- 
ing at Erica as he repeated absently : 

" Charming, absolutely charming." 

It was entirely a visit of ceremony and lasted 
only ten minutes, and during that time, Erica 
talked a good deal, and with exaggerated non- 
cftahince and authoritativeness, of Paris; and 
the facilities afforded by the French capital for 
the purchase of clothes, comparing the estab- 
lishments there unfavourably with those of her 
native city; whilst Lady Wilhelmina,— who 
had visited Paris annually for the past five- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 139 

and-twenty years,— listonod, with that air of 
attentive interest which made her so popular. 

As Tom escorted the visitors downstairs, Erica 
heard the Colonel's kind, bluff, hearty t(mes say- 
ing warmly, "Well, my boy, you must let me 
congratulate you again now I 've had the pleas- 
ure of nu'eting ^Frs. Oarry," and Tom's soft- 
voiced answer, " Thank xun very much, sir." 

She listened with that slight, amused smile 
lingering on her face, and then walked to the 
oval Dresden mirror, that was so unlike the 
fly-blown, poi)py-decked looking-glass over her 
mother's mantel, and lifted her arms, and 
yawned. 

" Thank heaven, that 's over." 

Tom came upstairs two steps at a time, and 
as he entered said with an air of relief: 

" Well— now we can go out. What did you 
think of them?" 

" He 's an old dear, and she 's deadly." 

"I thought you got on so well with her." 
Tom's voice was disappointed. "She's an 
awfully popular woman. Never says a word 
against any one." 

'' Yet I will bet you anything you like that at 
this moment she is abusing me to her husband," 
said Erica, looking at him calmly. 

Lady Wilhelmina never abused any one, but 
as she drove away from that blue enamelled 
door, so modestly hidden between a fish and a 



[1, r 



140 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

bonnet shop, she said, in reply to the Colonel's 
outburst of admiration : 

" Yes, dear, she is iconderfuUy good-looking. 
That marvellous Venetian hair and exquisite 
colouring. No wonder poor, young Garry lost 
his head. Wha^ a pity she is n't quite— quite— 
quite " 



It ' ri I 



t , 



That was all. Erica returned the call, and 
Lady Wilhelmina was not at home. 

A few days later, the wife of a young ensign 
called, and finding Erica alone, was very com- 
municative, and Avilling to answer every question 
put to her by her hostess. 

" I thought I 'd come and see you because I 
was so disappointed when none of them came 
to call on me when Charlie and I married, over 
a year ago now," she said. "Of course they 
were all very cross with him for marrying at ail 
when he was only an ensign, and paid him out 
by shooting him, as they call it, for all sorts of 
extra duty, so that really I hardly ever saw him 
at first. But Mr. Garry is senior subaltern, so 
of course it will be very different for you." 

She was a pretty, little person, dressed in the 
most outre mode of the moment, with sables as 
magnificent as Erica's own cast about her black 
velvet shoulders, and large turquoises in her 
little, curled ears, and yellow hair fluffed 
beneath a black velvet hat. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 141 



Erica felt, and looked, very stately and dig- 
nified beside this small and babyish matron; she 
glanced down upon her, metaphorically, from a 
great height, as sh<' said, in cliill and level tones: 
" You are not the ttrst,— Lady Wilhelmina has 
called already." 

But the little visitor was not abashed. 

"Oh, yes, she is bound to come. And / 
thought all the others would follow suit. My 
sister married into a Line regiment, and all the 
officers' wives called upon her at once — that was 
at Dover. So 1 naturally supposed it would 
be the same with us. But the Brigade is dif- 
ferent." She tossed her pretty head, but the 
childish eyes were pathetic. 

" Of course I don't really care a bit. Charlie 
and I are everything to each other — and t^- - 'm 
Baby. But as a matter of fact, only om or 
them has called on me, and she 's never jeen 
near me since. I believe it was only to see ^'hat 
I was like. No," said the little person with 
unexpected loyalty, " I won't tell you which. It 
would put you against her, and she and all that 
set are sure to be quite different to you. I don't 
blame them. Chailie says they 're glad of any 
excuse not to come if one doesn't happen to 
belong to their set. I don't pretend to b(dong. 
But I 'm quite happy without. We 've got a 
lovely house in Wilton Crescent. I wish you 'd 
come and see it. Charlie's people are awfully 






t! 




rii-^ -■ 



142 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

rich— (otton-spinrn'i-s— " nhe suid frankly— 
"and thev wanted him to many; and are a8 
pleased as Punch about I{al)y's iM'injr a boy." 

"Of course I'll come," said Erica, more 
graciously. She reflected that she knew nobody 
and could not afford to 1m; too particular; also, 
Mrs. Woosnam's ojM?n admiratiou pleased her. 

"Will you— really— that 's nice. I'erhaps— 
would you lunch with me to-morrow? One- 
thirty?" asked her would-I>e hostess, beaming, 
and as Erica assented, she said, naively, " I do 
hope we shall nmke friends. Charlie would be 
awfully pleased. He thinks no end of Mr. 
Garry," 

Tom's only comment, however, on this visit, 
was: "Mrs. Charles WooriamI What cheek!" 



I|J 



fr 



i$ 



CHArTEU VIII 



aiRS. Charles Woosnam recoivod the Iwauti- 
ful Afi-H. (larry with flattering deference, and 
the young husband proved to be ho good-natured 
and good-looking a flaxen-headed giant, that 
Erica understood his Daisy's adoration of him, 
far better tliau his adoration of his Daisy, who 
betrayed continually a commonness of speech 
and mind that only her absolute, frank sim- 
plicity made endurable. 

He was very shy, but Erica's calm directness 
set him at ease. She took the h'ad in the con- 
versation at luncheon, and felt more in her 
element than she hud felt for some time, giving 
a mocking imitation of Lady Wilhelmina's 
manner, which made 31 rs. Charlie scream with 
delight, and caused even the stolid young 
Guardsman, — who had a great respect and dis- 
tant admiration for the wife of his command- 
ing officer, — to burst into a sudden guffaw of 
laughter. 

Erica liked young Woosnam, though she was 
bored by his fatuous worship of ihe baby, which 
was presently brought down for her inspection ; 

143 



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a 
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144 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

she know at tho flrnt glance that this young man 
would \Hi a Hlavf, if wov hIip chancod to new! 
one, and noted the fact HiilKouHtiouHl.v, for 
future refei-ence. 

Little MrH. WooHnam was also at her twt, 
l)ec(.ming more and in:>ir <»ulldential wlieu 
CMuirlie went oft' to phiy ^.uf and left the ladies 
alone togcfher. She was yininjr, lonely, and in 
want of a female friend. It half annoyed Erica 
to perceive a certain Himilarity in their positionH, 
when Daisy, with the honest otitspokenness that 
charneierised her and was one of many redeem- 
ing? qualities, lamented the fact that "the gurls 
Hlie used to know had all dropped out of her 
life. They 've married men quite different fnmi 
Charlie. Luckily none of them 's in England. 
I can't help being glad because I'm afraid 
Charlie wouldn't have cared much for their 
style. But I never forget their birthdays. It 's 
nice to be able to atford to send presents worth 
gotting. I never had the chance till I married. 
And of course I do write— though I hate writing 
letters— but I could n't bear any one to think 
me grown snobbish, just l)ecause I happened to 
marry well — coukl yoiif" 

Erica did not care in the least whether her 
former friends thought her snobbish or not, and 
said so with perfect calm. 

"Ah— but your friends were diflferent." said 
Mrs. Woosnam, in good faith. She rested her 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 145 

little chin thoiijrht fully on l„.r infant'H bald luuul. 
" I 'lu five to own one or t\v«» of mine were rather 
com.'* She si«,'he(l rej^net fully. 

" But then Charlle'H peoijh' are nothing much 
—very dltrerent from him, if you come to that. 
He was brou«;ht up quite unlike them. I think 
it was a relief to them all that he did n't marry 
some stuck-up person who'd have looked down 
oil them; and yet his old mother gives me a 
dig sometimes Ix'cause I 'm not the sort of grand 
lady his money gave him a right to look for if 
he liked. Ilunuui nature, I suppose. Oh, Hahy, 
don't wake uj)— you 've been so gootl. Well, I 'm 
free to confess I was a very lucky gurl. Sh— 
sh— sh— I 'm afraid he 's going to cry— will he 
bother you?" 
" I don't care for babies," said Erica. 
"You don't—" The young mother's jaw 
dropped. She looked from the whimpering 
morsel of humanity in its spotless robe of real 
Valenciennes, to the serene face of the senior 
subaltern's wife, and perceiving in amaze, that 
Mrs. Garry was in earnest, rose in a crestfallen 
nuinner, and rang for the removal of Master 
Woosnam. 

" How much trouble is saved by a little frank- 
ness at the start," Erica reflected, while this 
removal was in process—" if I had pretended to 
lik«^ the creature, it would have iuade a per- 
petual third on all my visits here, and conversa- 



m 



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1%'r 



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146 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

tion would have become impossible. As it is, 
she will be quite useful, driving me about, or 
better still, lending me her car. And they cer- 
tainly have a first-class cook." 

Mrs. Woosnara did not bear malice, and was 
thankful for the company of her beautiful visitor 
ever at the cost of the baby's banishment. 

She took Erica up to see her bedroom, an 
abode of great luxury, consisting of the whole 
upper floor divided by arches; with painted 
ceilings, and much carved and gilded furniture. 

"It's all Italian. My father-in-law got a 
man-decorator who does nothing else to do up 
the house for us. It cost a fortune, but it is 
pretty. You should see Baby's nursery — " she 
checked herself. « This is the safe where I keep 
everything that is n't at the bank." 

The unsophisticated creature was delighted to 
call her maid to unlock it and display the con- 
tents, which consisted mainly in a quantity of 
uninteresting diamond stars, and a tiara of 
hideous design. 

" It 's a funny thing, but I like my pearls 
better than any of these fine things," she said. 
" My real name 's Marguerite. That means 
pearl, doesn't i^? Only since baby came I've 
had to give up wearing them in the daytime. He 
clutches the string so he 's broken it twice. He 's 
so strong—" again she checked herself— lifted 
out a string of pearls and handed it to Erica, 



The Plonourable Mrs. Garry 147 

and Erica saw at a glance that the pearls did 
not compare with her own, and remembered 
almost simultaneously that her own were hers 
no longer. 

When she returned to Lower Relgrave Street, 
after driving about Lcmdon for some time in 
Mrs. Woosnani's luxurious motor, Erica sat 
down at the writing-table in the bedroom which 
she had thought so charming,— but which ap- 
peared singulmly small and ordinary in com- 
parison with the one she had just seen— and 
wrote a letter to May Ti. nverton. 

" I did not write to you before, because your 
letter to Mamma showed me that there was no 
need, that you understood all I must be feeling. 
But now that I hear you are going to marry 
your cousin Anthony Dcnys, I want to tell you 
that I am glad, I who know that there is no one 
like him in all the world.'' 

Even in her letter- writing Erica betrayed her 
dramatic instinct. 



II 



t< 



If, now that you are to be his wife, you could 
persuade him to think more kindly of me, I 
should be grateful, but I dare not ask it. You, 
and perhaps you alone, ktww that I did not leave 
Moreleigh of my own accird, that I was forced 



ft -■' 



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'I. J 



148 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

to go — and to you alone I owned that my own 
fault and folly had given your brother a right 
to think that I did not love him, and justified 
him in throwing me over. Hut the fact that he 
teas justified did not make me less wretched. 
You tried to persuade me that he might forgive 
mc, hut I knew better. Still I can never forget 
your kindness to me on that unhappy evening 
before I left Moreleigh. ... 7 dared not tell 
poor Mamma what had happened until we ar- 
rived in London, and then she icas in despair. 
Naturally she blamed me, no doubt I deserved 
it. It may seem a little thing to you, but it 
made it worse for me that unwittingly I had 
ruined poor Mamma, for she said it had become 
impossible for her to accept any longer the 
allowance your brother was making her. I did 
not know what to do nor ivhere to turn — but 
Tom met us, and everything teas changed — and 
I am far, far happier than I deserve to be, and 
a thousand times happier than I ever dreamed 
I could be again. Only I am thankful to have 
this opportunity of writing to you; for once you 
told me that you did not believe I was as heart- 
less as I made myself out, and I do not want 
you to think me heartless now '' 



,i ■» 



Erica paused and read the letter over. " Shall 
1 send it or not? Why do I feel uncomfortable 
when I read it? Every word 's true — and I 



I* 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 149 

want to be friends with ^lay and Anthony 
Denys. When I live at KellaeoDibe they wiil 
be our neighbours, and it woukl be tiresome to 
have any embarrassments, and I can't put things 
more plainly— under the circumstances." She 
fenced skilfully with her conscience, knowing 
well that it was no match for her mind, which 
was accustomed to dictate her plans and carry 
them out without heeding its disapproval, though 
perfectly conscious of rhat disapproval. 

She knew that the letter, as it stood, was in- 
complete ; yet she tried to persuade herself, that 
it was not written as a mere weight-carrier for 
the little message that would presently be laid 
lightly upon the top of its burden of half- 
truths. 



tt 



I do not want you to think me heartless 



now- 



After a long, long pause her faint resolves 
to the contrary yielded to the overwhelming 
strength of habit and opportunity combined, and 
she wrote boldly: 



" end yet I mnst hate seemed so to you 

when I allowed Tom to send hack the pearls 
tchich Christopher gave me. If I had known 
what was going to happen I would never, never 
have let him do it. I think of them day and 




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si ■' » 



150 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

night I don't want the money he has left me, 
though I am so grateful to him for remembering 
poor Mamma, and for being so generous begond 
belief to us both. I would rather she had it all, 
sinee Tom and I are too poor to help her as we 
would wish. Hut the pearls J promised Chris- 
topher I would always icear, and I am miserable 
at having let them go." 

She hesitated, and then signed Erica, and en- 
closed the letter and sent it to the post at once, 
lest she should change her mind. 

A certain novel sensation of remorse made 
her excessively uncomfortable for a time, and 
especially in Tom's presence, so that she wished 
the letter unwritten over and over again, at ever- 
increasing intervals, until this wish was lost in 
suspense and annoyance as the days passed by, 
bringing no reply. 

She had almost ceased to expect one when she 
found a black-edged letter upon her breakfast 
tray, and recognised May's pretty, careful, round 
handwriting. Erica was breakfasting in bed, 
as usual, with a pale blue wrapper about her 
shoulders, and her long hair hanging in two 
mighty plaits on either side of her face. The 
days of her slovenliness were past ; her observa- 
tion at aroreleigh of .Alay Thorverton's dainty 
toilet appointments had inspired her with the 
spirit of emulation. Also she had by this time 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 151 

forced the unhappy Giulwall to seek outside 
accommodation, and installed a maid of her own 
in his vacated room; so that she was now as 
hicn soignt'c as could be desired. 

Tom liad returned from an early parade, and 
was changing into mufti in the next room; she 
could hear him moving about. Presently he 
would open the communicating door. 

She tore open the letter with trembling 
fingers. 



(( 



My dear Erica: 



Thank you for your kind letter about my 
engagement. I am sure my dear, dear brother 
would have wished you to keep the pearls he 
gave you, but there seems to be some legal diffi- 
culty about their valuation. As soon as this has 
been arranged I will send them to you, so that 
you can keep them always in memory of Chris- 
topher, because whater<^r happened afterwards, 
he loved you once very dearly, indeed I am 
very sorry for all you have suffered, and only 
thankful it is not all unhappiness for you. or for 
me. lie would have been glad to know this, and 
he told Anthony on the first day of his illness 
that he would rather I married him than am/ 
one in the world. It is not to be until the Xew 
Tear and then we shall be married very quietly 
here and go away to Switzerland for our honei/- 
moon, I am very glad Chris did what was right 



ill 












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152 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

about Cousin Jennifer and I understand your 
irishiny ererythinfj should f/o to her. Of course 
Mr. Gethell trill arrant/e this if you write to him. 
" Your affectionate Cousin, 

"May» 

" Maj' I come iu? " said Tom. 

Erica had time to conceal the letter before she 
received his morning kiss; and aj;ain that un- 
comfortable feeling of remorse assailed her, and 
banished the triumph with which the letter had 
filled her. 

"Look here," said Tom. "I've heard from 
my old Dad, and he wants us to go and stay 
at Kellacombe early in February." 

Erica reflected that by that time Anthony and 
May would be in Switzerland, and expressed her 
pleasure. 

Tom paused a moment and then said gently. 
" I 'm afraid you won't like it, darling, but he 
says also that he agrees absolutely with me that 
in the circumstances I car't allow you to accept 
poor Thorverton's bequest, which is to his be- 
trothed wife. There 's no doubt whatever he 'd 
have des<:royed that will. It was only a tem- 
porary one." 

" Christopher told me," Erica said obstinately, 
" that he had had it drawn up in case anything 
unexpected should happen to him, so that I 
should n't be left unprovided for." 



i 1 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 153 

"Yes. A8 his future wife," said Tom. He 
slipped his arm round her, and drew her towards 
him as he sat on the bed. 

" Erica— darling. Say you would n't take that 
money," he said, imperiously, with his fresh, 
young wholesome face pressed against her soft 
cheek. " Say you won't touch it. If you want 
money, I '11 send in my papers and go to work. 
I 'm ready and willing." 

" T can't feel about it as you do," she said. 
" It was Christopher's duty to provide for 
Mamma and me. We're his father's cousins, 
however distant, the only relatives old Thorver- 
ton had that I know of. And it would put 
Anthony Denys into a very painful position if 
I refused it." 

"Rubbish," said Tom. "I'm not going to 
argue about it." He turned while, as he was apt 
to do when he was angry; and withdrew his 
arm, and stood up, looking down upon Erica 
with his black brows drawn together above the 
soft, brown eyes that had been so kind and 
merry. " It 's settled we 're going to refuse it 
all right, and I 'v3 given you my reasons. But 
I wanted you to fed as I do about it, that 's 
all. If you can't, you can't. I 'm sorry." 

He turned about and marched out of the room. 

Erica shrugged her shoulders. She found it 
easier to deceive Tom when he was angry; and 
as soon as she was dressed she wrote to May, 



s 



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.S -J 



154 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

and thanked her for her letter, and for her 
promise to return the pearls. She added that 
as her movements and Tom's were rather uncer- 
tain, she would be much oblijjed if the pearls, 
or any communication from 31ay or Mr. Gethell* 
could be addressed to her mother's lod<ring. For 
safety's sake she also sent a note to this effect 
to Mr. Gethell himself. 

Then she went downstairs. Upon this occa- 
sion she did not kueel down beside Tom and 
say that she was sorry. On the contrary she 
hummed an air, a little out of tunt^— which ex- 
asperated him, since he had the ear for music 
which she lacked; and when he sugj^ested that 
they should go and look at some pictures to- 
gether, she declined, on the plea that :ilrs. Woos- 
nam was comiug to take her out sho^ ping, and 
that she intended to lunch in Wilton Crescent 
afterwards. 

" Just as you like," said Tom. " Only I shall 
be rather at a loose end." 

He was beginning to feel himself often at a 
loose end nowadays; an experience not uncom- 
mon to a young man newly married to a girl not 
exactly of his own class or set. The week-end, 
and shooting, and other invitations which had 
been showered upon Lord Erriff's eldest son, 
had practically ceased altogether since his mar- 
riage : not merely because the senders of such 
invitations were unacquainted with Erica, but 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 155 

because there were vagiie reports of an elope- 
ment with another man's fiancee, and the 
tragic death of that other man; and though 
few people knew any particulars, the general 
opinion was that Tom, hitherto of blameless 
reputation, had proved himself to lx> a regular 
Garry after all; reckless and foolish where a 
pretty woman was concerned. 

Here and there arose l)etter-informed per- 
sons, — raconteurs with good memories, of an 
older generation, — spreading more detailed 
information. 

Thorverton was the dead man's name, and he 
was the son of the pretty ^Irs. Thorverton who 
was once so well known in London. Hadn't 
there bet^n some story about her, and the late 
Lord ErriflP, Tom's uncle, l>ettor know as Jack 
(iarry? Oh, yes, they had been devoted for 
years, and when he was killed suddenly in the 
hunting-field she confessed everything to her 
husband and left him for ever, leaving him the 
boy who had a right to his name, and taking 
her baby with her. 

And now Jack's nephew had run away with 
young Thorverton's bride, a week b(»fore his 
wedding-day ; and young Thorverton had died of 
a broken heart. 

Tom was but vaguely aware, through the 
hints of one or two friends, of what people w^ere 
saying; but he was savage with his acquaint- 




!' .!; 



'*1 ' 






U I' 



156 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

ance, who Hhowod ho little desire to be acquainted 
also with his wife. 

He said to himself that it was a nine-days' 
wonder, and that they would live it down. 

Rut he was sensitive, and he suffered none 
the less Incuuse he breathed no word of his 
suffering to Erica. 

In the sprinjf his mother should come to Lon- 
don, and present his wife; and he would consult 
his father, who was a man of the world, and 
who would be as anxious as Tom could desire 
to lend Erica his countenance and protection in 
every possible way. 

The mere thought of talking matters over with 
his father soothed his troubled spirit; but 
Erica's lack of sympathy and understanding 
disappointed him bitterly, and he had never 
loved her less than when he went off alone to- 
wards the Guards' Club; taking off his hat 
sulkily as Mrs. Woosnam's white and silver 
motor flashed past him, and little Mrs. Woos- 
nam herself smiled at him, all over her small, 
pert, radiant face, framed in a ridiculously large 
motor bonnet; with eyes as blue as the tur- 
quoises in her ears, and her small person 
wrapped in ermine. 






Erica liked driving about London in so magni- 
ficent an equipage as Mrs. Woosnam's motor, 
and was alive to the attention she excited, as 



The Honourable iMrs. Garry 157 

8he leaned Imck in the right-hand corner of the 
tar, from whi»h Mhe huil complacently oiiHte<i 
the (jwner; whose prettiness was also completely 
eclipHed by ^Irs. Garry'a more conspicuous and 
striking beauty. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Woosnam's chatter, 
which could hardly be called <•« m versa t ion, 
fatigued Erica's mind, already preoccupiwl ; so 
that she reflected, with some ingratitude, that 
the drive round the wintry park would have 
been infinitely more soothing and restful had 
she been alone. 

Since even Erica, however, could hardly re- 
quest the mistress of the car to leave it, she 
was obliged to i)ut up with her comiiany, but 
airs. Woosnam lH«camt' alive to the fact that her 
friend was not in good spirits, and ventured to 
say so. 

" I am a creature of moo<ls," said Erica, frown- 
ing and looking straight before her. Her profile 
was perfect, Mrs. Woosnam decided, even though 
the corners of the beautiful mouth were droop- 
ing, and the white brow puckered with discon- 
tent; the little worshipper thought of her own 
delicate snub nose with passionate disapproval. 
There was much humility mingled with her 
adoration. Erica had dominated, easilv enough, 
the shallow, affectionate mind; as she had l)een 
accustomed to dominate her mother and the 
little circle about her. It was as though her 







i t i 



158 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

natural ImiMMiousm'SH bad acUnl as a m|h»U upon 
her HurrouudiugM fioui her eailii'Mt babyhood. 
Hince her mania;;!? to Tom, however, nhe had 
MomotiuM'H felt as thonjrh the hjm'II were broken; 
and a certain rest lessiiesM in his presiaiee was 
the result. Ericaj's self confidence* was restored 
in Mrs. Woosnaiu'M company evj'n though she 
was bored. 

" Vou must tak(; me as you find me, Daisy," 
Hhe said, turning those strange, light, thickly- 
fringed eyes on to th(« anxious, childish face 
upturned to her. " 1 uni older than you are, 
and have known a goiwl deal of trouble and 
disappointment. Even now, i)erhaps, I am not 
altogether so happy a.s the world in general sup- 
poses; which must make me, at times, rather 
depressing company. If you find it so, you have 
only to say a word, and I shall understand." 

The thrill in her low voice went to her 
listener's heart. 

"Oh, Erica, darling! as if I wouldn't rather 
be with you than with any one in the world. 
I only wish I could help you. I know there 
must Ik? ever so many things in your life that 
have nothing to do with me. I was saying to 
Charli«; only this morning how very, very lucky 
I was for you to have picked me out as a friend, 
who could be friends with anybody jou liked." 

" What makes you think I could be friends 
with anybody I like? " 



un^ 






The Honourable Mrs. Garry 159 

" Why," mu] Mrn. W«H)snjim, colonnnp, " it 's 
tin* kiiul of thin;; Cluiilii' !«*;i.\m I inuMt n't my — 
but I don't know liow pIso to \tv\ it. Quite 
apart from iM'in;; the most iM'aiitiliil jHTMon I 
I'vcr Haw — .vt'H — an<l Charlie sa.VH tlic sanu' — well 
— Mr. (Jarry in the ehl«'s( Hon of :i lor], there h no 
jiettinj,' «)ver that." Erica nlMKi.Irred nli^htly uh 
the litth' un«h'rhre«l voice hI iilic«l forth t!\e -x- 
phmation for which nhe had iisked. ' )<)n kmnr. 
People may nay what they like, hut if i/of .«? mako 
a difTenuice." 

" I HHppose it docH," Erica naid, wiih ;i dindain 
that awed MrH. Woonnam; hut to herself Tom 
fJarry'H wife owned that Hhe had Iwen unable, 
HO far, to i)ereeive that it made auv difference 
at all. 



i 



They drove to Wilton PreHcent, and did full 
justice to an excellent lunclu'on, for Mrs. Wooh- 
nam, discovering;, as she put it, that Erica was 
fond of •r()(Ml liviuj;, had ordered her ehcf to 
do his best. Afterwards they visited the very 
picture jjallery which Tom had suggested. 

The brilliant garden-studies, with which the 
rooms were hung, attracted Erica; and she 
lingered so long before the picture of a peacock 
sunning itself on a grass walk between two gay 
herbaceous borders, that Mrs. Woosnam said 
regretfully: 

" I see you unders'tand art. / don't." 



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i6o The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Erica smiled, but she uttered no disclaimer. 

" I wonder what this water-colour would cost 
to buy," she said pensively. 

She had a curious feeling of fellowship with 
the peacock ; sunning its beauty with vanity so 
unashamed and enjoyment so obvious; its crested 
head shcme like a jewel among the soft, many- 
tinted velvet petals heaped on either side. 

"My!" said Mrs. Charlie. "Can you buy 
these exhibition things? I had n't an idea! " 

She dashed to the desk, and conversed breath- 
lessly with the dignified individual presiding 
over it. 

" Yes, madam, we have had many enquiries ; 
but for some reason the artist t'jincies that 
particular picture himself, and has put almost 
a fancy price upon it." 

Presently a little label was affixed to the glass 
of the picture with the word Sold printed on it. 
Erica had moved on. 

" You won't get it till the end of the show," 
said :Mrs. Woosnam, on the way to Lower Bel- 
grave Street. " Oh, Erica, I have been so long- 
ing to give you something— what 's money to 
me? Charlie's father gives me more than I can 
do with, and I 've never been used to it, as you 
know. You won't hurt me by refusing it?" 

" Why should I? " asked Erica. 

" She accepted the gift so simply and beauti- 
fully," Mrs. Woosnam said afterwards to her 



The Honourable Mrs. Gariy i6i 

husband. " I felt it was n't me doing a favour 
but her. I 'ni afraid tlioy 're very hard up, 
Charlie. I wish we could do something for 
them." 

'' You must take care what you 're about," 
advised her husband. " I know you mean well, 
Daisy, but you '11 be offending them." 

" Oh, Charlie, you don't understand. She 's 
my friend. And I 'm sure she '11 be a good one. 
She has such a noble face. One can't fancy her 
doing a low-down thing, or being mean or false, 
or anything of that kind." 

" Why should she? " asked the simple Charles. 
u 



iiJll 



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III 



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wt 



CHAPTER IX 

On her return to Lower Belgrave Street Erica 
looked round at Lord Finguar's collection of 
water-colours, in the shaded light of the electric 
lamps, as she entered her own drawing-room, 
and observed with satisfaction that there was 
not one which gave her so much pleasure as the 
picture she had chosen that afternoon. Insen- 
sildy her eye had been educated by these works 
of an artist celebrated in Spain, though scarcely 
known in England. She began to find some of 
the pleasure in looking at them, that she found 
in looking at the brilliancy of jewels, or colour 
of draperies. 

She rang for her maid — a small ill-shaped 
woman, with a cockney accent, and a mass of 
coarse hair frizzed out to produce the effect of 
a head too big for the round and narrow 
shoulders that bore it ; her character bore testi- 
mony to the effect that she was unusually quick 
in her work and service, and as Erica could not 
endure slowness, and as the mjiid happened to 
be out of a place and was thus able to begin 
her duties at once, she had engaged her without 



■:Sfef9g»-r: . 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 163 



hesitation. Certainly the younp: woman was 
not as tliorough as she was quick in her work, 
and I^dy Clow would have wept over the hasty 
mending, crooked seams, and uneven darning 
that had replaced her exquisite and careful 
handicraft; but Erica had a large supply of 
new things, and was careless of detail, and only 
concerned that she should not be kept waiting 
a moment when she rang for her attendant. 

Mhe changed her walking dress for her favour- 
ite tea-gown of brown chiflfon, with l)elt and 
collar of mock gold and gems. She returned to 
the drawing-room, ordered tea, and flung herself 
down on the divan beude the fire, among the 
cushions. 

She cared nothing for reading, and being out 
of humour with herself, fastened her thoughts 
on the cause, instead of diverting them with a 
book; and came to the deliberate conclusion that 
she was behaving foolishly; alienating Tom by 
an irritability which she had hitherto been able 
to keep in check whenever it suited her purpose 
to do so. 

She recalled the skill with which she had 
played on his feelings and on Robin's, and on 
Christophers, in the past; and marvelled to 
realise that since she now had only Tom to con- 
sider, she should find it so diflficult to keep him 
happy and contented, or to be so herself. 

•' It is because I am trying to do the impos- 



^1 



i64 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



' I f 



It-- ^ 






i 



1^1 if ' 



sible," she told li(M-self. "' I am trying to be 
somebody else—the Erica T(mj wants me to ha 
— and at the same time I can't help falling back 
at times into being the Erica I really am. I love 
Tom — yes, 1 do "; she thought of his good looks, 
his gentle manner, the fire and fervour of his 
Irish blood that gave the necessnvy touch of 
romance to his worship of her, and again of the 
sturdy straightforwardness and honesty of his 
character — with a shrewd appreciation of these 
qualities that was not in the least like love. 

" I even like him to l)e masterful — to follow 
his own principles and make me do the same 
whether I like it or not. It interests me and I 
respect him for having the courage of his opin- 
icms. In some moods I like to submit to him. 
It gives me a kind of subtle pleasure, not unlike 
the subtle pleasure I have had in secretly out- 
witting other people. And the annoying thing 
is that I find none in outwitting Tom. I want 
him not only to believe in me, but to have reason 
to believe in me. I should like to be able to 
look him in the face and not have a single secret 
from him — and I can't — I can't.'' 

She flung a cushion out of her way and 
changed her attitude with unnecessary force. 

" 1 thought that when once I was safely mar- 
ried — it would be so easy. Yet I "m somehow no 
less bored and dissatisfied than T was in our 
wretched lodgings, wearing frocks that cost 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 165 



thirty shillings instead of thirtv guineas. Then 
I longed for clothes and je-wels, an<l now I 've 
got some, I long for others, and for a tlnmsaud 
things Itesides. I want a house and servants, 
and money to spend, and a motor of my own — 
and to know the right [KM)])le — Honiething is al- 
ways dangling out of my reach. I wonder if I 
shouldn't be wiser ro give up the attempt to 
he what Tom wants, and devote all mv wits to 
seeming to be that. Then I shouldn't be irri- 
tated or irritating as I am now, through this 
c<mstant struggle with myself, and Tom would 
Ik' perfectly happy. Also I should get all I 
wanted — in time. And my life would be inter- 
esting instead of dull and empty as it is now. 
I can't think what prevents me — except this sick 
feeling of hating myself — for not being simple 
and natural and true as he is — but how can I 
help it? I wasn't born like that," she thought 
dreai'ilv. 

When Gudwall brouglit in the urn she gave the 
order that she was at liou»e to callers; angry 
with herself for suspetting him of amusement 
since callers were so rare; and not knowing that 
(Judwall's mind, like her own, was much pre- 
occupied with his personal affairs. 

She fell as though her backward glances into 
the past had evoked th«-ii'f;!>m a phantom, and 
a most unwelcome one, when the door piesently 
opened and Mr. Hickie was announced. 



I 



If 

k 

.6 



Ill' 



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I 



1 66 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" Hallo, Ericr ! " 

Mp. Hickie advanced with an air of confident 
and familiar friendliness which gradually faded 
away as he perceived the stately figure of his 
young hostess drawn up as though she were 
standing at bay— and a dangerous light of battle 
in her eves. 

Erica did not utter a word until Gudwall had 
closed the door, and then she spoke with an icy 
and cutting intonation whieli astonished her 
visitor. " I am ^Irs. Garry." 

" You don't suppose I dim't know that. Why, 
I saw the announcement of your marriage in 
the paper. That's what brought me here. 
Erica, only daughter of the late ,Sir Joseph 
Clow, to f'/'c Honourable Thomas Garry, eldest 
son of lonl Erriff of Kellacombe. But I see 
what yor. re hinting at " 

" I never hint," said Erica. 

" You mean that now you 're married, I 
must n't call you by your (Miristian name." 

"I certainly mean that," sai<l Erica, com- 
posedly, "and r also mean that I have no in- 
tention of continuing mv acquaintance with you 
at all." 

He was so genuinely amazed that she felt an 
inclination to laugh in tlie midst of the annoy- 
ance that beset her, and her anxiety lest Tom 
should come in l»efore she could send Mr. Hickie 
away. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 167 



And it .apppari'd that it would not be so easy 
as she supposed to send Mr. Hickie away. 

" Look here," he said, and actually sat down 
on the nearest chair, caring nothing that his 
hostess was still standing. "We'll have this 
out. I don't understand you. Have I offended 
you in any way? " 

Erica was seldom troubled by over-much re- 
gard for other people's feelings; and on this 
occasion was not likely to subdue her habitual 
and cynical frankness of utterance. 

" The fact of your existence offends me, now 
that it is recalled to my recollection," she said, 
calmly regarding him. 

Ml'. Hickie stared at her unbelievingly and 
then burst out laughing. 

" I say — you 're a cool hand. Not a bit 
changed ! That 's how you used to talk to your 
mother. That 's what used to fetch me even 
more than your good looks. The daring of you 
— and the way you 'd slip out to matinees Avith 
me when she thought you v.ere at afternoon 
class." 

" I was very young, and very badly brought 
up," said Erica, reddening with anger. " I 
know noAv that my mother was quite right in 
objecting to the acquaintance I used to scrape 
up with our fellow lodgers." 

" Thai 's your gratitude for the way I used to 
treat you— gloves, and chocolates, and ribbons 



A 



,imW 



5? 



i68 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

—anything,' yon faiicicMl I " lie cried, indignantly, 
" and I was haidnp, too, in those days. Wliy, 
I 've still got the i)Petty notes you used to write 
thanking nie, ai I the letter you wrote to say 
good-bye when I went oflf to the Argentine eight 
years ago, when I was silly enough to lielieve 
you were really fond of me." His voice softened. 
" I cannot help your being silly," replied 
Erica. '• 31ost people, no doubt, are silly when 
they are very young; and I was evidently no 
exception to the rule." 

"Look here," said Mr. Hickie,— the colour 
faded a little from his face. " Look here, Mrs. 
Qarnj/' with elaborate satire, "you're making 
a great mistake, and presently you '11 have to 
own it." There was an odd note of mingled 
triumph and mortification in his voice, and he 
looked at her as though inclined to pity her 
coming confusion. " I 'm not the man to be 
played fast and loose with now, whatever I maj 
have l>een eight years ago. If you 've got on in 
life since those days, so have I. You wait till 
you hear what I 've got to tell you." 

"I'm sorry I haven't time to listen," said 
Erica, with her hand on tbt- Ijell. 

" But you ahull listen," he cried, crestfallen. 
" I 've come here (m purp«»se, and as sure as 
my name 's Albert Ilickie I '11 say what I came 
to say. Yon pj'i»nii«ed to write to me whea I 
went away, and you \iTt>te once or twice, and 



*.. .' ". :ii . tWtr^'if' 



.jfc'iyac* '^sT - 



f '«im« 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 169 



then your letters stopped, and I made sure your 
mother who never did like me, had stopped them ; 
so I wrote to the landlady, and she answered 
you 'd left her place, and she did n't know where 
you were." 

Erica had by this time decided that tlie q\iick- 
est way to get rid of her persistent visitor was 
to hear him out. 

She seated herself on the divan, and as ho 
leaned forward with earnt'st face and wajjjj^ing 
finger, summed up his appearance disdainfully, 
— his ill-cut clothes and impossible tie; his 
muddy boots which left marks ui)on the im- 
maculate grey velvet carpet every time he moved, 
— and his movements were many, for Mr. Hickie 
lacked entirely the habits of repose peculiar to 
the well-bred of all races, and fidgetted without 
ceasing — his short, square figure, and the thick 
features of his round, clean-shaven face, which 
was nevertheless not destitute of manliness, nor 
of purposeful energy. 

" Well — I was down on my luck just then, and 
left it alone — but I was always a persevering 
chap, with plenty of [)nsh, and I uuub; up my 
mind I 'd find you ii^^.un one day. Still, I had 
more important things to think of then. Earn- 
ing my bread for one. And presently, after a 
hard fight, things began to look up a bit. What 
do you think I 'm \\oiih, as I sil heie? " 

As she was about to rei)ly contemptuously that 



\l 



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170 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

she was not inf(?re8te<l in the question raised, 
— the door once more opened, and Qudwall 
announced : 

" I^dy Oakridj?e." 

A well-dressed, middle-aged woman came for- 
ward with outstretched hand and smiling face. 

" I must introduce myself to you, Mrs. Garry. 
Lord Erriff wrote and asked me to come and 
see you, and said he would write and explain 
that I was one of his oldest friends, and Tom's 
g(Mlmother; but of course he hasn't?" She 
laujijhed good -humou redly. " I daresay you 've 
heard Tom speak of me, however? " 

" You sent him this silver cigarette box," said 
Erica, with great readiness, and a charming 
smile. " He will l>e so glad to see you. I am 
expecting him every moment." She glanced 
meaningly at Mr. Ilickie, who had cleared his 
throat; but he showed no signs of leaving. 

"You might introduce me to your friend, 
Erica," he said reproachfully. 

Lady Oakridge was far too polite to evince 
the faintest surprise at the unconventional ap- 
pearance of Erica's caller, and Erica's coolness 
stooil her in good stead. 

" This is a Mr. Hickie whom my mother and 
I met when we were in some lodgings in Bays- 
water a great many years ago, while I was a 
little girl at school—" she said, with great dis- 
tinctness, and a note of amusement in her voice 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 171 



that rendered ^Ir. riiekie vaguely uucomfortable, 
though his understanding wuh not quick enough 
to perceive that it iniuKHliately placed the two 
ladies en rupitort, and enabled them to exchange 
a glance of understanding and sympathy. " Mr. 
Ilickie saw the announcement of my marriage 
in the newspapers, and very kindly came to sec 
me," said Erica, with the same friendly gracious- 
ness, which was so unlike her earlier manner, 
and which yet seemed to place Mr. Flickie at 
an even greater distance than before. 

"Oh, indeed," said I^idy Oakridge, and she 
inclined her head smilingly and immediately re- 
sumed her flow of couversaticm, giving Mr. 
Hickie no opening for the explanation he had 
intended to utter. 

" I 've been quite longing to see you and make 
your acquaintance, and your father-in-law wrote 
me such a charming letter. So delighted about 
it all, and so glad dear Tom is not giving up 
his profession. Such a mistake for a young 
man, and so very popular as he is. These charm- 
ing rooms. You don't know when Lord Fin- 
gnar comes back? r>ut when vou do iK'gin 
house-hunting, I hope you '11 come over to our 
side of the Park. So much healthier and 
higher up. Oh, I forgot. I suppose it would 
be inconvenient for Tom's barracks. IIow tire- 
some. Rut of cf>ui*se there are always such nice 
houses to be had on the Cadogan estate. And 



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172 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

I daresay Lord Fingiiar won't return for ages. 
Such a clijirmin}: man. You know him?" 

^\ie rattled happily on, and Erica's spirits 
rose, party because her vanity was soothed by 
the note of flattery which ran quite undesignedly 
through the medley of the lady's speech, and 
partly iK'cause she divined that here was no 
spirit of criticism. 

Lady Oakridge possessed the rare faculty of 
sensitiveness to her neighbours' good points, 
whilst to their faults and weaknesses she was, 
in general, happily blind. Lord Erriff had 
shown his usual astuteness in sending her to 
call upon his daughter-in-law. 

"Alethea Oakridge will run about all over 
London praising Tom's wife, and declaring she 
is the most charming creature in the world, and 
that is just what is wanted," he had reflected. 

Being quite as tactful as she was amiable, 
Lady Oakridge divined that Erica was, as she 
put it to herself, naturally anxious to get rid 
of that dreadful looking man; who was now, — 
having disposed of some tea, and a morsel of 
hot tea-cake, — first blowing on his fingers to get 
rid of the crumbs, and then furtively wiping 
them on a corner of the table-cloth, apparently 
with the object of saving his pocket-handkerchief. 
She therefore decided to cut her own visit short, 
since it was evident that Mr. Hickie had every 
intention of sitting her out. 



ftj 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 173 

" Well — I am so delighted to have seen 
you, and made your acquaintance, and it will 
be too nice if you are able to come and dine 
with us. I know you must have so manv en- 
gagements; I'll write directly I get home, and 
suggest a date — and you '11 give my love to dear 
Tom? " 

The entrance of Tom himself caused a diver- 
sion, but after a fresh outbuist of congratula- 
tion, Lady Oakridge persisted in taking leave, 
and he escorted her downstairs, receiving on 
the way her voluble assurances of pleasure in 
making his wife's acquaintance, and admiration 
of her beauty. 

Erica had risen to make her farewells, and 
did not reseat herself. She stood in her brown 
draperies, on the hearth-rug, a model of calm 
indifference, with every sense on the alert ; and 
Sir. Hickie stood watching her, with a senti- 
mental air that enraged her, but not speaking, 
until Tom had returned, and shut the door. 

Then he said, with a trembling voice, " ^ 'm 
afraid I 'm not such a welcome visitor in your 
house as I 'd looked to l)e, considering my claims 
on your wife's friendship, Mr. Garry." 

Tom smiled at him with pleasant (ourtesy. 

" Well, you see," lie said, in tones that sounded 
especially soft and deep in comparison with the 
high-pitched and querulous notes of Mr. Hickie, 
" I don't know what your claims on my wife's 



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174 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

friendship aro. Whatever they may be, I am 
sure she won hi n't wish to ij,moro them." 

" I wish I was sure. It 's like this. We were, 
as I may say, boy and gurl together," said Mr! 
Hickie, beginning to be affected by the recollec- 
tion, and as suddenly cooled by a short derisive 
laugh from Erica. 

"Well—" he said defiantly, "if I was a few 
years older than you, what is a fellow of two- 
or three-and-twenty but a boy? And I 'm sure 
there 's nothing to be ashamed of in the recollec- 
tion, unless it ANas that we went to the theatre 
together half a dozen times, without your 
mother's knowing. And I was as willing as 
could be that she should have come too, only 
to tell you the truth the old lady neither cot- 
toned to me nor me to her. I 'd have paid for 
her seat and welcome, though in those days, as 

I said just now, I was hard up " 

*' To cut a long story short, Tom," interrupted 
Erica, in her most incisive tones, « Avhen I was 
a silly schoolgirl I played at having a very mild 
and harmless flirtation with this Mr.— Mr. 
Hickie,"— her slight, contemptuous pause before 
his name, spoke volumes to Tom. "Mamma, 
very properly, did not approve of my acquaint-' 
ance with him, which arose solelv from our hav- 
ing lodgings in the same house; and he was 
always giving me chocolates and ofifering to take 
me to see pantomimes or something of the kind; 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 175 



and like a naughty child, I took the chocolates 
and went with him to matin^'^es on three or four 
occasions when I ought to have been at a day- 
school which I attended for a short time. I am 
very much ashamed of it all now, of course," 
she said, and looked straiglit into ]^[r. Ilickie's 
crestfallen face with unwavering eyes that 
seemed to scorch him with a kind of cold light- 
ning of contempt, as much as to say: "Did 
you imagine you were going to get the better 
of me by popealing to my husband? " 

He trie to answer her, but words literally 
failed him — in a kind of desperation he turned 
to Tom. 

" I need n't tell you," he said faltering, " that, 
for all she 's pleased to say she 's ashamed of it 
now — my — my friendship with your wife was a 
perfectly harmless one." 

" You certainly need n't tell me that," said 
Tom, in a clear and decided voice. 

" Still — I 've gone short of a meal more than 
once to pay for her chocolate and tilings — " said 
Mr. Hickie, his voice was still trembling with 
disappointment and anger combined, " though 
I 'd scorn to cast that up at her; and she knew 
I was fond of her, and I thought she was fond 
of me. I don't me.in to say I ever made her 
a regular downright offer. I could n't afford to 
for one thing. But directly I got back from 
the Argentine my first thought was to find her 



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T76 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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out again after all thoso yonrs I M lost sight 
of her. Of course I knew there was more than 
a rhanee she M got married, but you could have 
knocked me down with a feather when in the 
very first paper I took up in my hotel I saw 
that announcement of yours. There's a coin- 
cidence for you I Hut I noted the address, and 
I came here, if you '11 believe me, without a 
thought in my mind but to be the best of friends 
to her; and to you, too, if you 'd let me." 

" I quite believe you," said Tom. His gentle- 
ness encouraged Mr. ITickie. 

" Mr. Cfari'y, I was just about to tell your 
wife something that would have surprised her, 
when that stylish, old party in black came and 
interrupted me. T was going to tell her some- 
thing that would have made her wish she 'd been 
more civil to mo. I 'm not the pore young clurk 
I was when I left home. I 've worked, and 
pushed, and saved, and one way and another 
had a good bit of luck. And now I 'm worth, 
as I sit here — " he knocked the gilt rung of 
his chair impressively with his boot, and an- 
other flake of black London mud fell on to the 
carpet. " As I sit here I 'm worth — if I was 
sold up this minute — something like forty thou- 
sand pound, — and p'raps more." 

He looked from one to the other. 

Frica laughed outright. 

" I am very glad to hear it, Mr. Hickie," said 



'■■^l '■ 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 177 



Tom, kindly, " but I don't quite see wliat that 
has to do with your friendship for my wife." 

Mr. Hickie appeared hardly able to credit his 
host's stupidity. 

" I 'm a rich man," he gasped, " few people 
care to sneeze at a man who cai lay his hand 
(m a sum of m(mey like that at a moment's 
notice — and to begin with — there's nothing — 
nothing, I 'd ha\e grudged her in the way of a 
wedding-present — I said so to myself as I saw 
her going into raptures over a silver cigarette- 
box that could n't be worth, at the most — more 
than four or five pound. Forty or fifty would 
have been nothing to me. For an old friend. 
But she does n't want my friendship, it seems — " 
He could not help looking implorin-fjly across 
the room at Mrs. Garry, and the disdain of her 
expression made him feel inclined to weep. 

"Erica," said Tom, gently, "we are dining 
out this evening — ought n't you to go and dress? 
It 's getting rather late." 

She went away without a word, and without 
another look at the friend of licr girlhood. 

^Ir. Hickie never quite knew how it was that 
he found himself walking down the narrow stair- 
case in Tom's company, while Tom was saying 
quite pleasantly and naturally: 

" I think, if you won't mind my saying so, 
^Ir. Hickie, that you made a mistake from the 
very first, in your friendship with my wife, 



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178 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 






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though I 'vo no doubt at all that you meant 
rery kindly l»y her indeed. Hut you see, the 
fact remains that you persuaded her to accept 
presents and treats from you without hep 
mother's knowledge, when she was a liitle girl; 
and naturally sh(» 's ashamed of the recollec- 
tion ; so thai I fear the sight of you can never 
Im» anything but ratlur painful to her. I 'm 
afraid it would be better for you not to come 
here any more." 

" I quite see that — " said poor ^Ir. Hickie, 
"though as for being a little gurl, she was 
eighteen if she was a day." 

" Of course that makes t worse," said Tom, 
with a shade more distance in his manner. 
" You must see that." 

Mr. Hickie was bewildered, but he said, " Of 
course, of course," — hurriedly, as he shook hands 
with this serious, good-looking, ultra-polite young 
gentleman, who was Erica's husband, in the dim 
light of the lantern hanging over their heads in 
the narrow passage where they stood. 

" Allow me," said Tom ; opening the front door 
as Mr. Hickie fumbled with the brass handle. 

" Thank you — " Mr. Hickie almost said "ir, 
but, remembering that he was a capitalist, 
checked himself just in time. " One moment — " 
he stepped back, hesit >ted, and said in a plead- 
ing voice, " I suppose — after this — I 'd better 
not send her a wedding-present? " 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 179 



" Much boti(M' not," sai«l Tom, gently, l)i;t de- 
<-i«l(MlIy, '• Tliou<;h it N very kin<l of you to 
think of it." 

'* I shouhl n't };nnl}^(' it at all. I 'vo ph'nty 
of money — but I won't if you think it would Ik» 
Ix'tter not." IIc^ was out in the street now, and 
Ids plain, earnest face wa.s illumined by the 
tdeetric lamp outside. 

" I 'm quite curtain it would be better not. 
Good-night." 

The door was shut with a final click, and 
Mr. Hickie, with a last look over his shouhler, 
walked sh)wlv awav towards Victoria Stati<ui. 

Tom went up the narrow staircase, two steps 
at a time, as his custom was, and opened the 
door of Erica's room. 

The dressing-table was softly illumined, but 
she was standing bv the chimney-piece, in a rathci* 
dejected attitude, looking <lown into the fire, 
which glowed upon her russet robes, and cast 
little lights and shadows upon her pensive face. 

" May I come in? " he said, and closed t. 
door behind him, ami came to her side, and took 
her in his arms. 

" The poor fellow 's gone away, my darling, 
and I don't think you '11 ever be troubled wdth 
him again." 

Erica leaned her head against his shoulder, 
and to her own surprise, and without knoving 
exactly why, — she began to cry. 



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CHAPTER X 



Erica was at u theatre with Tom, in the front 
row '>t Htalls, when Ijetween the firnt ami »eton<l 
acts, a small, darlc gentU'iiian of Jewish and 
foreign appearance passing them on his way 
out, stopped and spoke to Tom. 

" Let me introduce ]Mr. Ilehimth Iteinhardt to 
you, Erica — a great frienc^ of Robin's." 

Eric.i remembered vaguely having heard of 
Mr. Reinhardt as a partner in tlie firm of stock- 
brokers to which Robin belonged. She thought 
he looked uninteresting and her manner was in- 
different, as he asked permission *o take the 
vacant stall beside her, and began to talk to 
her. Then she modified her opinion and ob- 
served that his large, dark blue eyes — heavily 
shadowed beneath straight, black brows, — were 
extraordinarily full of fire and exju'ession ; 1 av- 
ing observed them, she forgot the insignificance 
of his person, the plainness of his small face, and 
the wave of black hair, which fell over a dis- 
proportionately broad forehead, and produced 
an effect of unkemptness which she deplored. 

He spoke in a thick, soft, guttural voice, with 

a German recent. 

i8o 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry i8i 



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"You flo not care for th»* play"; ho stated a 
fatt rather than H.»ke(l a question. 

•' How do you know that?" 

" I iiaf watched you, if you will forj?ive me 
for Haying ko," he said Hiniply. " I haf the 
excuse of lieinj; an artist." 

She rejja.-ded him ciiriously. 

" I thought you were on the Stock Exchange, 
— with my brother-in-law." 

" I am certainly a stock broker, but not less 
an artist. There are many artists on the St(M'k 
Exchange." 

" I thought the artistic senne was supposed to 
clash with the business instinct?" 

" That is gi-reat nonsense," he said calmly. 
" On the Stock Exchange are a grreat muiiy 
Jewj^- All Jews have business instincts; but 
wliere will you find a race with a finer artistic 
sense? " 

" I do not know any Jews," said Erica, 
iiiusingly. 

" You see before you an undistinguished spe- 
cimen," said Mr. Reinhardt, 'and as for your 
knowing nont» — I do not crredit it. You prob- 
ably did not know them to be .Tews.'* 

Erica was amused by his perfect sincerity of 
uLerance, and by the warm and vivid light of 
admirat'on — almost worship — of her beauty, 
which could easily be read by so experienced 
an observer in bis expressive eyes. 



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182 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" You ttvo a -^wiit fru'iul of Koliin (Jurrv'H, un» 
you not ? " nIm' iiMkcd. 

lie Hhi'u«;^(Ml his HhoiiMcrN. 

" I do not know if I am a grroat fririul. I 
know (Jnrrv." 

" Don'l you liko liitn?" said Krit-a, surprised. 
" Ev(»ryl)ody likes Iiiui." 

" Wliy not? lie is full of jjood s[»irits, and 
as ploasant to look at as I am tlu» reverse. I 
do not dislike him, and that is a {;rreat deal. 
One does not like numy people." 

" I like a p''"at many people," said Erica, 
smiling at him. 

He noted the loveliness of her curved lips, 
almost perfect in shape, and the evenness of the 
small, white teeth, as he replied seriously: 

" I should not have thought that. I have the 
misfortune, myself, to dislike most people. I 
find in them so lidd' . to like." 

She laughed outright. 

" It amuses you that I speak the truth? " 

" I pride myself on doing the same, in season 
and out of season." 

" There is no sense in speaking truth out of 
season," observed Mr. Keinhardt, "and I think 
you do yourself injustice." 

She was a little astonished. 

" You give more the impressi(m of being a 
diplomofe than one who is to be read in a 
moment." 



The Honourable Mrs. Gariy 1H3 



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" In whnt way? " 

He «laiu<Ml jit her coniprc'lK'nsivoly, ami tlu'n 
turiu'«l away IiIm e; 'h. 

" Why don't vou aiiswt'f? " 

"If I auHwcr at all I Ik»coiiu' iHTsonal, and 
that inijiht pi .|K'i'ly offVnd you on ko sln»' an 
a<(iuaintan(v. I do not wIhIi to otTond }\ ».' 

" Hut if I 0VO you leave to speak fi-ankl^* .' " 

'• ' "u»n I olK'y," he said readily, and looked 
at hei* again, with thone soft, niehincholy eyes 
which held only resixM-t, and a certain dog-liko 
pathoB, as who should say: / admire at a dis- 
tance. My 80ui, vahnhj conscious of fpcatncss, 
looks sadly out of the windows of its prison- 
house. Do not measure the importance of the 
captive by the meanness of the dungeon. 

" In the first place," .'id Mr. Keinhardt, 
" your dress betrays you. ' has Ikh'u thought 
out. Its style, which is ouirc, would extinguish 
a less beautiful woman, and a simpleton would 
not have dared the experiment. But to call 
attenticm to your beauty could only increase its 
repiitation. One thing surprises me — you do 
not deck yourself with jewels." 

" I would if I had them," said Erica, for the 
sake of maintaining her claim to frankness. 

There came an answering flash of approval into 
his eyes, and he nodded with quick satisfaction. 

" There vou entir' Iv convince me. That ex- 
plains why you omit the accessories needed by 



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184 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

such a toilette. However, you will have as many 
as you choose." 

"What makes you say that?" she asked, 
frov/ning a little. 

" You are of those to whom all things come," 
he answered, so obviously unconscious of offence 
that criticism was disarmed. 

" I am glad you think my dress artistic," she 
said, graciously, " since you are an artist." 

" I did not say I thought it artistic," explained 
the exact gentleman. " I called it on the con- 
trary outre — the bright colours — the cut — are 
pardonable only because they fulfil their object." 

" Indeed — " said Erica, nettled. " But I happen 
to prefer the bizarre to the conventional, and 
I happen to love bright colours as I love the 
glitter of gems." Then she added, to render 
herself more interesting in his eyes. " I have 
often thought my passion for both, proves me 
to possess a certain artistic feeling." 

" It is the most elementary form of artistic 
feeling then which you possess," said Mr. Kein- 
hardt, bluntly, " since you share it with children 
and savages. A baby in arms snatches at any- 
thing that glitters." 

"You are not very complimentary." 

" I was not attempting to compliment you," 
he said, with surprise. " If I had wished to do 
that, I should have spoken of your beauty, then 
my compliments would have been sincere. I am 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 185 



'^ 



not of those who, from diplomacy, compliment 
people on what they obviously do not possess — 
tell a silly woman that she is clever, a clever 
woman that she is pretty and so on. Above 
all — if you ask me to say what I do not think 
on the subject of art, or artistic feeling — '' he 
shrugged his shoulders, " it is one of the subjects 
on which I cannot lie." 

" You admit you can lie on some subjects? " 
she asked triumphantly. 

" Of course." Again his surprise was mani- 
fest. " There are subjects on which a man lies. 
But to the art he loves, — if he be an artist — he 
cannot be untrue, not in his words, not even in 
his thoughts. The feeling for one's art is there- 
fore a stronger passion than that of love, because 
it lasts as long as life and reas(m last." 

" Some men's love for a woman might last as 
long." 

" It is possible," assented Reinhardt, calmly. 
" I have myself never come across an instance, 
however. I said, ecen in thought." 

" That no one can tell." 

" ' Wouldst thou know thyself? Observe thy 
fellow-men. AYouldst thou know thy fellow- 
men? Observe thyself,' " he quoted. 

" In that case, you can read me easily, in 
spite of my diplomacy." 

" To a certain extent. Not easily. You are 
a woman." 



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1 86 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" And since you can compliment me sincerely 
on nothing but my looks, also a simpleton? " 

" No. I have already said I should judge you 
to be a clever woman." 

" On what do you base your assumption of 
my possessing an intellect? " she asked, rather 
scornfully. 

" I did not suggest that you were ^'ntellectual," 
he explained, conscientiously. " An intellectual 
woman could scarcely have failed in attention 
to this play." 

" Why? It is long and prosy and boring." 

" Because it illustrates that problem of Labour 
which most nearly concerns your country and 
the time in which you live." 

" I do not pretend to understand the Labour 
question, since I have not studied it." 

" No," he said, tranquilly, " but a woman of 
intellect would have been the more deeply in- 
terested to learn. However, there are many clever 
woman who are not in the least intellectual ; and 
to whom art and music also mean nothing." 

" Does music mean nothing to me? " 

He smiled. 

" We are sitting in the front row of stalls — 
and we have talked throughout a performance 
which, although not perfect, was not bad — of — 
what was the orchestra playing? " 

" I have n't the faintest idea," she said, a little 
crossly, yet laughing. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 187 



.9 " 



" Sinco you pride yonrsolf on frankness- 

" I have no ear for music," said Erica. " Have 



vou 



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He smiled again, and did not answer. 

" You talked as much as I did." 

" I shall hear that music many times again. 
But one does not lose an opportunity of talking 
to one of the most beautiful women one has ever 
seen; for that, without her goodwill, which is 
uncertain, may never recur." He gave no in- 
tonation of vulgar compliment to the words, but 
spoke with the air of one stating seriously an 
incontestable fact. 

" If you know Ivobin," she said, " I should 
think it more than likelv we should meet again." 

" It does not follow. I do not go into society. 
If you ask me to come and see you, I will come." 

She ga^e the invitation the more promptly be- 
cause she perceived Tom, who had left his place, 
returning, as the signal for the raising of the 
curtain on the second act was given. 

Mr. Reinhardt bowed and departed, with that 
involuntarily wistful expression, which the mere 
size and deeply-shadowed setting of the almond 
shaped, dark blue, long lashed eyes gave to his 
small, sallow face. 

Tom Avas evidently deeply interested in the 
able, interminable dialogue of the second act; 
and this time Erica gave no curious observer the 
opportunity of gauging her intellect by her ob- 



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i88 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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P':n i' i 



viona inattention and boredom, but sat upright 
and motionless, with her eyes fixed on the stage, 
not speaking until the curtain was lowered again. 

" How did you get on with Reinhardt? I 
saw him talking away. I hope you were n't very 
bored? I met a man I hadn't seen for years, 
and he buttonholed me, so I could n't come to 
the rescue," said Tom, apologetically. 

" He did not bore me," said Erica, playing 
with her fan. " He poses as a kind of mis- 
anthrope and Sherlock Holmes rolled into 
one." 

" I should n't have thought he posed at all," 
Tom said. I should have said he was a straight- 
forward little beggar. Robin says he 's one of 
the cleverest fellows going — a financial genius." 

" Does that mean he 's rich? " 

"Colossally rich, I believe. A wonderful 
musician — speaks every language under the sun 
— and exhibits in the Salon." 

" What a little prodigy ! " said Erica, satiric- 
ally. " Is there anything he can't do? " 

" I should think quite a number of things," 
said Tom, laughing. "I know he can't shoot, 
because I once saw him try; and I shouldn't 
think he could ride, or play golf, or any out- 
door game under the sun. Though after all 
there 's no reason on earth why he should," he 
said hastily. "A fellow hasn't time for every- 
thing, and I expect he 's the sort of chap who 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 189 






could learn anything he made up his mind to 
learn." 

" I 've asked him to come and see me," said 
Erica. 



They spent Christmas quietly in London, lack- 
ing as they did invitations to spend the seascm 
elsewhere; and though Lady Clow would have 
l>een only too glad — had she dared — to invite 
her son-in-law and her daughter to share the 
turkey and plum-pudding to which she sat down, 
resolutel}^ herself — she did not dare. She was 
partially consoled by the explanation that Tom 
was on guard, and by an early visit from Erica, 
who appeared laden with gifts for her mother, 
having discovered that in this manner she could 
salve her conscience without excess of trouble 
or exertion. 

Early in February Lord Erriff made the re- 
ceipt of a cable from Robin an excuse to come 
to London and visit his eldest son. Hampers 
of game, fruit, and flo^^ ers, heralded his arrival, 
with a note in which he invited himself to lunch 
\\\\\\ his son and daughter-in-law on the low- 
ing morning if it were convenient to them. 

He was far too punctilious to appear either a 
minute before ov a minute after the appointed 
hour; but Erica designedly allowed Tom to re- 
ceive him alone, before her deliberate and studied 
entry. 



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190 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

She found them eagerly discussing Robin's 
message, but both sprang up as she entered, and 
Lord Erriff immedlalelj tame forward and 
saluted her with equal warmth and gallantry, 
though he had almost to stand on tipt(.. to 
accomplish this feat. 

Erica, flushed and smiling, looked her best, 
and Tom glowed with pride and amusement as 
he saw that in his delighted c<mtemplation of 
her beauty, his father's attentiim was com- 
pletely distracted from the; business in hand. 

"To return to llobin's cable, sir," he said, 
smiling, as they sat down, in high good humour, 
to the excellent luncheon which the joint efforts 
of Gudwall and 3Irs. Jarmin had provided. " I 
suppose we may continue our discussion before 
Erica ?" 

" I have no secrets from any of my children 
—who are arrived at years of discretion," said 
Lord ErritT. "Erica Avill not mention the 
subject outside this room. Robin, though lot 
ihsaally eccmomical, my dear, has sent me a cable 
of commendable brevity — and unsigned, from 
Singapore— consisting of merely two words — 
Rcll pictures." 

Erica opened surprised, light blue eyes. 

" I thought—" she began, looking at Tom, and 
hesitated— with a diffidence not usual, which 
was her tribute to Lord Erriff's presence. 

" You thought the pictures had all been sold 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 191 

long ago," ho intorniptod. " Quite right, my 
dear. My brotluT Jack, who had expensive 
tastes, sohl a portion of my father's collection, 
and I sohl the remainder when I inherited, with 
one or two exceptions." 

" Then they were not entailed?" she asked. 

" Nothing was entaih'd, for the simple reason 
that my father, the Judge, was the tirst Garry 
that ever I heard of who liad anything to entail; 
and though tliere can never have lived a Garry 
without the gift of the gal), none of them ever 
coined the gift into cash until he made a name 
for himself at the Bar. ^yhen he was made a 
peer, he bought Kellacombe, and filled it with 
pictures and furniture and china, all chosen by 
himself; and left ever^-thing unconditionally to 
my eldest brother Jack, who broke his neck in 
the hunting-field, as a Garry should, poor fellow. 
So I came in for it all. T 've a fair lot of family 
portraits, but none worth money, exce t two 
which I 've never been able to make up n "lind 
to part with. Of course those are the two Robin 
has in his mind." 

Erica looked a question. 

" An Opie and a Romney, my dear," said Lord 
Erriff, " both portraits of my grandmother, the 
famous beauty — another Mrs. Tom Garry. Rom- 
ney painted her as a little girl of twelve, and 
Oj^ie when she was seventeen. My grandfather 
had to fly the country for killing one of her 






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192 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

suitors in a duel when she was sixteen, but he 
came back and married her a year later. Tom, 
we must certainly have a portrait of this Mrs. 
Tom Garry." 

" Too expensive," said Erica, gaily. 

"The artist doesn't live who wouldn't do it 
for love," cried the gallant gentleman. 

Tom laughed, but he said : " Now, Dad, 
about the telegram. Why isn't Kwbin more 
explicit? " 

" Well— I did tell him," said Lord Errifif, re- 
luctantly, " that I regretted having no capital 
for him to invest, with the opportunities that he 
thought he would have, and he said he should n't 
make any suggestions unless in exceptional cir- 
cumstances. His exact words were : * If I 
cabled you to raise capital at any cost you 'd 
know I meant the chance of a lifetime had come 
and you would n't fail me.' Now Robin is well 
aware what store I set by those two pictures of 
his great-grandmother." 

" He is as fond of them as you are, sir," said 
Tom. 

" Well — it is you who are more concerned than 
Robin is," said Lord Erriff. 

" I should trust Robin," said Tom, decidedly. 
" If he thinks the opportunity of such magnitude 
that it 's out of all proportion to the pleasure 
of owning those two pictures, depend upon it 
we should think the same in his place. We shall 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 193 

know when wo get liiH letter, but the matter is 
evidently urgent." 

Lord Erriir nodded and sighed. 

" You think they 'd l)est go up to Christie's 
at once? " 

" I 'm afraid I do, and it might be well to 
cable Robin to that etfect." 

" I should like to have had them copied." 

" That could be arianged afterwards." 

" I think I '11 go round and see what Duveen 
would be inclined to offer me. They wanted the 
pictures when they came down and valued those 
Sheraton cabinets. You M best come with me, 
Tom, I 'm not a good hand at bargaining." 

"Somebody told me the other day that the 
beauty of th*^ subject counted enormously, and 
that Romney ladies were worth more than 
Romney men," Tom remarked. " I '11 come with 
you. Dad, and see you don't give them away, or 
do anything in a hurry." 

« Well—" said Lord Erriff, " at least we have 
a real, live Mrs. Tom Garry, and one not a whit 
behind the tirst in looks, eh, Tom? Let us 
pray that her grandson may not be sacrilegious 
enough to sell her portrait a hundred years 
hence." 

" What will it matter to we by that time? " 
said Erica, laughing and blushing. She was 
flattered and set at ease by her father-in-law's 
affectionate gallantry; and indeed Lord Erriff 



I 



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'I- 



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'!' 



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1-^1 



194 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

waH light-hearted niul ox(('<»diiij,'ly eaHy-going by 
nature, and ha<l already almost forgotten that 
there was anything re[)relu*nsihle in t'lo manner 
of Tom'8 marriage. Also he was in high spirits; 
jiartly iM'cause a holi<lay was a rare pleasure, 
jiartly because lie was very glad to see Tom, 
and partly lu'cau^e he was excited at the pro- 
spect of making a small fortune. 

His forget fulness of past events was shown 
by his easy reference to the marriage of Anthony 
Denys and May Thorverton, which had vaken 
place very quietly at Mureleigh on the previous 
day. 

" Best thing that could have happened," was 
his comment. " Now we shall have a Denys 
back at the Abbey, which is as it should be; and 
that poor little girl happily established. Old 
Lady Denys has her heart's <lesire, and may die 
in peace, though she looks much more like living 
on at the little manor-house for another twenty 
years. The bride and bridegroom have toddled 
olf to the Italian Lakes, and are to be away 
three months at least. By the by, when are you 
coining down? " 

" We could get away almost any time now," 
said Tom. 

It was settled that they should come as soon 
as he could arrange for leave, and Erica was 
glad. Shfr desired to see Kellacombe again very 
much, now that she was the prospective mistress 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 195 



thereof; an<l fonml horwlf trying; to rerall the 
niiiiilM'r «)f the rooniH an«l the nize of tlu* park. 

Tom ami ''m father were full of apohi};ifS in 
leaving her ahme; but she was sincere in her 
expressed wish that they shonl<l go otT together, 
Baying that she desired to go and see lu'r nn)ther, 
and that she had not seen ht>r for some tinu', 
which waR true; and not saying tlnit she had 
invited Mr. Helmuth Keinhardt to tea, which 
was also true. Tom remarked that if she were 



hack. 



going to see her mother he would not hurry 
and she was very glad to hear him say so. Lord 
Erritf' s pleasure in the prospect of an afternoon's 
tttc-a-tc'te with Tom was almost pathetically 
obvious; his kind, merry, little, brown face was 
wrinkled with smiles, his soft, brown eyes were 
brilliant with pride; and he walked down Lower 
Belgi'ave Street with his hand resting on his 
son's arm. 



K 



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CHAPTER XI 





ti 



J, I 



I.AOY rr.ow had Ik'ou early warned by the 
lately inMlalled tclephifnc-— whereof the Ik'H 
never faiUnl to nmke her start and Hcream — of 
her daughter'H probahU* visit ; and in eonscHjuence 
8he was lookinj; eagerly out of the dingy window 
of her hnlging when Erica arrived. The lOom 
had undergone several clianges. 

The protesting landlady, overawed by the 
Honourable Mrs. Garry's new nuigniftcenoe, had 
been forced to remove some of the more glar- 
ing ornaments, and to submit to the installa- 
tion of a comfortable stuffed arm-chair in Lady 
Clow's favourite corner. 

She was mollifiea by the presentation of the 
shabby black silk dresses which Erica had i)er- 
suaded her mother to discard, in favour of new- 
ones of a more modern make which she insisted 
upon paying for herself. 

" I feel as if I were robbing you, my darling," 
said Lady Clow, anxiously. " Can Tom afford 
to give vou so mu< li money? " 

" His father has increased his allowance/' said 
Erica. She did not mention that the half hoop 

196 




The Honourable Mrs. Garry 197 



of diuinoiuls wnH no InnpT in Iut dioHsinpiaws 
un«l that vai'iouK imnnisidjMtMl tilth's of a liko 
natiiic liad also taken a trip wiiii thrir owner to 
a ccleln-attHl sliop in the City; and theie In'en 
e,\elianj;e«i I'oi a moderate suiu of efiil cash. 

Lady (Mow w«'pt tears of j«»y and jrtatltude 
over every fresli manifestation of lier daiijjhter'H 
consideration. 

She showed her (derjivnum and her doetor — 
almost her only visitors— the new appointments 
on her writinj^-talde, the stock of exi)ensive pajHT 
witli lier ad<lress stamiM'd neatly in one corner, 
and the late Sir Josepii's crest in the other; and 
exhibited a wonderftil water-colonr sketch of a 
peacock snnning itself in a summer garden, 
which hung on the wall above. 

" She showers gifts upon me," she declared, 
and both doctor and cU ; "iiyman uod<led ap- 
l)roval, and said that a devoted daiighter was 
perhaps the greatest blessing life could afford. 

Erica entered her mother's sitting-room, ex- 
quisitely dressed in the x><*r<'<'t'< ^y t^'"^ black 
braided blue serge suit which she had chosen 
as appropriate for the occasion of her father- 
in-law's first visit to a young couple apologetic. 

The simplicity and severity suited her, as she 
very well knew; but she scjircely realised how 
much better than the startling combinations of 
colour which she sometimes affected. 

" There are two letters waiting for you, my 



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198 The Honourable Mrs Garry 






■■V 



V 



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V 



darling, and a registered parcel, as I told you 
this morning on the telephone," said Lady Clow. 
" One letter is addressed l»y little May, and has 
the Moreleigh post-mark. Fancy her writing on 
her wedding-day — or perhaps the day before, and 
addressing it here." 

" I asked her to address all letters here. I 
have asked several people," said Erica, com- 
posedh', " since I was not sure whether Tom 
and I were going out of London, and Gudwall 
is excessively careless about forwarding things. 
"NA'here is the parcel? " 

She took it into her hand, and the colour 
rushed to her face, for she was almost sure that 
it contained the pearls. INIay's letter confirmed 
the assumption. It was written on the eve of her 
wedding day, and told Erica that she was anx- 
ious the necklace should be handed over before 
her own and Anthony's departure from England. 

The other letter was from Mr. Gethell. 

Erica skimmed it rapidly; taking in a general 
sense of the explanation that since Mr. Anthony 
Denvs was not onlv sole executor, but also sole 
inheritor of the late Mr. Christopher Thorver- 
tou's estate, which was charged with the pay- 
ment of only two legacies, — one being to his own 
wife and the other to P>ica — and since it was 
understood that the immediate payment of the 
legacy to herself would be a convenience; — the 
fact that 2klr. Anthonv Denvs desired that there 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 199 

should be no delay in this payment, coupled with 
the fact that there were unusually lar<^e sums 
of money lying uninvested at the late Mr. Tlior- 
verton's bank at the time of his decease — had 
enabled Mr. (Jethell to anticipate the usual slow 
course of events. p]rica was only ccmcerned with 
the fact that Mr. Gethell was prepared to hand 
over her twenty thousand pounds at once, or 
to pay it into her mother's banking account if 
she still desired this to be done. . . . 

She sat down immediately to answer the letter, 
and as she did so, her impatience with Tom's 
scruples increased. How simple it wouhl all 
have been; and how annoying to be actually 
forced by his tiresome and exaggerated sense of 
honour into those vei'y crooked ways which she 
had intended so firmly to abjure. 

There were tears of vexation in her ej'es, as 
she wrote to ^Ir. Gethell, asking that the money 
might be paid into her mother's account, but she 
had decided this to be the more prudent course ; 
and since she despaired of shaking Tom's con- 
victions by open argument, resolvod, with a re- 
gret that was sincere, that there was nothing 
for it but to outwit him. 

She rose from the writing-table with a stamped 
and addressed letter in her hand. 

" Anthonv Denvs has ordered Mr. Gethell to 
pay my legacy into your account. Mamma, as 
I wished," she announced. 



{ 



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200 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" Anthony Denys! Then it must be all right. 
Tie wouldn't do anything he thought wrong," 
cried Lady Clow, joyfully. " ^ly darling! I 
am very glad. And I shall not touch it, nor 
spend a farthing. I will keep it all faithfully, 
for your — for some day — oh, Erica ! " 

Iler large face grew pink, and her round eyes 
filled with tears of hai)py anticipation. She 
beheld herself endowing a little row of expectant 
grandchildren. 

" Of course you won't spend it," sai- 3rica, 
with that forceful distinctness that denoted ex- 
treme impatience. "On the contrary, it will 
all be invested for you by a friend of Tom's; a 
gentleman on the Stock Exchange whom he 
introduced to me the other day, and who is 
supposed to be a genius in such matters." 

"I am glad he is a friend of Tom's," said 
Lady Clow, doubtfully. Iler ej'es sought wist- 
fully to read her daughter's severe and lovely 
face. " Will he come and see me about it, 
darling? " 

" Of course not," said Erica. " It will all be 
arranged by correspondence; or I shall see him 
myself. Nothing will be required of you except 
perhaps your signature. And anything you have 
to sign I will bring you." 

" I am very nervous about investments," said 
Lady Clow, anxiously, "and there is one thing 
I must put my foot down about. Erica. It must 



.n 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 201 



all be put into Limited Companies. I had a 
friend once — a poor governess — who had all her 
money in something unlimited ; a bank, I be- 
lieve. She was ruined." Her voice sank in dis- 
may to a horrified whisper. " She lost all her 
savings and on the top of that she had to keep 
on paying calls. I don't mean visits, but money. 
They came when she least expected them, asking 
for all she had, and she died not knowing 
when they would leave off coming. Poor thing. 
When she was dying she said to me, * They may 
call as loud as they like now. / shan't hear 
them.' The thought seemed to comfort her. 
But it was a lesson to me, and I should like 
to see the list of investments first, and perhaps 
ask our new vicar to go through them; he is 
a thorough man of the world, not like the one 
you knew, and he was t ilking to me only yes- 
terday about the solemn responsibility of trus- 
tees — he is i\ trustee himself — and how they 
should always invest money in •'^ilt-edged securi- 
ties with low interest. He said he had made it 
a rule through life to distrust anything that 
paid over three per cent." 

It enraged Erica that her mother should thus 
suddenly develop an inclination to interfere in 
her affairs. 

" If you are going to talk such nonsense, 
Mamma, I tell vou at once that I shall not have 
the money paid into your name at all," she said, 






1^ 



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Wfi 




202 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

in a cold fury of displeasure. " I come bore 
to inform you that Tom has introduced to me 
one of the best known financiers in London, — 
one of the beads, actually, of his brother's firm 
— and you talk of asking a clergyman's advice! 
The consequences be on your own head. Have 
you forgotten all I .said about what would 
happen in the event of yoiu* refusing to help 
me to keep my own money? " 

Lady Clow had not forgotten. ' ^sions of 
estrangement — separation between husband and 
wife — starving grandchildren — crowded upon 
her distraught brain, and as Erica made as 
though she would tear up her letter to ^Ir. 
Gethell, she melted into tears and entreated her 
to desist. 

" After all, the money is legally yours," she 
sobbed. " And if Anthony Denys thinks it 's all 
right — and it is better it should be in my nanie 
even if it is invested in shaky speculations such 
as people on the Siock Exchange delight in ; what 
would calls matter to me? I have but £200 a 
year. You can't squeeze blood out of a stone." 

The reiteration of this undoubted fact ap- 
peared to afford her a measure of consolation, 
for she wiped her eyes resolutely; and Erica 
relented, and painted a picture in glowing 
colours of safe investments, paying a reasonable 
interest, v iiieh must be allowed to roll up 
quietly through the years into a mighty pro- 









f*H 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 203 



'4.1 



vision for tlie future. To complete her victory 
she made announcement of a hitherto secret 
hope, which caused her mother to burst into an 
incoherent torrent of joy and terror and affec- 
tion and congratulati(m, so overwljelming that 
the subjects of k\i,'acies and investments were 
immediatelj' drowned therein. 

"Oh, my darlinj,', my darling I Take care of 
yourself. Oh, if I could but be with you to 
watch over you every hour of the day. Yes, yes. 
I will agree to whatever you like about the 
money. What does money matter — what doe. 
anything matter— in comparison with this? 
Only promise me not to fret or worry about 
anything — anything. As if your mother would 
cross a single fancy of yours at such a time," 
she cried weeping. 

When Erica had gone away, and the tired 
maid of all work opened the door noisily to 
enquire if she should light the gas, Lady Clow 
started out of a dream and begged her not to 
do so until she should ling. 

For though Erica's radiant presence had 
vanished, the little dark room was bright with 
visions; it was in fact— in Lady Clow's dreams 
— no longer a small room at all. It had ex- 
panded into a large square early Victorian draw- 
ing-room, solidly and expensively furnished with 
a n>agenta-coioured satin and rosewood suite, 
am. two handsome crvstal chandeliers each 



li 



It 



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204 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

fillod with fifty Max canaios; tl.ero were also 
a q,mn ity of h.-onze ami china nnuunont, (,n 
niarbJe-topped and gilt-]<>frn.,,i tnhh.s, and a few 
finely bound bo..ks ou roscwocMl tahh-s, every one 

l)lindfold m ,ts aecMistonu.l phu,.; a drawin- 
room which ha<l in fact ceased to exist except 
m the memory (,f the woman to whom it had 
been the heart of a happy home, where a pretty 
voung wife sat in state an<l pri<le among heV 
new possessions. " 

Lady Clow sat motionless in her chair by the 
firesule with fat hands folded oyer the knittin^: 
which had dropped into her lap, and yacant eyes 
staring before her into that past which l.'ed 
no elderly woman of exceptional stoutness, but 
a young mother whose slender arms were 
clasped about a little liye warm creature, while 
a sleepy head rested against a heart bea ing so 
wildly that its owner was not sure whether It 
were hope or memory which thrilled it or 
whether that sleeping baby of her yearling 
dreams were in truth Erica, or Erica's child. 

The sound of music greeted Mrs. Garry's 
re urn to the house in Lower Belgraye Street- 
a haunting hackneyed melody reached her ears, 
hut she knew not that it was hackneyed. It was 
followed by a few chords, and Reinhardt began 
to sing. ** 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



205 



Erica was not musical, but apparently Gud- 
wall was. Hi,^ grim, set face was pale, and his 
large, black eyes were filled with tears. He ap- 
peared t(, forget for once, his dignified and total 
lack of interest in his surroundings. 

"He's been going on like that, singing and 
playing, for the best part of half an hour," he 
said to Erica, with an enioti(m which even his 
respect for his mistress could not wholly subdue 
" I 've heard nothing like it out of the opera 
ma'am." ' 

"Do you go to the opera?" said Erica, 
astonished. - I suppose you are very fond of 
music." 

" I am a Welshman, ma'am," said Gudwall. 
The explanation appeared to him sufficient, but 
Erica shrugged her shoulders as she entered the 
drawing-room ; the betrayal of a human elemen 
in Gudwall appeared to her almost uncanny 
She was even vaguely offended. 

"I 'm glad you came in," she greeted Mr. 
IJeinhardt, calmly. 

"You told me four. I therefore arrived at 
four, and waited," he said. - I haf been makin-r 
a great noise, but there was no book in the 
room that I cared to read. Or I was not in 
the mood for reading. ^A'hat has happened? 
lou look excited — pleased?" 

" I want to ask your advice," said Erica. This 
was the fourth occasi^m of Jier meeting with Mr. 



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206 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Roinliardt, and their acquaintance had made 
rapid piogrcsH. 8he was shrewd enough to per- 
ceive hiui to Imj trustworthy, tliou«;h conscious 
that she failed in reading his character. 

Tom, and Robin,— poor Christopher,— most of 
the men of her acquaintance she had read easily 
enough, but this old-young man was still some- 
what of an enigma. 

His utter simplicity of manner, his calm 
cynicism, his artistic enthusiasm, his astuteness 
in business, his scrupulous exactness in conversa- 
tion, his reserves and his franknes.s— appeared to 
her mind contradictory attributes. She found 
his talk interesting, and surprised herself and 
Tom, after they had dined with him, by saying 
suddenly that his eyes had a thousand meanings. 

She now decided to tell him the circumstances 
of her legacy and of Tom's refusal thereof. 

" Don't you think it very far-fetched scrupu- 
lousness? " she asked, at the end of a story short- 
ened by her hearer's quickness of comprehension. 

" It is not business, to refuse money that is 
lawfully your own. You should never part with 
money if you can help it," said Reinhardt. « But 
it is very fine, all the same," he spoke with 
admiration. "There is something to like in a 
man who can refuses a large sum of money from 
an honourable sense of delicacv." 

" It is ray money," said Erica, sardonically. 

" It is yours undoubted. " agreed Mr. Rein- 



i 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 207 



liardt. " You «1<» in»t share liis fino fct'linp, but 
that (loos not make it h'ss a (ino fcolin^j." 

" I do not see why he shoiihl induljjo his tine 
fcelinj^s at my expense," she said, rather tartly. 

"Nor I. It is for you to judfje whether you 
will take the money, not for him," he said 
jj!;ravely. "He is tryinj;- to he not only your 
husband, hut also your ecmscience. That is 
ridieuhuis. lint why do you not tell him this, 
and say — I insist on taking my own. That 
would be so much simpler." 

" I can't now," said Erica. 

lie accepted the statement without comment. 

" Suppose your niother were to umrry again? " 
he suggested, after a pause, "it might lie very 
inc<mvenient that the money should l)e legally 
hers." 

" You have n't seen her," said Ei'ica, and she 
smiled. 

It was settled that he should invest the money 
in Lady Tlow's name, and settled also that the 
subject of the investment v.as not to be discussed 
in Tom's j)resen('e. 

" I am doing this for you, not for him. It 
is a matter of business. I shall charge the usual 
c(mnnission," he sai<l, calmly, and to her secret 
astonishment. " If I were doing it for (larry I 
should not mention it to you. Also, I quite 
understand that if it is in your own name your 
husband may insist 011 your restoring it; and 






^ u^' 



^.-f:, 



•r 







208 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

that If it iH your nion>or*H proix^rty it iR'comes 
mudi more difticulf." 

" It iKH'orm'H iinpoMHihlo," wiid i:rlca, tri- 
umphantly, and added curiously, "Surely you 
wouldn't give it up, '*u my place?" 

" I give away money often — I give it up — 
never," lie said, oracularly. " Hut I am not 
judging for your husband. In his case I can- 
not tell. There may bt? uiianrrff tlul you do not 
convey. A man lofs you. He dies. He leave.^ 
you money. Because he lofed you your husband 
wishes you not to take his bequest." 

"I was engaged to him— for a time," she 
owned. 

" It all means nothing, put like that. A case 
can be put in many different lights," he said. 
"All that matters is that since the money is 
legally your own you mean to benefit by it, if 
not in one waj- — then in another." 

"Exactly," Erica said with relief. "Now 
when you write to me of this, please write to 
my mother's address." 

He noted it carefully in his pocket-book. 

" Now about choice of investments " 

" I want it put into the things Robin Garry 
reports most favourably of " she said, boldly. 

"So! you have heard from him?" 

" No— has n't he cabled to you? " 

Reinhardt smiled. 

" I will get some shares allotted to you — if I 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 209 



can, to-morrow —in a thiii}; of whu-li he has re- 
ported favourably," he said th(Hi};ht fully. " Hut 
do you understand that you wouhl got no intercHt 
for perhapH two or three yearH? Would not 
that inconvenience v(»u?" 

" Would it ])ay more than other things — 
afterwards? " 

" We hope a very grreat deal more." 

"Is it certain?'*' 

" Nothing is certain, in business. I believe 
this is as certain as anything can Im»." 

" I '11 put ten thousand pounds into that, and 
ten thousand into things that pay interest 
now.'' 

ITe laughed. 

" I cannot promise to get you ten thousand 
j)()UTids' worth of shares in Kuala Keliling — if 
I get you five you will be lucky. I said I would 
tnj to get j'ou some." 

" I thought you were practically the head of 
the firm," said Erica innocently. 

" I will do what I can," said Reinhardt. His 
eyes turned longingly towards the piano. 

" You are in a mood for music," she said, with 
that little thrill of sympathy in her deep voice. 
" Then play to me." 

" It is a fine piano, but it wants playing," he 
said, with alacritv. 

Tom found his wife sunk in a reverie over 
her little ornamental writing-table. She started 



If s 



J . 



\^m 





210 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

at hiH entry, and pnt an opim [micel into the 
drawer, lo<k<Ml it, un<! tanie to gm't him. 

He drew her on to th»« divan In-wide him, and 
they Hut tojr,.! !,(.,. lookini; into the fire. Rein- 
hardt, who had not moved from th.' piano, con- 
tinued to phiy; j»nd thouj^h Tom'K hand rhiHped 
her own fondly, Eriea iH'rceived that her huHlmnd 
waH thinking: not of her, but of the muHie. He 
liHtened entraneed, him'11 -bound; when a pause 
came he wiid, entreat inj;ly: 

"Sing Momething bt'fore you go, Reinhardt." 
The ]ow voice tilled the room with a muHic 
of which even Erica could not withstand alto- 
gether the power, and the wonder, and the 
sweet nefls. 

Reinhardt had spoken truly when he declared 
himself an artist. 

Vaguely there stirred within her a desire to 
be at peace with herself and all the world; it 
was as though the harmony which moved her 
senses also revealed to her the jarring discords 
of her own soul; so that she shuddered slightly; 
mindful of treason and kisses mingled. 

Tom was recalled from dreaming to earth by 
the shudder, which preceded the closing chord's 
of Reinhardt's song. He murmured tenderly, 
"You 're cold, my darling?" and folded about her 
the furs which had fallen from her shoulders. 

"Don't. I'm stitling," Erica said, rather 
sharply, and drew herself away. 



ti^ 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 211 



Relnhnrrit roue abruptly, and mu\ 1h» niUHt 
Ro, Uv was 80 Htnall ami Nli;;lir in form that 
it wiM'nuMl aH incnMlihlc that a rith and i»o\v(Mfnl 
liarltono voice nhotjld omanatc from him, an that 
thfi flofxl of music which flllM a moonlit valley 
in May should pour from the throat of a liftle 
In-own l)ir<l, or thi' deafening chirp of the prillon 
hidden under the narcissus of a Swiss mountain, 
he ntteivd hy an Insect. 

He went away quickly, b«»caufte the emotion 
of hi.s sonjj; possessed him still, and he did not 
rare to talk. 

The firelit room seemed yet filled with the 
echoes of his music as Erica whisi)ered hurrie<lly : 

"Tom: I have a lett<'r from May, writlen 
just before her marriage." 

" Yes, •larlinj?," he clasped closer the hand he 
held, feeling with surprise that it was cold and 
trembling, as though Erica— the scornful and 
8elf-possessed — were nervous. 

" She has sent me back the iK»arls," said 
Erica, her lips and throat were oddlv drv. 
" She — asks me — to ke«'p them always— in mem- 
ory of Christ opher, In'cause, she says, that- 
whatever happened afterwards — he once loved 
me very dearly." 

Tom did not speak, and she hu • ^d on, 
impellefl by a sudden impulse. 

" There is something more. T am afraid you 
will not like it, but it cannot be altered now. I 



ill 



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212 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

had written to tell May — of your wish — that I 
should not accept poor Christopher's legacy to 
me 

" I did not know you had written that," he 
clasped her hand more closely — warmly. Again 
she shivered a little. 

" It was against my will, of course," she said, 
half angrily, and fighting against a rising sob 
in her throat. " liut I did it, and so — so— the 
twenty thousand pounds has been sent to my 
mother instead." 

" But that 's the same thing," said Tom, 
quickly and sternly. " Your mother must " 

" Hush." She was half crying. " You can't 
interfere. It 's too late." 

" Xothing can have been paid yet — in this 
short time — less than two months." 

" It can. It has. He says " 

« ^Tllo savs? " 

" Mr. Geth(;ll says it is an exceptional case," 
she explained rapidly, almost incoherently, try- 
ing to still the trembling of her own voice. 
" There were no legacies to be paid but mine 
and May's. All went to Anthony Denys, and 
he was the sole executor, and he knew my 
mother was badly off, and there were large sums 
of money lying uninvested — ^Ir. Gethell never 
could get poor Chris to attend to business — 
so Anthony and May decided thoy would get it 
off their minds before they started on their 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 213 



Imevmoon. They told Mr. Oetbell to pay it 
i'tto Maimiius account, as— as I wouldn't take 
i ^^OM ciiii't take it away from her." The 
voice gathered courage and defiance. "Yon 
can't, she's— she's definilely accepted it, and it's 
made her so happy. She had nothing in the 
world of her own. Besides—" she clutched 
wildly at every straw of argument that pre- 
sented itself to a mind half-drowned in appre- 
hension— " besides, if you could— it's too late 
—she's— she's put it in the hands of trustees 
—she asked her vicar's advice— it 's— it 's all 
been invested for her in gilt-edged securities at 
three per cent., and tied up on— on our children," 
she murmured. 

" Mr. Gethell wrote to her? " 

" Yes— some time ago. ^'ou know I have n't 
seen her for days. S'he can't talk sense on the 
telephone. She waited for me to come." 

"And May wrote to von?" 

" Yes." 

" Will you show me her letter? " 

" I burnt it. It was niarked private, and 
enclosed with the pearls." 

"When did they come?" 

"I found them at Mamma's lodgings. May 
was not sure where we were. She said they 
had to be valued for probate or something of 
that kind, or she would have sent them sooner. 
She wrote on the vei-y eve of her wedding-day. 



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214 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Oh, Tom, you must lot me keep them. You 
must, you must.'' 

Tom suddenly put away the hand he held, 
and got up, and moved restlessly about the room, 
fingering this or that object upon the little tables, 
mechanically. 

Pie knew not what cold touch of doubt had 
been laid upon his heart, but it grew suddenly 
heavy within his breast. A vague uneasy sense 
that Erica had outwitted him seemed, like a pale 
scarcely defined spectre, stealthily advancing to 
fight against his sturdy determined faith in his 
wife. He laid it low, and came and stood before 
her, looking down in compassionate wonder as 
he perceived, even in the fire-light, how colour- 
less she was, and how anxiously strained was 
her expression. 

He knelt down and brought his face on a level 
with hers. 

" Did you care so much, my Erica? " he asked. 
His tone was very gentle. 

In a sudden passion of relief she spoke the 
truth. 

" I did not care for Christopher. I care for 
the pearls. I want them more than anything 
else in the world. And I ought— to have what 
I want— now." She held out uncertain groping 
hands towards him as though appealing for his 
support and assent, and Tom caught her just in 
time to save her from falling. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 215 

As he realised that Erica had fainted— some 
of the wonder and awe, and tenderness and 
anxiety that had moved Lady Clow to tremble 
and weep over her daughter— stole also about 
the heart of Tom. 



'i! 



CHAPTER XII 



ll t 



tC.' - I 



A WEEK later, Erica, in the doorway of the 
great house at Kelhuonibe, s'uul^d her eyes 
fi-om the bright morning sunshine, as she 
watched Lord Erriff, horn in hj nd, and Tom, 
as whipper-in, standing on the red gravel drive; 
while the beagles alternately jumped and fawned 
upon their gaitered legs, and sniffed the wet 
grass strewn with dead leaves. 

After a few parting words of caution and 
warning from Lady Erriff, to which nobodv 
listened, the party set off briskly across the 
park, and the mistress of the house went about 
her daily business of ordering dinner and in- 
specting the kitchen premises, but Erica lingered 
still. 

Presently the pack started a hare, which fled 
like the wind— the pack after her, the men run- 
ning behind— from the plantation whence she 
had emerged, towards the great avenue of forest 
trees,^ into which the last stragglers disappeared. 

Erica went slowly across the large light hall, 
pausing to glance up at the wig-framed face of 
the great lawyer, Tom Garry, first Lord Erriff, 

. 216 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 217 

whose shrewd eyes twinkled at her from the 
huge canvas above the niauteli)iece. In the 
panel on his right hung the picture of his wife— 
an early Victorian portrait of a pretty woman 
in a crinoline, with a wreath vjn her smootii 
parted hair. On his left was a portrait of their 
son, the second Lord Erritf, nicknamed in his 
own neighbourhood Handsome Jack, and popular 
for his very failings. He was repi-esented as 
wearing his peer's robes, and holding a large 
coronet very carefully before him in both hands. 
Erica looked at the face and thought that it 
might have been Kobin — so exactly were repro- 
duced the delicate features, and the soft merry 
handsome brown eyes that he had inherited from 
the beautiful grandmothei-, who had been a 
favourite sitter with so many famous artists in 
her early youth. 

The Opie and the IJomney had already van- 
ished from their places in the drawing-room, and 
the gaps upon the walls covered with hunting 
pictures brought from dark corners of unused 
rooms. 

Erica had been only two days at Kellacombe, 
and to say that she was already greatly bored 
by her stay would be to express her feelings very 
inadequately. 

Tom and his father were inseparable, and out 
of doors from morning until night. Kathleen, 
her pretty little brunette sister-in-law, who was 



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218 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



but just grown up, seemed to Erk-a almost a 
child, and a child moreover with whom she had 
nothing in common, for Kathleen was also very 
decidedly an out-door girl. Nora, the seccmd 
girl, who was the black sheep of the family, had 
been despatched by her mother to school as 
unmanageable; and IJrigit, the youngest, was 
not only excessively shy, but a little dreamer, 
living in a world of her own, peopled by char- 
acters out of books, and figments of her imagina- 
tion. Brigit secretly admired her beautiful 
sister-in-law, but was seldom in her company, 
being held in bondage by the hund>le govern- 
ess, who bicycled daily over to Kellacond)e from 
Hursdon, to give her lessons and take her for 
walks. 

Thus th(>ie remained only Lady Erriff, and 
Erica was bored by her mother-in-law— finding 
her conversation fatig!iing to endure, despising 
her want of intellect and lack of ccmsistency; 
and not always troubling to conceal the con- 
tempt of which Lady Erriff was becoming faintly 
aware, though she could not be described as a 
sensitive person. 

She was in fact one of those well-meaning 
women, whose good and evil qualities are so 
nicely balanced that the gratitude aroused by 
their virtues cannot outweigh the irritation pro- 
duced by their short-cominffs. 

Hypocrisy was far from her thoughts, and she 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 219 



was pereuniiilly astouiiiUMl, grieved, snid injured, 
when she found herself accused of dcfaniinj? her 
noijjjhbours of malicious intent; yet whilst <leal- 
ing forth kindness with one hand, she would 
he busily writing libellous comments on the 
recipient of her bounty with the other. 

After the first outburst of indignation and 
disappointment, she had promised her husband 
to make the best of her son's marriage, and with 
the sincere intention of fulfilling her promise 
wrote an affectionate letter of welcome to Erica, 
while at the same time she filled her letters to 
the vai ions members of her own and her hus- 
band's family with lamentations, giving details 
which could but produce a singularly unfavour- 
able impression of Tom's wife up<m them all. 

Lord Erriff was furious when his eldest sister, 
Lady Riverton, wrote to condole with him on 
poor Tom's unhappy fate; and replied in such 
angry terms that the old lady, who was also 
quick-tempered, forwarded his wife's letter in 
self-defence. 

The result was that he stormed at his Julia, 
letter in hand, and to no purpose at all, since 
she could perceive in it only a proof of her 
sister-in-law's perfidy. 

"Don't you see that you are practically 
accusing this poor girl, who is our son's wife," 
he cried, " of evil antecedents ; and without any 
shadow of foundation for such insinuations." 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



"I look upon Katie's rcrnniiii;r y,,,, my pttei* 
as a bmicli of loutidpnco," said Latiy Erriff, 
iiulijjnantly. 

" In it you say — ' of course we must make the 
l)est of it, for poor Tom's sake, but what she is, 
ami u-fiat fihc Ikih hrni. I shudder to think of. 
She does n't even look really respectable. Classes 
of red hair in unnatural quant ilies, and her 
dres.ses too dreadfully ih'colU-trvit for words. 
IJarely decent '—How could you write such 

words of the poor child ? " 

^ " The letter was marked private, Tom," cried 
his wife. " It was most dishonourable of Katie 
to send it to you." 

" Why should you expect Katie to connive at 
your treachery to Tom, and your slandering of 
his wife? You force your confidences upon her 
and she naturally declines to keep them from me, 
her own brother. Why should she keep your 
letters secret at my expense'^ She is a great 
deal too honest to fall into any such trap. She 
did right to send me your letter," he said fuming. 
" Treachery is a dreadful word, and it is dread- 
ful to think that Tom's marriage should cause 
dissension between you and me, darling," said 
Lady Erritf, weeping. "I shall never trust 
Katie again as long as I live." 

Lord Erriflf's indignation burnt itself out, and 
he despaired as he had despaired a hundred 
times before, of convincing his wife that she 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 221 

had acted wrongly. Sh<» remained entirely 
satisfied with her own behaviour and assured 
of his unreasonableness. 

" I suppose women have no sense of honour," 
he said to himself, falling back upon the dismal 
aphorism with which men who have chosen wlven 
destitute of this quality are apt to console 
themselves. 

Tie was too easy-going to bear malice, and 
forgave his Julia when he had written to explain 
away, as loyally as he could, her letter to Ladv 
Riverton; but the recollection of the injustice 
donf to Erica caused him to treat his daughter- 
in-law with peculiar kindness, and Erica, in 
consequence preferred him to any other member 
of Tom's family. 

Her dawdling progress through the hall 

bi'ought her face to face with Lady Erritf, who 

vas bustling back from the servant's quarters, 

and she anticipated the enquiry which was 

immediately made. 

" AVhat would you like to do this mornintr, 
dear? " 

Lady Erriff was a tall thin stooping lady 
Rearing her fiftieth birthday. Had she been 
upright her watery and rather pink-rimmed grey 
eyes would have been on a level with those cool, 
light blue eyes of Erica which met them so 
imperturbably. 

" I thought of taking a stroll, it is so fine," 







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222 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Raid Erica hastily, and knowinj; tluil Lady Erriff 
mado it a rule, as sh«' said, never to go for a 
walk in the morninj,'. " It fritters away the 
day, dear." 

She was never at a loss to find oeeupation for 
any one. 

" Then I wonder if you would mind taking 
a pudding to a poor woman, Mrs. Henee, who 
lives just (m the boundary of the Moreleigh 
estate where it touches our land? It would :«' 
a very easy walk, not half a mile. You re- 
member we passed it yesterday, and you sai«l 
- ''at an ugly cottage it wa.s." 

• The one with the slated roof, i will my if 
you like," said Erica, reluctantly. " As a mailer 
of fact I have visited that cottage once, with 
May Thorverton— :Mrs. Denys— " she corrected 
herself — "the old man was alive then " 

" I don't know why she should visit there — 
they are our tenants," said Lady Errifll". " The 
old man is dead, and the (dd woman lives there 
with her granddaughter. She seemed to crumi)le 
up into an invalid in a very odd way the moment 
he died. I am sorry to say she is not really a 
nice old woman. She reads books quite beyond 
her .station, has a mischievous tongue and un- 
settles her neighbours. Still, though she is a 
socialist and won't go to church, I send her 
puddings. I have always betm broad-minded, 
and she is old and ill. I hope you won't en- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 223 

coiira^" hvv to ah- Imt vIcnvn luiuovfi-; I alwa.vM 
iiiakf a iM.inf of icpn.ssiiiy; her wlieu nhe bemiis 
to hold forth." 

Krica ivsolved at once to hoar what the old 
woman had to say. 

She Net out at h(M' usual leisurelj pace; 
caiiying a little basket, and half annoyed willi 
herself fop jindertakinjr so nneon^enial a mis- 
sion. Yet she was not destihite of a senti- 
laental curiosity in revisit inj; the cottaj,'c, nor 
of a desire to contrast her present feclin;,'s as 
the prospective owner of KellaconilH?, with her 
sensations of three months earlier, when she had 
.■•nrveyed both estates from the elevated jfround 
where the honndaries met, as the prospective 
owner of Mondei-h. She realised witi . kind 
of grim amusement that she would now regard 
the surrounding landscape from a contrary point 
of view. 

Then it had been autumn— she remembered 
the still sunshine that luul lain upcm the brown 
and red foliage, and the fading yellow of falling 
leaves, and the mists that clung to the valleys." 

Here also was a still morning glorious with 
sunshine, but now there was no sadness of 
autumn, no chill of decay; instead, a faint thick- 
ening of the points of bare branches, the promis- 
ing of buds to come; the glad call of birds; the 
hopeful bleat of new-born lambs gambolling 
clumsily on trembling disproportionate gawky 



224 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



^i 



!• 







H'h; groat drifts of iM'lafcd snowdropn ll!i^r,.i.|„j^ 
umU-r the pjirk tn'«'s, and cIuinpM of <latl'odllM 
tliin.sfiii«r jrnvn njm'uis and j;old<'n licads through 
last year's taii<;h' of dcail jjrass and loaf. 

On her way sho met a village chihl playing 
tniant, who looked at her fearfully. The re<l 
ehill.lained ringers twisted a tiny huneh of white 
vioh'ts, and as Krita stopped amd h»oked at her, 
the little maid, imagining herself detected, held 
out the fl(»wers in an almost unconseiouH, yet 
desperate bribe. 

"Thank you very much," said Mrs. Garry, 
graciously. She was too much a cockney ever 
to leave home without a pur.se, and it seemed 
a good opportunity to get rid of a three|K'nny 
bit which she was always mistaking for sixpence. 

The truant, dund>founded at this reward for 
misdoing, stood looking aftei- her, ami Erica 
went on her way, with the glow of one who has 
performed a good action. 

The white violets, tied up with ivy leaves, were 
sweet-scented, an<l Erica fastened them in her 
bosom, and felt so unusually light-hearted in 
the freshness of the morning and the gladness 
of the spring sunshine, that she lifted up her 
tuneless voice and sang, as she walked slowly 
up the incline leading to the ugly cottage which 
was her destination. 

When she arrived, and paused at the wooden 
gate, it did not, after all, look so very ugly. 



The Honourable Mrs. Ciany 225 

There wan a waxni pifrun jaftonicn covered 
willi blossom nailed upon tlic red luick wall, 
and above the lo>v slated roof, the pointi'd 
fh>\veriiif!; rods <»f a tall almond tree were lifted 
against the eloiulless bine of the sky, while upon 
the doorstep a jjiant bush of wild currant had 
dropped a ros(» coloured carpet. 

She knocked at the unlatched «h>or, and hear- 
in*; a faint respMuse, pushed it further o[>eu, and 
went into the cottage. 

This was the kitchen where she had seen the 
ohl wife stretching white stockings for her hus- 
band's corpse, while he lay waiting for death, in 
the inner room, whereof the open doorway now 
showed the enipty bed. 

The widow sat in a patchwork-covered arm- 
chair beside the fireplace, and it a])peared to 
Erica that she had aged unduly in the past three 
n)(mths. Iler leg was suj^Mtrted on a wooden 
stool; a pair of shrew<l, dark eyes glittere<l from 
a withered yet wholesonn' face, r»'d br(»wn and 
wrinkled as a well-storeil russet ]»ip|;in. An 
open book lay on her laj), and she removed her 
spectacles as Erica entered, and apologised 
politely for her inability to rise. 

"I hope you don't mind my coming," said 
Erica, and she put the basket on the table. 
" Lady Erritf has sent you a custard pudding." 

" 'T was turble kind on her," said Mrs. Bence, 
courteously. " Willee be so gude as to put ten 
15 



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226 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

on the dresser, miss. Her '11 be wanting the 
basket back." 

Erica obeyed resignedly. It seemed to her 
that she was somehow acting out of her char- 
acter, waiting on old women, and putting 
pudding basins on dressers. 

"A beautiful spring morning," she said, feel- 
ing she must open the conversation. " I left 
winter in London." 

" 'T is onseasonable," said ^Irs. Bence, shaking 
her head. " And you may depend on 't winter 
he'll come back middle o' March or so, and kill 
the lambs, and nip the buds crool and wither 
up the flowers as has been deceived like by this 
here wa'amth. Thank you, miss, I '11 send my 
grand-darter back wi' the dish." 

" You need n't trouble. I '11 explain," said 
Erica, graciously. 

Mrs. lience smiled genially and said, "You 
bain't well acquent with her ladyship." 

" I 'm her daughter-in-law." 

"Ah." Mrs. IJonce smiled again as who 
would say, "I may live a trifle out of the 
world, but do you think I 'm ignorant of it 's 
happenings?" Aloud she reuiarked civilly, 
" I 've not forgot the day you came up along 
with Miss May as is now wed to Squire Denys, 
and see'd my old man. Willee sit down, mv 
ladv? " 

Erica sat down on the wooden chair. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 227 



I 'm afraid you 



" I remember that day too. 
must be lonely now?" 

" I 'm lucky to have my grand-darter to bide 
wi' me," said the old woman. 

There was a pause, and Eika, as usual when 
she was at a loss, took refuge in an outburst 
of frankness. 

" Tell me honestly, does n't it bore you hor- 
ribly for strangers to come and call on you like 
this without being invited? I should loathe it 
myself." 

A sly gleam of humour stole about the old 
woman's shrunken mouth. 

"Well, my lady, you knocked at the door, 
which is more than some do. But 'tis kindly 
mint; us must take the rough with the smooth." 

« I '11 go this minute if you like," said Erica. 

Her smile had its effect. 

"Nay, 'tis arlways a pleasure, if you 'm 
please to excuse me for being so bold, to see 
a face like yourn. You 'd have been surprised to 
hear how my old man went on about 'ee on his 
death bed. 'T was more like an angel come to 
visit un than a niartal maid, he said. But us 
didn't know then—" her twinkle convinced 
Erica that her story was known to Mrs. Bence 
—"as you was going to take and marry our 
master Tom, as brought me the first rabbit he 
ever shot, and a proper skinny one 't was." 

She laughed with an acute note of enjoyment. 



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228 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" Eh, 3-ou 'm surprised I can lungh so hearty 
yet," she said qnitkly, '^ my linshand dead and 
arl. But the day wiide be lonj? if I sat mump- 
ing all the whiles. 'T is long enough, tied to a 
chair wi' my bad leg as I be." 

She betrayed a desire to unswathe and exhibit 
the swollen limb that rested on the wooden stool; 
but Erica dissuaded her so earnestly that she 
desisted. 

•' Was it an accident? " 

" Lord no, ^liss. 'T was the hard life as done 
it. Too many children and too much standing 
about before and after each. I bain't never had 
time to sit down comfortable wi' a buke in all 
my days till now. And I be making up for lost 
time and no mistake, and wi'out no qualms of 
conscience neither; for taking counsel with the 
Lord, I 've decided as Ho 'd be the first to own 
as 't is now my lawful holidays, and fair earned." 
" Then you can't get about at all? " 
" I won't say that ; tu church I can't travel, 
but to tellee the truth I manages to crarl round 
and do a bit of cleaning now and again. 'T is 
sartain sure if us wants to think a thing well 
done, us must do it ourselves; for one expects 
mar from other people than they 've any mind 
for to du." 

"Can't your granddaughter ?" 

"Em'ly does what her can, but I makes no 
account of her cleaning. 'T is well known they 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 229 



\ 



Raid Skiiles ruin our makl(»ns for housework 
as well as for manners and obejence. 'T is 
along of these 'ere young youths and fly-by- 
night moppets as is set over the children now- 
adays; being themselves onripe in wisdom though 
forward in the getting of scholarships. 

" In course the children sarces them, as they 
wudent durst sarce old witty ancient teachers, 
who'd make them mind their betters and their 
beyaviour. ^ly Em'ly be vast enough to tell 
I that my speech be tnrble ignorant, and so I '11 
allow it may be; but can her bake or mend or 
cuke as I can? Why, she can't so much as 
scarld the milk wi'out searching the pan. A fine 
wife her '11 make the girt vule who weds her if 
such a one she ever finds." 

"Do you know," said Erica nodding, "my 
mother used to say much the same sort of thing 
about me." 

Mrs. Bence glanced sharply at her. 

" 'T is very like the change from the old times 
be felt by high and low,^ she said indul- 
gently. " Sitting here alone I ponders some- 
thing wonderful." 

Again Erica nodded. She remembered poor 
Lady Clow's complaint that she had too much 
time to think. 

" My old man used to sav as the rail wa vs. 
having turned everylliing topsy turvy sinc<' his 
grandfather's days, he ihari as how the folk was 



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230 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

still mazed with the suddenness of it arl. But 
this be sm-tain, that good 's come out of the 
changes for vff, and the poor be l)etter off than 
they was. Luke at us. IJrart up 'leven chihlren 
on eight shillings a week. My old man boasted 
on 't, but I got a long nieinor}' so well as a 
long tongue, and I bain't forgot the cold, nor 
the hard work, nor the taste of turmot mash, 
as we've sat down tu for a meal many 's the 
time. 

"My sons and darters hasn't never had to 
set that befar their little ones, and thank God 
for it '\\'hy, my youngest grandson, as can't 
mow in a week what my old man cude mow in 
tu days at his age, gets eighteen shillin' a 
week." 

"The prices of everything have gone up, I 
suppose? " suggested Erica. 

" Some has gone up and some has gone down, 
miss," retorted the old woman. " 'T is the wants 
as has gone up, and pondering, I've come to 
see as us that be old must be patient wi' the 
mistakes of them as be young and struggling to 
get a foothold above the place where us was 
forced to bide. In every scrimmage there's 
bound to be damage done, and if they've 
throwed down a lot of things as experience has 
tart us to prize, along wi' the burdens as was 
bound on our backs, why, you may depend on 't 
they '11 pick those up later when cheir place is 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 231 

firm. They 've gained more than they Ve lost, 
'carding to my notions." 

" Tiady Erriff says you 're a socialist," said 
Erica, smiling, and Jlrs. P.ence was quick to 
see the quality of her smile. 

" I don't hold with no labelling of my opinions. 
They come and go to suit my tharts and my 
conscience," she said, stoutly. "And whatever 
I he, miss, you might be the same in my place." 

"I know nothing of politics," said Erica, 
gaily. "Life seems to me a scramble, and 
every one free to snatch what they can out of it." 

Mrs. Rence peered out of her sharp eyes and 
shook her head. " You 'm please tu excuse, but 
there's a deal mar tu it than that, and j'ou 'd 
know it if you 'd lived nigh seventy year as 
I 've done, and watched a man live and work 
and die, as done his duty arl the days of his 
life, and got little by it, and yet went out to 
meet his Maker wi' a smile on his face, and 
his mind so full of peace as ever it cude hold. 
There hain't no scramble about that; 'tis a 
steady fight, under ardors. Us as is old, knows 
as the need of discipline be the first crying need. 
Tu 0' my sons be soldiers, miss, as has telled 
me what discipline can do for the worstest of 
the worst, and says I, 't is n't only in the rig- 
ements they find out that. Us has arl got tu 
'bey arders and reg'late our time from the King 
on 's throne as must be here and there 'carding 



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232 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

to the clock, tn the laboui-or ass can't keep the 
cows waitiii"? past milkinj;-tiiiie. And each of ns 
has {,'ot tu know his phu-c in the woi-hl and keep 
it atiddy, and dn the best he can tn better it 
'carding in 's powers. 'T is the yonnj,' and tlio 
idle as listens to vnle's tark abont arl men bein^; 
eqnal." 

" And you disagree? " 

" Re / a vnle? " asked Mrs. Bence, heatedly. 
" Arl men ecpial I lie there one of my grandsons 
as ciide ha' held np his head alongside my old 
man at their age? Why, 'a cude have lifted any 
one of them up in "s tu hands, and dashed un's 
brains out against the fliire. 15e (me of them so 
witty and cunning as he were tu know the ways 
of the birdses and the beastses, nar tu du the 
thatching in 's spare time? Be Em'ly my equal 
as buys readj'-made blouses and wears holes tu 
ready-made stockings? And lays abed in the 
marning and sits up nights wasting candlelight 
over they novelettes till her silly eyes be only 
able to blink at 'ee through goggles, same as 
my grandmother at eighty-vour? And her twenty 
year old, by which time I'd borne and nursed 
dree byes, and gotten the stiddiest man, and 
happiest home in arl Westacombe for my own. 
Equal ! AVhy, my dear soul, there hain't tu men 
even in thiccy village as you could even with 
each other. God Almighty made men as dif- 
ferent as He made trees and cattle, in strength 



m 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 233 



and vally and looks. Thoy knows Ijotter than 
tu tai'k such nonsense tu I, but when they eries 
about the hibourer beinj; worthy of his hlie, then 
I listens and says, ' Now you 'm tarkiuj; clean 
sense.' Us has lived tu hard and worked tu 
hard, back along, and 'tis time thinj^s were 
arltered ; and they be arltering, djiy by day," 

" I hear nothing of any alteration except for 
the worse," said Erica, lightly. " Of farms that 
used to pay double, and land that is only wortii 
half what it used to be." 

" Yes, her ladyship bain't never tired of sing- 
ing that song, and telling how a hundred years 
back the landowners was so much better off,'' 
said Mrs. Dence, with a curious light in her 
dark eyes. " liut there — I can't tark straight 
tai'k tu her ladyship, for she 'd take it disrespect- 
ful and I was brart up tu respect my betters." 

" Talk straight talk to me. I like it, and I 
won't tell," said Erica, smiling again. 

" 'T is sartain sure as you be the rising sun 
us be advised to worship," said ^Ir.s. P.ence, " and 
for that matter, I bain't afraid o' nobody since 
I got few wants now, and shall have none in 
a short time, being bound for the grave, and tu 
sons readv tu take me in if I Avas turned out 
of this yere cottage, which 'taint likely, for her 
ladyship have a kind heart and us arl knows 
it. But this I was minded to say to her. If in 
them olden days the squires was so much better 



r 






If 



234 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



; ) 



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'}\-'H 






ii 




arf, how comes it that us, as was tilling the land 
for un, was feeding our little ones on turraots 
and living in pigstyes on wages so low as six 
and seven shilling a week like my father got? 
There be sunimat wnmg about that, my lady." 

Erica nodded synipal bet leal ly. 

" Hut the day be coming, if it hain't come," 
said airs. IJence, with glittering eyes, " when the 
workers will be paid to the uttiMinost farthing, 
gude measure and running over — and that's 
where I 'm hoping that they IJard Skules be 
going tu help them as will come after us, when 
they got past their ignorant mistakes at start- 
ing. Us as is far-seeing must be patient till 
their common-sense begins to work and makes 
clear to them as 't is no use setting the blind 
to lead the blind. They '11 tind out yet as 't is 
witty well-mannered experienced folk, command- 
ing fear and reverence, as must be axed to teach 
children, and not vulgar flighty young things 
as knows no better than tu mock at the mother 
as bore them in pain and reared 'em in patience, 
— or their father as sweated in summer and froze 
in winter to get their bread. Miss, as I sits here 
my blood boils to remember as my Em'ly when 
her got her scholarship over tu Bursdon, crossed 
the road because her saw her own father, as 
had been after a whitewashing job, coming along, 
and thart as he 'd shame her befar her school- 
mates. Her made believe not tu see un. When 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 235 



I heard (ni 't I told her fatlioi- tii tako a Htu-k 
tn her, but he says 'Mother, 'tis ij^norance. 
Life will teach her hotter. Doantet^ Im' hard. 
The maid be tu full (tf buke larniu},' to iniiid 
manuers.' 'Manners,' I says, * 't is lieart her 's 
lacking.' 'Nay,' says Jw, as was always the 
best of sons tu me. 'They be mucl; tlie same 
thing — for what be manners but taking thart 
for others?' IJut I wnde n't be daunted telling 
the maid that her might speak so fine and learn 
so much and dress so gay as her wude, but 't was 
a low mind and a common as lurked l)eneath 
such outward seeming, if her cude think shame 
of greeting her own father." 

Erica moved uneasily, and again Mrs. Rence's 
sharp eyes scanned her face, but this time 
apologetically. 

" Tu one brart up 1"" ^ou, miss, 't is diffi- 
cult to onderstand as a chiiu ciule behave so 
ignorant," she said, " buf that's what I say— 
if the world is tu impn ve, the poor must be 
taught good manners so well as the rich; and 
tu be gentle like to each other and those below 
'em as well as tu those above, same as the real 
gentry be. For manners maketh man as our old 
parson used to preach, and many a tell he 's 
had wi' me about the respect us should have one 
tu another. IJut them as has n't got can't give, 
and think of my Em'ly set up to teach a parcel 
of little innocents " 









236 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



It 



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If 



Shp lifted a thin band worn with toil nnd age, 
and shook ji tinker at Erica. 

*' Will her teach them what niannerH means, or 
gratitude, or learn them not to Im^ ashamed of 
honest work?" she asked, passionately. "But 
I hi<les my time in patience, for I says, gude will 
come out of arl, and the cliange Ik; but lM*gin- 
ning. IMesently them as works for us will sec 
HO clear as I do sitting pondering over it arl, 
after seventy year toiling in the thick on't. 
And I see as presently the children will be 
tart as character stands even above buke- 
learning, and that 't is only vules as lie ashamed 
of work; for lookee liere, miss, honest work 
nuikes h(»nest men, and there 's none so quick 
as workers tu find out as there's no equality 
under the sun; and tu show who can teach the 
rest, and who's a bungler, and band together 
against the shirkers and the d -inkers, and make 
laws against them and learn era to obey, and 
choose the best man for their ;.-ader and stand by 
him and one another true and loyal. Loyal!" 
she crie<l, « they been saying as there bain't m, 
more loyalty among us. 'T is n't true I There '11 
be no tark of want of loyalty when a man have 
summat tu lose. (Jive un a home as is worth 
fighting for and see if iin won't fight vor 't. 
'^Jive un time to know what th' inside of his 
own home be like, and let the lowly have a bit 
of leisure f r the joy o' living so well as the 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 237 

jjreat — " she MtopjMMl MutMrnly — " You 'm pl(»jis4» 
to excuse. Hut I p'ts cuitumI away. Having a 
long tonj^ue ami hoiug a witty woman, I pouiH 
forth my tharts " 

" I like your talk, and I Ml come again," said 
Ei'ica, rising with that air of amusi'd gracious- 
noss which she had worn throughout the 
interview. 

" Swing as how I shall soon be forced to hold 
my peace for ever," said ^Irs. lU'Uce, grimly, 
"'t ain't surprising I should like to tark Aliile 
I can, and wi' some one tu listen better 'n Em'ly, 
as understands nart." 

" I think I 'm sorry for Km'ly," observed Erica. 
"I expect you 're rather hard <m her." 

With a sudden impulse she uni»inned a g(dd 
safety pin set with a turquoise horse-shoe, which 
she wore at her throat. It was a brooch she did 
not cart 1 :; and a relic of days she wished to 
forget. 

" Give that to Em'ly," she said, with a little 
laugh. 

" Tier '11 be clean rampin' mazed with joy," 
said ^[rs. Hence, and reddened with pleasure. 
" Doantee think I 'm hard on her," she urged. 
" Tier be a gude maid in her wav. You 'm 
forgetting that basket." 

As Erica went away the old woman looked 
wistfully after her. 

" They 'm all alJke. Youth be for youth, taking 



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238 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

arl our wm> wlwloni aii.l KohMiin tliurtH zo liffhl 
us fhiHtlnloun. Milt tlKM-,. 'tis. Th,.v got their 
time before iiu, ami um Iciiowk we got tii go sune 
and thereby what 's play to them be death tu uh '' 



m^^^ 




t* ' , 



CHAPTER XTII 



1 ',a 



The aftorijoon post l»ron«;lit a h^Hor from 
Robin which Lord ErritT read aloiHl to Tom ami 
Erica, suimnoning them mysteriously to his 
study for that purpose. 

It was datwl fron« Sin<;aporo, and written 
some days Ix'fore th« despatch of the cable 
suggest injj the sale of tluj pictures. 

" I have been carcfiilhj cram in in r/ a mimher of 
ruhhcr estates out here, ami am quiiv conritunl 
that there in a f/rcat deal of woncj/ in the huHi- 
ness. We are hard at work anjnirinff Janfe 
interests in several of the hf/i/rst and bent 
properties, and we shall he floaiinf/ four really 
good propositions on my refnr,i to London. 
YouV sec in the papers that Kwia Keliling, 
the shares in irhirh were only all' ! led the day 
after I cabled you, arc already ah;re par, and 
J am convinced that that is ouly the hryinning. 
and that the four I am speaking of hare juat as 
good prospects. A boom is, in my opinion, cer- 
tain in a year or two— say in 190.', or 190G— 
otid I am personally convinced that tvith the 

339 



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240 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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enormous impetus to the cotisumption of rubber 
irhich must foUoiv the decelopment of motors all 
over the irorhl, a thousand pounds invested now, 
ini(/ht bring in forty or fifty per cent, in a few 
years' time; perhaps with luck even more. Never 
since the beginning of things has there been such 
a chance! Don't think I'm romancing, my dear 
old Dad, I'm basing my arguments on the de- 
mand that's bound to come, and the known 
limits of the supply; and older and wiser heads 
than mine are pretty well turned out here at the 
almost certain prospect of eventual magnificent 
profits. Their weak point is that they haven't 
the money to carry on through the lean years 
that lie immediately ahead, and that's where 
we come in. I am so afraid you will be put off 
by the fact that if you invest as I advise and 
urge, there would be no possibility of interest 
for the present, or for some time to come; and 
I fear you may be too much pressed for actual 
income to meet your yearly expenditure, to be 
able or willing to follow my suggestions, since 
you told me before I started that, short of selling 
Kcllacombe itself, you saw no possibility of rais- 
ing money for investment. But it would be worth 
while to borrow a little ready money, even if you 
hare to pay five per cent, for it, and let me put 
you into some of these things on the ground 
foor. Do take counsel with Tom, and try and 
hit upon something." 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 241 



"Well— the pictures ought to run to eight 
or ten thousand— f 10m what Duveen says," said 
Lord Erriff, looking up at his son. " According 
to Robin, I might get three or four thousand a 
year out of that one of these days, eh? Sounds 
like a fairy-tale," said Lord Erriff, shaking his 
head delightedly. « My poor grandmother who 
never brought a halfpenny into the family dur- 
ing her lifetime — to bring us that after being 
dead for years! But I regret those two pictures 
all the same." 

" Still, it 's a good deal of money to sacrifice 
for the privilege of looking at her portraits," 
said Tom, smiling. 

" A} Well ! They 're out of our hands 
now, and we '11 see what Christie's will do for 
them." 

"You'll cable to Robin directly the sale's 



.«> .'« 



over 

*' To be sure; don't I believe in his business 
instincts just as much as you do yourself? " said 
Loi'd Erriff, enthusiastically. 

The prospect began to excite him, and he 
built castles in the air; quadrupled his capital, 
sold out half, paid off mortgages, doubled Tom's 
allowance, and provided for his younger chil- 
dren, in the course of two or three turns about 
the library. 

Erica listened eagerly. She was glad she had 
paid no attention to Lady Erriff's suggestion 



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242 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

that the gentlemen ha<l better be left to them- 
selves, to discuss Robin's letter, which had to 
do with investments and such like dull matters. 
AVhen her father-in-law presently turned to her 
and apologised for his discursiveness, she laughed 
and said, "IJut I like business, and it interests 
me very much." 

She declined to go out again, pleading that 
her morning's walk had tired her, and when 
Tom offered to stay at home with her, she be- 
sought him very prettily to go out with his 
sister Kathleen. 

He departed reluctantly, but once out of doors, 
was tempted to remain there, assisting his father 
to superintend the planting of a quantity of 
spruce firs, and Erica had i)lenty of time to 
execute the plans she had in her mind. 

Writing to her mother, she enclosed a sealed 
letter which she desired Lady Clow to post 
immediately and with her own hands. 

It was addressed to Mr. Ilelmuth Reinhardt, 
and contained an almost telegraphic intimati(»n 
that the £2(),0()0 had b -en paid into her mother's 
account, and that Erica now desired the whole 
instead of the half, to be invested in rul)l)er, 
and would be quite content to wait for her 
profits. 

Then she went and sat by the window of the 
great state apartment which was her bedroom 
at Kellacombe, looking out upon the park, down 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 243 



H 



at the (1(HM" movinuj slowly across the turf, ami 
the gusty ripples on the «lark brown surface of 
the lake, reflect in*,' the bare trees, and cloudy 
grey sky; and up at the black steers groupivl 
upon the crown of the bracken clothed sh»iH*s, 
and outlined sharply against the watery, low 
brightness of a colourless sunset. 

As the light waned, she grew depressed; and 
her thoughts recurred to her call upon Mrs. 
Bence. She wondered idly what Eni'ly was like 
—the sharp little modern maiden who won 
scholarships and crossed the road to avoid meet- 
ing the honest workman who was her father. 
"NVere her sympathies with Em'ly? Uncomfort- 
able comparisons presented themselves. She 
saw her mother's large, piteous face, fading 
from rapture, at the suggesti(m that she should 
not visit the house in Lower lielgrave Street 
uninvited. Fragments of the old cottager's 
conversation haunted her mind : 



» 



31 



m 



" I told her — her might speak so fine and dress 
so gay as her would, hut 't was a low mind and 
a common as lurked beneath such outward seem- 
ing. . . . * Mother, 'tis ignorance. Doantee he 
hard. Life will teach her better. . . .' " 

Erica shook off these thoughts impatiently 
but they recurred; and she wished for Tom's 
return. 



;h 





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244 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

When he came in, it was as though a rush 
of wet, cold air entered the room with him; and 
the face he presyed against hers was fresh and 
cold. 

" I 'm late, darling, but my father and Kath- 
leen were so excited over the arrival of the 
young specimen firs, and so anxious to get them 
in at once, th«< we all turned to and worked 
over the planting. There are a couple of blue 
stone pines — little beauties. My old Dad and 
Kathleen had settled where everything was to 
go, and we got in the last befoia the light failed. 
You '11 see them all to-morrow. I wished you 'd 
been there, it was so jolly; but it would have 
tired you, standing about, and yon 'd have been 
cold — " his voice was tender. " Have you been 
very dull, Sweetheart?" 

" I 've been resting — and writing to my mother 
— and then looking out of the window and 
thinking." 

She wore a warm, quilted wrapper of white 
silk, and the white hand he held was soft and 
warm ; he knelt beside her, and looked out across 
the tossing branches of the forest trees, now 
silhouetted blackly against the stormy sky. 

" Oh, Erica — I love this place so — you don't 
know what it is to me to be here. I wish it 
did n't bore you " 

" I never pretended to like the country," said 
Erica. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 245 



« 



I know. And 



t — I can't help wondering 
what you '11 do when the time comes for us to 
live here," he said, rather wistfully. 

" That mav not be for ages." 

" (}od forbid that it should be soon," he said, 
" but in the ordinary course of nature it 's bound 
to come." 

"We needn't live here all the year round 
even then, I sui)pose," she said. 

He rose, and moved across to the fireplace, 
and built up the logs carefully to make a larger 
fire; and she left the window, and curled herself 
comfortably into the deep old-fashioned sofa in 
the chimney-corner. Tom blew up the red ashes 
into a white blaze, and as soon as the flames were 
roaring up the wide chimney, he came and sat 
l)esi(le his wife, and drew her closely to him. 

" Sweetheart — I wish it was n't so dull for you. 
If we were better off, we could fill the house 
with people, and you'd see then how jo' y the 
place can he. Of course now, with my 1. other 
just pottering round alone, and no one to be 
entertained or entertaining, and my father out 
all day, and Kathleen and Brigit no companions 
for you — it is dull. But if Robin's prophecy 
comes true, you wait and see how different 
Kellacombe would be. It 's awfully difficult to 
do any place justice when every halfpenny has 
to be counted, thanks to my spendthrift uncle. 
Nobody knows how good my old Dad is, and 



^iii 



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246 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

my mother too for that matter. They go shabby 
and deny themselves every luxury except hunt- 
ing, but no (me can say their cottages are n't 
as go(»d as any in the country, nor their tenants 
as well cared for; and they both do an awful 
lot of good in their way." 

" Do you think it does any good to carry 
custard puddings to old women? " asked Erica. 

" Not in itself " — he coloured, IxH-ause he was 
sensitive, and did not like the faint inflection 
of satire in Erica's voice. " The day is long 
past when a little attention of that sort from 
the squire was sup[)osed to console a labouring 
man's wife for a leaking roof or a scanty wage." 

" If I had been a labourer's wife in those 
days," said Erica, contemptuously, " I should 
have thrown the pudding out of the window." 

" No, you would n't," he said, quickly. " You 
forget that the opinions of the labourer's wife 
have changed quite as much as the opinions of 
the squire's wife. The gentry in those days 
were just as hard on themselves as on their 
tenants. They supposed it to be the will of God 
that humanity, and especially the weak and 
poor and the young, should suffer and be glad. 
Look at the way they treated their own children. 
My grandfather was flogged at four years old 
with a horsewhip, for stupidity over the Latin 
grammar; we have the fact conscientiously re- 
corded in mv great-grandfather's diarv. He was 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 247 



brought up so severely that he used to cry with 
cohl and hunger as a little ehihl, and was 
thrashed unmercifully at all ages, in deference 
to Solomon's recommendation, by pious parents 
who believed they were doing their duty. Yet 
he grew up to be the kindest, wittiest, and 
merriest of men as well as a great lawyer, and 
hiK wife was shocked because my mother was 
given chloroform when I was born. She houirht 
that it was flying in the face of the Scriptures, 
and that women ought to sulTer the pangs of 
childbirth because it was God's will; and for 
the same reason she and her forel)ears were 
honestly persuaded that the poor should be con- 
tent with hardship and glad to run at the 
chariot wheels of the great ; and the poor thought 
so too. It is absurd to blame people who were 
all acting honestly according to their lights, 
iH'cause they did not act according to our modern 
notions." 

"You always want to make out that every- 
body means well," said Erica, impatiently. 

" I think— most people — do," said Tom, slowly. 
" In the cases I "m quoting I 'm sure they did. 
And in any case I 'm quite sure that it 's not 
fair to talk as if the cruelties or injustices of 
the past, were committed by the same people as 
we are to-day, or suffered by the same people. 
Our very natures have changed to a certain ex- 
tent under the influence of civilisation. Imagine 



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248 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

a crowd of to-day watchinj? the burning? of a 
young girl at the stake. Many wouhl be phy- 
sically unable to look on, an<l the rest beside 
themselves with indignation and pity." 
" I suppose people got used to it." 
'* Exactly, and I suppose some people would 
say that it proves our national decadence; and 
others that it shows how our best susceptibilities 
have developed." 

" And of course you 'd say the latter." 
"I should. But I think they've developed 
very slowly. In fact I think they almost stood 
still for a number of years; and that lately 
they've grown with a great rush, just as our 
facilities for moving from one place to another 
have grown with a great rush. Komember it 's 
a comparatively sh(>.t time ago that a famous 
judge gravely laid down the axiom that a man 
could beat his wife with a stick no thicker tlian 
his little finger. Imagine a judge who would 
dare now recomi'^iend a man to strike a woman. 
Also think how happily husbands of that date 
got drunk every night, and how I'^le disgusted 
were their wives, who called a ber man a 
milksop. After all, squeamishness iS a modern 
product, and if you go back far enough, nobles 
were scarcely better ofiF than peasants, so far as 
actual comfort, cleanliness, and sanitary condi- 
tions were concerned; and to none of them was 
slavery an outrage, but part of the natural order 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 249 

of things. It 's a far cry from the Saxon thrall 
with his brass ring round his nock, to the English 
labourer of a hundred years ago even in the 
meanest cottage, and with the lowest wages." 

" You seem to have thought a great deal about 
it. I suppose your conscience pricked you," said 
Erica, with her favourite shrug, and the ghost 
of a yawn. 

"Of course I've thought about it," he said 
bluntly; "everybody concerned with landowner- 
ship thinks about it now. A hun<lred rears ago 
I probably shouldn't have troubled my head 
over the subject." 

" I don't see what all that jumble has to do 
with the custard pudding your mother made me 
carry to old Mrs. Dence, in spite of her being 
a socialist — or perhaps in order to convert her." 

" You don't understand the relati(mship which 
still survives bet>\een the great house of the 
village and the cottage, simply because you 're 
a cockney; and though you may have visited 
both, you haven't lived in either," he said 
quickly. " The carrying of the pudding is only 
the symbol of a kindly intercourse of life between 
neighbours, and has nothing to do with the con- 
descending charity of strangers. It would be 
very much resented if it could l)e said, * So and 
so was ill, and not so much as a jug of soup 
sent from the hall.' After all, it is only a more 
sensible and practical form of visiting card." 




f^ml 



250 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

With a quick change of voice and h)()k he Haid 
pleadingly, "don't Hneer at my mother, Erica. 
She haN many faultH— but nobody 's perfect ; 
and if any one 'h ill or in trouble Hhe tlie« to 
help. Indee<l— in her way— she ban a heart of 
gold, and iH the nouI of generosity." lie paused 
and said in a low voice, " She did n't like our 
marriage, it's true; but it was she who pro- 
po.sed at once to add to our allowance. My 
father had nothing to spare. Kellacombe of 
course doesn't pay for its upkeep— what little 
numey there is, is hers. I don't like to think 
what she .nust have cut off of her own wants to 
supply ours. And she would n't dream of men- 
tioning it, and would lie hurt if we did. It 's 
so much a matter of course to her. Be a little 
indulgent. After all— she is my mother." 

" That 's the sort of argument which annoys 
me, Tom," said Erica, dispassionately. " I can't 
like people because they happen to be mothers 
or fathers or brothers or sisters. I should have 
liked your father if he 'd been no relation to you 
whatever, and the reverse argument must hold 
good of your mother. What is the use of pre- 
tending? To be perfectly frank, I think the less 
she and I see of each other the more friendly 
we are likely to be." 

Tom said nothing. He stared into the flames 
which his touch had evoked from the wood ashes. 
His spirits were dashed and chilled. 



Hi' 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 251 

"You mean we'd hctlcr ^o awiy nw soon an 
p(»sHil)l(»? " 1,(. said in a dull volco, from which 
all the waniifh of fccliii}; wlilcli had prompted 
his appeal foi- sympathy had diiMl away. 

" I don't want to he u hnite," said Krica, half 
anjjHly, half ivlentingly. " Hut y«.u must see for 
yourself that I 'm ai Hsh out of water here, and 
that your mother and sisters and I haven't a 
thing in common. It 's not my fault that I 
wasn't brought up in the country. I 've plenty 
to do in L(md«)n." 

If Ton wondered what Erica had to do in 
Lond<m, he did not say so; and a silence fell 
l)etween them, Avhicli remained unbroken until 
the sound of the dressing-gong startled them 
both. 



11:1 



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CHAPTER XIV 



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Erica and Tom returned to London in March, 
and Erica was very glad to be at liome. 

As she enten'd the little drawing-room in 
Lower Belgrave Street, she thought it looked 
smaller, snugger, and prettier than ever in com- 
parison with the great bare white hall, filled 
with a litter of maps, and riding whips, and 
newspai)ers, and shabby arm-chairs, and di- 
lapidated tiger-skins, which was the family liv- 
ing-room at Kellacoml)e. Also, she decided, in 
defiance of the poets, that she liked daffodils in 
silver vases better than daffodils dancing in the 
east wind, and that violets in crystal bowls were 
as sweet as any to be found under the hedges. 

Concealing these views more or less success- 
fully from Tom, she expressed them with all her 
natural intolerance and emphasis to Mr. Rein- 
hardt, who came to tea with her on the after- 
noon following their return. 

" I am supposed to be looking so much better 
for my change of air," she said, "that Mr. 
Mungo is to be asktnl to paint my portrait." 

" You are looking beautiful," he said, in his 

252 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 253 



inosr imperHonnl mnnnor. " I hat' novor honrtl 
of Mr. Mmij;o. TIm'H' in only one jXTHon who 
Hhould paint your portrait." 

** 1 daresay I" si id Erica Hatirically, when he 
had named the artiKt in tones reverential. " Do 
yon know what lie ehargoH? " 

'' I neitlxr kmiw, nor care. The portrait of 
a iH'autifu! woiaan by a ;»reat artist is for all 
time. It is wo.*th tI'Mtloru a great deal of 
money." 

"lint Tom, .uiii.i|>i)il.v, 18 not worth a great 
deal of money," siiid Kriiji, li};htly, "therefore, 
it can't 1m» done.-' 

Mr. Reinhardt considered. 

" It can be done," he said, seriously. ' ^'o.i 
will come to tea at my rooms, and me r, I j);. 
I haf the honour to l)e his friend. H»' v . i s, ^ 
yon, and he will then ask y<m to griu Ui:n 
the privilege to paint your portrait as a fuvr.i 5 

"I wonder what Tom would say," she suuk 
uncertainly. 

" You do not usually consult any one's wishes 
but your own," he said simply. 

" I '11 come to-morrow," said Erica, decidedly. 
" No — I 'm driving with Daisy to-morrow, I '11 
come Wednesday." 

He looked at her with a withering expression. 

" A great artist does not pay visits to order. 
I will ask him to come an<l see me, and when 
he finds himself in the mood he will arrive. I 



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254 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

shall telephone to you and send my car, and 
you will throw over Daisy, or who(?ver it is, 
and come without delay; or lose your chance 
to show Mrs. Tom Garry to posterity as she 
would wish to be shown." 

"There is another Mr.s. Tom Garry who has 
been shown to posterity," said Erica, lightly. 
" Romney painted her. She was a l)eauty." 

" If Romney painted her, she is a beauty 
still." 

Erica acknowledged the truth of his remark, 
and gave him the date of the coming sale, and 
a description of the pictures of Tom's ancestress; 
all of which he noted gravely in his pocket-book, 
— but without ' ; iment. 

She hardly knew whether she gave him the 
information from any subtle ulterior motive or 
not ; and she returned to the subject of her visit 
to Kellacombe. 

" I loathe the country. I loathe country- 
house life. I am overjoyed to be back in 
London," she said. 

" I know little of the life in English country 
houses," he said. " As I told you, I do not go 
into any society, except, of course, that society 
of Bohemia which amuses me and to which I 
belong." 

" I should call it going out of society," she 
said, impatiently. "Of course I know they are 
badly off, and can't entertain much. They live 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 255 



what my mother-in-law calls a nice, simple, 
family life, and I believe she is considered a 
wonderful housekeeper and is quite popular in 
her own neighbourhood." 

" If she is a good housekeeper she would also 
be popular in my country," he remarked. " Xo 
doubt she greatly enjoys her own existence." 

" She does nothing of the sort. She can't 
enjoy her meals because the cook may be selling 
the dripping; nor her wine because the decanter 
is emptier than she thought it was; nor her fire 
because the coals were short iu weight and the 
price gone np; nor her <lrive because the coach- 
man is stealing the horses' corn instead of feed- 
ing them on it; nor her prayers because some 
old woman who ought to be in church isn't 
there." 

" For heaven's sake, it is en(>ugh. Why is she 
not shut up in a lunatic asylum?" 

" I suppose her family have got used to her." 

" Xo doubt they are also sorry for her 
troubles," he suggested. 

"I suppose they think it's the right thing. 
She imagines she is living entirely for her hus- 
band and children, an<l certainly her life must 
be a very dull one. Up at an unearthly hour to 
i'<'ad a chapter with her youngest l)orn, and nag- 
ging at her all the time Iwcanse her hair or 
her pinafore or her slioes ;n-e untied or untidy, 
till the child's sprits are dashed for the day. 






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256 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Then a fii;?ht with the cook and a wrestle with 
bousebold accounts and a wrangle with the gar- 
dener and a tussle with the keeper's wife at the 
lodge; and a Iwiresome drive to call on bore- 
some neighbours, and knitting babies' socks all 
the evening to a running commentary of gossip. 
Before my visit," said Erica, with a little dry 
laugh, " T actually rather looked forward to 
being mistress of Kellacombe; but now she may 
put off turning out as long as she likes if that 
is the kind of existence awaiting me — though 
Tom says hundreds of English women lead it 
contentedly enough." 

" But it is not the kind of existence awaiting 
you," said Reinhardt, composedly. " One's life 
is what one chooses to make it." 

" What sort of life do you suppose mine will 
be? " she asked, looking at him curiously. 

" I am not a prophet. But you will not sac- 
rifice yourself for others, nor live obscurely and 
unknown. It is in the life of the cities — the 
artificial life, that you will shine; not in the 
natural and homely life of the country." 

" I see no chance of shining anywhere," Erica 
remarked, rather fretfully. 

" It will come," he said. 

The next chance of shining that was given 
her, was when she met the great artist in Mr. 
Reinhardt's rooms in Mount Street. 

She received the telephone summons as she 



.. .^ 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 257 



was setting i »rth to attend a niatin^-e with Mrs. 
Woosuani, and she obeyed it instantly. 

" Hut the two stalls will he wasted," cried 
the purchas(»r thereof, in dismay. 

•'Have yon ever met liim?" asked Eriea, 
disdaining argument on this point. 

" No, of course I know he 's one of the greatest 
artists living. But I've often heard he hates 
painting pretty peoi)le. I suppose yon and I 
are both pretty people," she giggled. " Of course 
it will he something to be able to say one has 
met him."' 

" I was n't given leave to bring you," said 
P'rica, thoughtfully. 

"Oh* I hope they won't mind. I shall feel 
wretched. Let me wait outside." 

She followed Erica nervously into the lift, 
which was to take them to the top tioor where 
Mr. Keinhardt dwelt. 

Certain structural alterations had converted 
two flats into one, and the half of <me into a 
great studio. At one end, a recess, lighted by 
a north window, was i»ai'tially screened off; the 
rest of the apartment was decorated with a 
simplicity almost Japanese. 

Some easy chairs and two tables to hold 
tumblers and cigarettes stood round the fire- 
place. In a low window looking over roofs and 
chimney-pots to the gi-ey London sky, a wide 
seat was heavily cushioned, and a wheeled bonk- 
17 



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258 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

tronjrh stood besidt' it. There was a fnll-«ized 
•rrand piano on an <n)en space of parquet floor- 
ing. A Chinese cabinet and a writinj?-table were 
the other articles of furniture. In a corner a 
cherry tree in a giant pot was covered with 
blossom, and this gave a spring-like air to the 
spacious room. 

The great artist lay back in one of the easy- 
chairs, smoking, and the little artist balanced 
himself upon the fender seat. 
" Here she is,'* said Keinhardt. 
The great artist jumped up, and his keen, 
bright eyes shot the quick, narrowed cursory 
irlance of one who has been too often disap- 
pointed, and immediately widened with the joy 
of one who has found that which he has long 
sought in vain. 

The glance inspected and dismissed little Mrs. 
Woosnam in what was literally no more than 
the twinkling of an eye. 

The uninvited guest sidled timidly in the wakcf 
of the beautiful ^Irs. Garry. 

With that air of deliberate disdain, which was 
the disguise of an overwhelming self-conscious- 
ness, Erica came across the polished floor, and 
after touching Keinhardt's hand, and bowing 
slightly in acknowledgment of his introduction 
of his fi-iend, she seated herself with her back 
to the chen-y tree, and faced the window, 

Tbe faint Mavcli sunshine filtering through 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 259 



the London atniosphero of smoke and luizc, 
sought her unveiled fnee, and the soft i-ings <(f 
bright hair l)eneatli her black hat, and illumlne.l 
the pure coinj)le.\ion with its transpai'i'nt Hush, 
and the clear aiwl hnely blue of the cohl, watch- 
ful even. 

The beauty of that colouring, and the full 
curve of the red lips, softened the natural 
severity which the straight profile, and the 
coldnesw of those light eyes, lent to Erica's 
expression. 

There was also the redeeming quality of a 
pretty smile, the luore valuable for its rarity. 

She smiled now as she described with unfeel- 
ing candour the terror of Mrs. Woosnam in 
apprciaching Mr. Keinhardt's studio, witlumt an 
inntation, regardless of the frank i>rotestation 
of hei friend. 

'' I am glad to see you, and I know your 
husband," sjiid Ileinhardt abrujitly to his apolo- 
getic guest. " Fie is very good-looking — a giant 
— he would stand well for the statue of a Norse- 
man of ohl, with his yellow hair and blue eves 
and those big slioulders." 

"Oh— if you know rharliel" cried Mrs. 
Woosnam, and was immediately at eas<- and 
happy; satistied to shelter herself even under 
the .shadow of hi.s name. 

She talked artlessly and ignorantly as her 
fashion was, and exhibited much anxiety to see 



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260 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

all Mr. Keinhardt's possessions, wandering round 
the studio with biui, and examining bis sketches 
and caricatures with her pretty, pert, little face 
alight with pleased curiosity. To entertain her 
further, he unlocked th<' Chinese cabinet, and 
showed her the collection it contained. 

Erica remarked that the room was hot, and 
threw back her sables and her heavy velvet coat ; 
she wore a lace blouse, and her full white throat, 
with two delicious creases, was bare; the close- 
litting bodice revealed the beautiful lines and 
curves of arms and shoulders and bust ; about 
her neck hung the string of pearls which was 
her only ornament, save the two pear-shaped 
globes in her delicate ears. 

She was acutely aware of the piercing eyes 
which devoured her beauty eagerly and criti- 
cally, as she sat, twirling the hand-screen that 
Reinhardt had handed to her, to preserve her 
from the scorching of the fire. Conscious that 
there was no fault to be found with her attire, 
and almost unconsciously confident of her looks, 
she was calmly willing that he should gaze his 
fill, while they exchanged a few commonplaces 
regarding the cold, and the regn'ttabie return 
of wintry weather after the premature outburst 
of spring. 

The personality of the great man did not 
attract Erica; his hair and pointed beard and 
moustache were grey, and she associated grey 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 261 

hair with old age; though there were no signs 
of old age in the brilliant deei)-set eves, the 
clean unlined skin, the niobih' nmuth, and 
nervous virile hands of the artist. 

" I suppose Mr. lieinhardt lias been playing 
to you," she said, with a glanee at the open 
piano. *' He does everything. Have you seen 
his drawings? He did a caricature of me the 
other day." 

" I should like to see it. His caricatures are 
excellent." 

" He has never asked me to sit to him for 
a serious sketch, which I think is unkind," said 
Erica. 

A faint gleam of mockery seemed to flash from 
the brilliant deep-set eyes, but she smiled at 
him so frankly that it vanished, and he sat up 
with alacrity, and said, '' Allow me to repair 
that omission. Will you sit to tnv* " 

" It was rather obvious of me," she said, "but 
of course I know who you are, and every artist 
I have ever met has asked me for u sitting, m> 
I thought I "d get it over." 

The crudeness of her candour jarred on him, 
but he cared so much mor«* for the outline of 
her face and throat, which, as Erica turiMHl 
slightly in nswer to an exclamation from Mrs. 
>N Oosnam, presented to him yet another aspect 
of her beauty, that he dismissed the impression 
with a shrug. 



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A 







262 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

"That would Iw different. I have only sat 
to fifth-iate artists— or amateurs. Hornet imes I 
come out a frij^ht, and sometimes like the lid 
of a chocolate box." 
lie lauy;hed. 

" I will neither make you a fright, nor the lid 
of a chocolate box." 

"Xo, but I have often heard you bring out 
people's bad qualities in a startling manner." 

" It is my endeavour to rei>roduce the person- 
ality," he said, with a queer smile. 

"Oh, Erica!" called ^Irs. Woosnara in 
ecstasy. " Here is something you would like." 

Erica rose very slowly, and dropped the 
magnificent velvet coat altogether; she per- 
mitted herself a little stretch and yawn of relief 
as she did so. 

"It's so frightfully heavy," she said, apolo- 
getically. 

He bowed very slightly, and followed with 
his eyes contentedly the slow movements of the 
statuesque and shapely figure. 

«Xo— " said the guttural voice of Reinhardt, 
authoritatively, " you cannot si'C them properly 
from Ikt^. Oo and sit in the window-seat, and 
I will bring them to the light one by one." 

He liftcHl out a little tray, and brought a small 
table to Erica's aide. 



gems. 



" Fnset 



Are n't they loveiv 



Mv!" said Mrs. 

•7 H 



Woosnam. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 263 



Erica picked out a large, round Htoue of dull 
red from its bed of cotton wool. 

" Ih it a ruby? I ]ik<' tlicni 1mm irr cut," she 
said. 

Mr. Keinhardt very gontly directed her open 
liaml, in width the stone lay, towards the sun- 
light; the imprisoned rays leapt to life, and 
transfigured the gem. 

'* It is a star ruby," said Keinhardt, " the finest 
I haf seen. It is for you, if you will luif it." 

The delight on Erica's face transfigured it 
almost as completely as the sunlight ha<l trans- 
figured the precious stone. 

" He 's given me a star sapphire— look," said 
Mrs. Woosnam. "Only I m7// don't think I 
ought to take it. Whatever wiil Charlie say?" 
—in her excitement the natural vulgarity of her 
speech became almost rampant. " You '11 have 
to come to dinner with us ami let him thank 
you himself, Mr. Keiiduirdt." 

Erica looked at the sai)phire, which was of a 
grey blue, with an even more perfect star. 

" I haf a gi-eat many star sapphires, more or 
less blue; but I haf «mly one star ruby," said 
Keinhardt, quietly, and he held out a little dish 
of mother o' pearl, in which lay twenty or thirty 
of the dull round grey-blue stones, which flashed 
into a constellation as a direct ray from the sun 
fell upon them. 
"The ruby is worth more than all those 



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264 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

HapphireH put togi^ther, I Huppow'? " wiid the 

artist. 

R«Mnhai(lt lookod up, juul they exchanged a 
Hinile so biii-f that it was hardly iiu»re than a 
flash of tinderstanding. 

" lie's nnuli too generous, hut just look what 
heaps of things he" has," cried ISIrs. Woosnam, 
and brought forward another little tray full of 
rounded compart nients, containing »'»< h a cut 
napphlre— light Mue, yellow, white, and purple; 
sparkling and flashing. 

" I haf collected gems for many years," said 
Mr. Reinhardt. " Here are different co> mred 
pearls, golden, grey, black, and pink. The pink 
are from the Bahamas, the golden from Ceylon, 
where I got the star ruby and all the sapphires 

and these." 

He held (mt a much larger tray, and immense 
aquamarines, cut like diauKUids, lay like minia- 
ture lakes, of every shade of sea-green and faint 
blue and cerulean waters. 

Erica had forgotten the artist, and the thought 
kA her portrait. ?ihe hung breathlessly over the 
little trays which he held out to her one after 
the other, perhaps more really interested than 
she had ever lieen before in her life. 

He shook out a bag of opal-tinted milk-clouded 
moonstones onto her lap, and she plunged her 
hands into them, with a delight almost childish, 
letting them slip through her white fingers. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 265 



" They aiv of no vulut?," he Huid, " thene, t 
came from Ceyhm. I iK'licvf it \h only tlu 
that they are foiiml, I bought most of my gems 
iu the countrieH m here thev were found." 



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It is a pity they shonhl ever Iw Net," E 



nea 

wild, regretfully. 'SVre you not afraid to keep 
HO many here? Surely they might 1k» stolen?' 

He 8howe<] her that the eabinet eon«<'aled a 
safe, and remarked that he douhte<l whether even 
his servant knew what it contained. 

"There are only two stones of real value," 
he said, "and those I do not kt'ep here," und 
he brought from the drawer of his writing-tal»le 
a wash-leather bag, from which !'e produced u 
oat's-eye of enormous size, and a sa[)phire so 
large and lustrous and of siuli a deep blue, that 
Erica glanced discontentedly at her ring. 

"They are both worth a grrieat deal more 
numey now than they were when I bought them," 
he remarked, contentedly. *' For the sapphire I 
paid only nine hundred pounds, it is worth now 
fifteen huudri'd at least. And the cat's-eye " 

" I don't like the cat's-eye," said Erica, but 
she looked longingly at the sapphire. 

" I will paint you as ^larguerite, in the jewel 
scene," said the artist, with a touch of nmlice 
in his pleasantry. '' It would be a new reading 
of the part " 

Keinhardt demurred so violently that Erica 
interposed. 



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266 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" I have n't yat said I would sit at all, and 
if I do, I shall wear my green chiffon tea-jj;own," 
she observed. *• It is more heeonung than any- 
thing else I have, and it won't date. Some day 
I shall be painted in a magnificent Court dress 
with quantities of jewels," she explained; 
'•but it does not need a great artist for that 
sort of thing. The Komney portrait of the 
beautiful ^Irs. Garry is just a girl in a white 
frock— and the Opie, which I do not like nearly 
so much, is the same. I Jut I must be painted 
in green.'' 

She disregarded the sounds made by the great 
artist and the small one, and did not trouble 
to enquire whether these were intended to convey 
approval or protest. With a calm that petrified 
31 rs. Woosnam, she explained that the picture 
must be finished in time for Tom's birthday, 
which was the 1st of May, and that the sittings 
must be without his knowledge, that the gift 
should come as a surprise. 

" But are you sure he meant to gifc it to you, 
at all? " asked 3Irs. Woosnam as Erica's majestic 
figure presently preceded her into the motor. 

Erica drew the black fox rug about her knees, 
and shivered in the March wind. 

" I am not at all sure," she said, serenely, 
"but I am quite sure I don't mean to sit to 
him for nothing. Why should I? Of course 
he can make a copy if he chooses." 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 267 

Mrs. Woosnain d,M not answer; sho was a 
.ttle nnoasy. Evua's c-ool acceptance of favours 
fnj:htcno<l her, and left her •h.uh.ini; whether 
he.; mvn heart-felt thanks for the star sapphire 
which now rc^sted in her purse, had not been 
too profuse. 

MVhere shall y.ni have it set?" asked Erica 
I thou-ht I M uait and show it to Charlie " 
Mrs. ^^oosnam su-oested, rather faintly 

A moment later she -ave the ordei'- for the 
motor to stop at a shop in IJond Street 

The jeweller with whom she was accustomed 
to deal rather pooh-po(,hed the sapphire, strik- 
ing' half a dozen matches in the effort to h^ht 
yp the star; but he showed a .imod deal n.ore 
interest in Erica's ruby, and demurring to the 
snjfffostion of a plain setting;, recommended a 
diamond mount of jjrecisely similar ^lesi^n for 
each, to be worn as a pendant. 
^^ " That would be very nice," cried .Afrs. Tharlie, 
exactly alike! It would be a souvenir of this 
afternr,on, and of our friendship," she whispered 
aside to Erica, addin^^: ^^ You "11 let me pav for 
noth, darling, plcafic:^ " * 

';if .von like the ruby better than the sap- 
P""'e, I m quite willing to change," Erica 
'•''marked, dispassionately, as they re-entered the 
motor. 

'' I would n't think of it. Why, thev said 
It was worth ever so much more. But it's 



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268 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

just like you to offer," said Mrs. Woosnam, 
enthusiastically. 



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Reinhardt, — who had escorted his visitors only 
into the lift, with an apology for feeling obliged 
to return to his distinguislied guest — shut the 
door of the studio on re-entering, and uttered 
the monosyllable, " Well?" 

The artist was stroking his short-pointed 
beard thoughtfully, and looking into the fire. He 
raised his head and smiled. " Well? " he echoed. 

"Is she not wonderful?" asked Reinhardt; 
his guttural voice deepened and became musical 
with emotion. " Ripe perfection, — in form — in 
colour — what is there left to desire? She is 
large, yet each pose into which she falls reveals 
a fresh beauty. Even when she poses con- 
sciously, she is not ungraceful. Could more be 
said? " 

" She is posing all the time," said the artist 
thoughtfully. 

" That is so," agreed Reinhardt. " It is the 
blemish that banishes the divine elusiveness of 
charm from her, that she can hardly for a mo- 
ment be natural. Yet — whether she casts down 
those heavy eyelids so that the thick golden 
fringes lie on her cheek that has the bloom of 
the peach; or whether she looks — with that 
assumed frankness which veils a purpose almost 
brutal in the directness of its egotism — into your 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 269 

eyes; or whether she parts her lips, and smiles 
slowly, displacing the dimples of a child— can 
you take your eyes from a face that is like a 
statue's come to life; that has stolen the fresh- 
ness and colour of the rose and retained the 
coldness and severity of the marble? " 

"She came to life, and forgot herself, and 
was natural for one moment when you showed 
her the gems," said the artist, " but the onlv 
revelation I could perceive was the unconscious 
greed that showed in her eyes when you dropped 
the shower of moonstones into her If .; though 
her face fell when you mentioned tha'. :hey were 
of no value," he laughed whole-heartedly. 

Reinhardt shrugged his shoulders. 

" A woman holds out her hands for jewels 
as a child does foi a plaything," he said. « The 
question is— will you paint her for me? " 

"For her husband?" said the artist, with a 
flash of his bright e; es. « You forget his birth- 
day IS on the 1st of May." 

Reinhardt smiled. 

« I want her ^ immortalised as she is now 

^""t ''''!FJ'''' '^"^ ^^ ^* ^'^ I ^^'^°t it done," he 
said. The question of the ownership of the 
picture does not disturb me." 
"I would do more than that to please you," 

ness that characterised him. « Also she is an 
interesting subject-up to a certain point." 




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270 The Honourable ^trs. Garry 



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*• What do yon moan — up to a certain point? " 
asked the exact Ilcinhardt. 

" I urn to l»e frank?" 

" I am nnder no lllnsions concerning her; you 
may be as merciless as you will," said Reinhardt, 
calmly. 

The artist smiled in his beard and nodded 
kindly. 

" I mean that, granting? her quite remarkable 
l)eautv — the chief characteristics she revealed 
this afternoon, were, brietiy — f?reed, vanity, a 
complete disregard of othei* people's feelings, a 
certain tenacity of purpose, and a somewhat 
unusual lack of delicacy in pursuing that pur- 
pose — all interesting qualities for a picture to 
suggest — but requiring a certain subtlety of 
treatment if they are to be less glaring in the 
reproduction than they are in the original. And 
when it comes to evoking from such qualities 
as these, any hint of the actual soul of the 
woman " 

The dark eyes, with the involuntarily melan- 
choly expression, met his own. 

" Why must we assume that she has a soul? " 
said Reinhardt. 




CHAPTER XV 



i! 



Erica pivc less than a dozen sittinj^M to the 
brilliant an<l (Mi-alic ailist who was Hcinhardt's 
friend, and he produced a portrait which was 
declared to be the masterpiece of the moment ; 
and which was not only conspicuously displayed 
in the yearly exhibition at Durlington House, 
but was also undoubtedly the most widely 
discussed picture of the year. 

Tom denounced it, and went ajjain and ajjain 
to look at it, fascinated by the cold, wary, blue 
eyes of the portrait, which followed him from 
one side t-j the other, and, wheicver he stood, 
appeared to be lijjhtly mockinj; him. It was 
difficult to criticise a free oift, and Erica had 
had a very pretty little scene with him on his 
birthday morninj?, describing her chance meeting 
^viTh the artist, his 3ntreaty that she would sit 
to him, and his offer of the portrait; and her 
final decision to accept for the sake of his father, 
who so urgently desired a poi-trait of her, and 
could so ill afford to pay for one. Incidentally 
this explanation revealed to Tom the cause of 
many prolonged absences concerning which he 

271 



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272 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

had been too proud to eiHiniie, thonpli he 
had reHcnted not a little tlu' freiiiiency with 
which his wife had deserted him for the society 
of Mrs. Woosnaiii, 

He wished she had cliosen a less remarkable 
garment to wear for her portrait than that form- 
less, clinging, scanty drapery of chitfon; but it 
was hard to qiiarrel with the presentment of 
bare arms so exquisitely moulde<l, of a neck and 
bosom so white and rounde<l and of such statu- 
esque proportions; and though he did not think 
the pictured face nearly so beautiful as Erica's 
own, he was fascinated, too, by the \A'ay in 
which that exquisite figure, leaning against a 
black oak pillar, ir its green dress, appeared 
to dominate the crowd with its disdainful 
gaze. 

Lord Erriff, for his part, declared that the 
picture did his daughter-in-law no sort of jus- 
tice, but he was flattered by the sensation it 
created, and read the notices in the papers 
aloud to his wife, with excited comments of his 

own. 

Lady Clow drove to the Academy in a four- 
wheeler, and with the utmost difficulty mounted 
the staircase, and after a despairing glance at 
the turnstile, was compassionately admitted by 
a side entrance to the exhibition, where she 
walked about with her catalogue opening of it- 
self at the page where the name of the Hon. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



273 



3rrs. Oarr.v, slianMl a lino witli du' name of lun- 
distinguislKMl ilclim.ator. She was so ajritatcd 
that it was not for some time after she wont 
away that she realised that she had forjjotten 
to look at any of the other pietnres. She waited, 
pantinjf, in the crowd, opposite her danjjhter's 
portrait, until a vacant place, or rather two 
vacant i)laces, offere.l her a seat; and then sho 
sjit there for upwards of two hours, jra/,iiijr;-_ 
with her spectacles on and her spectacles^W, 
alternately, an<l her soul in her dinuned eyes* 
listening,' to the remarks made by the (mlookers! 
" It is Erica to the life. Not onlv her l)ut 
her very spirit. P.ut oh ! if it had not In^en just 
at that moment that be caught the likeness!" 
she ejaculated to herself, and wrung her hands 
together in her iap. " I Se scnm her look like 
that over and over again, when we 've l)een hav- 
ing one of our talks that 's kept me awake ail 
night. I had half forgotten— hut that look 
brings it all hack," thought the poor womar.. 
" I could sit for ever and look at her. Yet it \s 
as though she 'd just mocked me to my face, as 
she used to, in that way of hers that often made 
me wonder— (5od forgive me— why I ever brought 
her into the world at all." 

fehe returned to IJurlington House a second 

time, bearing the fatigue and unpleasantness to 

one so timid, of finding hersolf in a crowd; and 

again she experienced the shock of acute recog- 

18 



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274 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

nit ion, in meeting Eriou'H very eyes on the 
painted eanvus. 

Ami Htandiiii? l)efore tlie picture caught a 
whispere " name, and had lur attention directed 
to jt good-looking man with a pointed, grey beard 
and l)iilliant eyes, who was pausing also iH'fore 
the portrait— ghincing up at it with a half- 
satirical, half-amused smile on his jjarted lips. 

The strangers who had whisi)ered his name 
to each other, turned politely away, but Lady 
Clow uttered a stilled exclamu.ion, and became 
so pale with emotion that the artist, supposing 
her to be fainting, authoritatively cleared a 
space for her and placed her on c seat. 

' Oh, no, no — it 's nothing," she faltered, 
" it 's only— I heard your name, and I— I 'm her 
mother." 

lie took the seat beside her, and tl^e crowd 
being very great, the slight commotion and stir 
of the episode was almost immediately lost in 
it, so that they could speak unobserved, and it 
seemed to Lady Clow as though a laugh were 
hidden in the curly, grey l)e«rd, as the kind, 
bright, amused eyes met her own. 

" Her mother— I sec now," he said. " And 
what is your verdict, I wonder?" 

She told Erica afterwards, in piteous tones, 
that she had not meant to say a word when she 
began; but there it was— he was so gentle and 
encouraging that he seemed to draw her on. She 



The Honourable Mrs. ("iarry 275 

r -Iniiicd that Hhe roiiM not «lony tlic llkjTrsH 
It WHS HO sturtlinjr (hat jt „,;,,i,. j,",.,. |„..,^, j,„, j 
info hop month. |{,it if only— if ,niy— 

"Tell nic," he said, iHMi.lin}; synipaihoticallv 
towards hiM, " I would rathoi- have \imt.' critj- 
• ism than any on.'*s— f,,,- who can knVw her as 
you must know her? " 

"And who indoHlV" said I^idv Tlow, when 
she reported this conversation fait'- fully to 
Kiica. " * I5ut oh '-I sai<l, ' if onlv vou \\ hap- 
IK-ned to catch her in o. e of her rare moments 
—when she h«ts fall a word that shows she's 
fond of me in her ow.i way after all; ami hriufrs 
l>ack tlie recollecticm of the coaxin;: wavs she^ 
urown out of-that would have iua.le mv child 
as she used to be, live once more for her mother 
For after all,' I said, Mhe dead :hemselves are 
not more !ost to us than t!ie children who turn 
iiK . fjrown-up people. In fact, you know, w<. 
may hope to see our dead a-ain, but nowhere 
IS It premised to .1 po,,,. mother that she mav 
hold ajraii.' in her anus the ImHc soft innocent 
thing that used to clin- to hor, let her vearn 
as she may. That is over for ever. They'^row 
lip and look at y(»u with hard eyes like those in 
the picture— and only now an(^ then peihaps a 
jrlance or a word— to remind vou.' And he said 
thoughtfully-' I ougLt to have dis erned the 
possibility, but you see, when your daughter .sat 
for me, there was nothing to evoke that glan-e 



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276 Th'j Honourable Mrs. Garry 

or wonl. Now if I had but swn y(tu, h«'forc I 
imlntod her' " 

\au\\ (Mow asstin*(l liim oanu'stly that sho ha<l 
never in Ium* life Immmi as pretlv as Mrira. 

" I don't say she did n't \H'\ hvv rinuploxion 
from na»; to 1m' sure I was pink and uliitc as 
a .vonnj; ;;irl could m«*II Ims in my day; I)Ut Iiei- 
tN'autiful f«'attir«'s I never Imd, nor yet her 
figure; and I <lo liope she'll nevtr gel mine; 
nnless things go by eonlraries she shouldn't; 
f«)r when I was her age, I was as thin as a 
thread-paper, and she lias always been wh"* you 
HtH» her now, a little inelined to fulness, it's 
a great misfortune to be so stout us I a.n, and 
the worst of it is you know all the time it '» a 
misfortune people only laugh at. Not to be able 
to go through a turnstile, and to stick in the 
doorway of a cab ji,^ I do " 

There were teai's in lier round guileless eye 
as usual, v.hen the artist, with mingled coartesy 
and gallantry, — yet keenly observant of tlu' 
smiles and glances her mountainous form pro- 
duced — gave her his arm on the stairs, and found 
a cab for her. 

" Curicms. It never occurred to me — the 
tragedy of a fat woman," he said to himself, 
as he returned to tne gallery. 

From Lady Oakridge Erica heard that her 
portrait was discussed at every dinner-table in 



The Ilonourahic Mrs. ( 



»arr)' 277 



I.ondf 



.<»n(N»n. iiihl tiiiit rvcrvlMMl.v >v;is .I^mih io inako 
'";•■ '••■«!««»tinlanr.., an.l ilm i, ^ns a ihoiiHaiiil 
|»Hu's hUv ((Mild iH»t p. mil raiK-ii just now, li * 
that iH'Xf \«'ai- sIh' uonM nMlaJnh liav«' a ih'- 
ll;:hiful timr. siiu,' i-v.-ivImmIv was lavinjr abuiit 

Tho lonvnt of ronipliiiu'iits fioin Toni's ^mI- 
nioilMT was n(»t displrasin^j to Imt, aii.j ii was a 
fart that invitations [...jran at I. -fj, ,„ p„„,. ■^^^ 
upon the voMiig couple, with tlic op«'nin« of the 
Lon(h)ii s«'asoii. 

Konl Eiiitrs sister, Lauly IJivert^m, who was 
a voiy jriH.at jad.v indeed, canie to sih' Eriea, 
r'Hiy fi-oni eiiiiosiiy, and partly hecanse her 
hrotlMT liad lK'<;;;e(l Iter to do so. 

She evinced an unexpected interest in her new 
niece, ti..dinfr her a litiK: lan-„id and subdued, 
as was natural in the circuinsiances; and this 
stoofi Erica in jr<K»d stead, f.u- it c..n(irined Lady 
Hiverton's suspicions that lier sister-in-law'H 
a«.ounts of the younj; woman's want of manner 
aiHl insufferable selfcontidence were largely 
apocryphal. 

" An.l she is certainly the most beaut iftil crea- 
ture that ever was seen," she told he- friends. 
" I'oor, dear Julia has done the familv reputa- 
tion for -ood looks nothing but harm; her child- 
'••'ii have had to try and Ik' handsome in spite of 
I'<'|-; but young Tom's wife will put all that to 
lights in the next generation, it is to be hoped." 



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278 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Lady Riverton was man}' years the senior of 
Lady Erriff, but she was one of those women 
who never seem to grow old. As she had been 
a small, sparkling, lively brunette with beautiful 
dark eyes and black hair at seventeen, so she 
was now a small, sparkling, lively brunette with 
beautiful dark eyes and white hair at seventy; 
still active, still interested in every one and 
everything. 

" Time has stolen nothing but my hair," she 
boasted chee/fully. "What of it? One can 
always buy hair. Sight and hearing and wits 
one can't buy, and those have been mercifully 
preserved to me." 

She asked Tom and Erica to one or two very 
small dinner-parties to meet her especial inti- 
mates; and grey-haired generals, diplomats, and 
statesmen talked in lowered tones to young Mrs. 
Carry, and admired her so excessively that their 
old wives might have looked askance at her had 
she not instinctively retained the subdued and 
gentle air that had so favourably impressed Lady 
Riverton. 

Tom found his Aunt Katie's collection of old 
fogeys very tiresome, for they naturally paid 
him less attention than they paid his wife; but 
he willingly endured the penalty of an occa- 
sicmal dull evening in return for his aunt's 
kindness to Erica, which touched and pleased 
him. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 279 



"Aunt Katie will present you next year, aw 
my mother never comes up. Evei-y one loves 
her, and she loves everybody,'' he told Erica 
" She is like my father, however, very susceptible 
to beauty." 

At the last of these little dinner-parties ap- 
peared Lady Wilhelniina and her husband ; and 
this meeting resulted in an invitation to luncheon 
which Erica informed Tom she did not feel well 
enough to accept. 

She had a shrewd instinct that un<ler the 
shelter of Lady Riverton's wing she would be 
able to do without the belated patnmage of his 
('olonel's wife, and the writing of the refusal 
filled her with secret satisfaction. 

Looking back afterwards on those bright days 
of the early season, they seemed to Erica 
strangely dreamlike and unreal. For though 
she had crossed the threshold of the great world 
which she had hitherto only beheld as an out- 
sider, she was still little more than an onlooker. 

In the early morning she drove to the Park 
with Tom, and sat under the trees, with the 
evidences of spring all about her; carefully culti- 
vated flowering bulbs dotting the turf. She 
watched with unending interest the procession 
of ridcT's and walkers, pleased if now and then 
one man or another detached himself from the 
passers-by, and came and talked to her and 
T«>m. Her young husband was very tender of 



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280 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

her, very attentive to her; territied lest she 
should over-fatigue herself; and rey;ardful of her 
lightest whim. When he was absent on duty, 
]Hrs. Woosnani was only too glad to take his 
place; her motor was at Erica's service, and 
they would fly to Houd Street, or stroll quietly 
down Sloane Street, doing that unnecessary 
shopping that becomes a habit with the idle 
woman in London. 

In the afternoon ^Irs. Garry drove sometimes 
with Lady Riverton in her magnificent old- 
fashioned barouche, or sometimes with Lady 
Oakridge in her smart victoria; insensibly ac- 
quiring a certain amount of knowledge of the 
shibboleth of the circle to which both ladies 
belonged, as to a generation whose manners and 
customs were fast becoming antiquated. 

At tea-time she no longer feared Gudwall's 
amusement when she told him she would be at 
home to visitors; for visitors not infrequently 
came, and the wives of one or two of Tom's 
brother officers appeared, making lame excuses 
or none at all for their delay in calling. Erica 
took her time over the return of these visits. 

She did not feel equal to entertaining people 
at dinner in her own house, mistrusting her 
want of experience, and resolving, with the wari- 
ness characteristic of her, to be at her best when 
she showed herself first to Tom in the light of 
a hostess; but whenever old Lady Riverton lent 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 281 



her opera-box she always made an effort to go ; 
though she cared nothing for music, and though 
the bad air of the opera-house invariably gave her 
a headache. She could not resist the pleasure 
of seeing and being seen by the fashionable folk 
who as yet only knew her by sight as the subject 
of the picture of the year. 

Mrs. Woosnam, with a top-heavy tiara bal- 
anced on her little, round forehead, was on two 
occasions her devoted companion; while Tom 
hovered in the background with Charlie Woos- 
nam. Erica watched enviously the little stream 
of visitors who invaded the boxes opposite her 
own, as she envied also the jewels worn by 
women whose opera-glasses were not infrequently 
directed towards her box. 

On the third occasion, Tom happened to be 
on guard, so Erica invited Lady Oakridge to 
accompany her. A sudden temptation assailed 
her, and she unearthed the emerald and diamond 
necklace and tiara which had lain concealed, 
since her marriage, at the bottom of a trunk, 
and with some trepidation, decided to put them 
on. 

A certain uneasiness of conscience marred her 
enjoyment in wearing them, and it angered her 
that this should be so. " They are my own," she 
thought, « and it is absurd that Tom's fanciful- 
ness should prevent me from displaying them 
openly." 






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282 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Rut she could not shake off the uncomfortable 
feeling; and even found herself wishing that the 
ornaments were less conspicuous. 

" What magnificent emeralds, my dear," said 
the loquacious Lady Oakridge, and dashed oft' 
into long stories of historic gems which she 
averred were not much mor(» remarkable in size 
and lustre than those worn bv ^Irs. Garrv. 

Erica saw ^Ir. Reinhardt's small, sleek, black 
head in the stalls, and was glad that when he 
came up to pay his respects to her l)etween the 
acts, he, at least, made no comments on her new 
display of splendour. 

He was full of passionate invective against 
one of the singers, and equally fervent com- 
mendation of another; and as Lady Oakridge 
was an adept at talking shop on every con- 
ceivable subject, they were presently plunged 
into a discussion. Erica's eyes Avandered about 
the house, noting keenly the occupants of the 
boxes, and now and then interrupting Lady 
Oakridge to ask for a name or a history, aware 
that the lady was perfectly well able to carry 
on two conversations at once Avithout losing the 
thread of either; while she spoke so fast that she 
could pack into ten minutes, information that an 
average talker could not impart under an hour. 

The last interval was nearly over when a voice 
made both Erica and Reinhardt start violently; 
Reinhardt because he was nervous, excited by the 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 283 

music, and highly strung; an«l Erica because she 
thought for a moment that Tom had somehow 
returned unexpectedly from St. James's I'alace, 
where slie had supposed him to be safe on guard 
until the following morning. 

"How do you do," said Robin. "Sorry I 
startled you. I 'm only just back." 

" My dear Robin ! " c-ied Lady Oakridge. " I 
thought you were in the Malay Peninsula, or 
somewhere of that kind." 

He smiled at her affectionately as at an old 
friend. 

" I was," he said, and then turning to Rein- 
hardt remarked, " I meant to turn up and sur- 
prise you at the oflfice to-morrow, but I could n't 
resist the opportunity of coming to pay my 
respects to my sister-in-law." 

He turned his handsome eyes on to Erica ; so 
like Tom in feature, and so unlike, in his light 
and airy nonchalance, his easy palpable vanity, 
and the half-mocking flattery of his smile. 

" How 's everybody? I need n't ask how you 
are." 

His eyes dwelt almost caressingly on her 
flushed face, and his tone was one of frank 
brotherliness. 

" Was my father very much cut up over sell- 
ing the pictures?" he asked confidentially, as 
though to show Erica how complete was his 
acceptance of her as one of the family. 






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284 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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*' I think ho has got over it," she said, smillDg. 
" He will be anxious to hoar " 

" Don't talk business to-niglit," pleaded Robin. 
"Firstly, I've got a toothache, and secondly 
I 'm too intoxicated with joy at finding myself 
at hoiae again to talk sense." 11 is ejes roved 
about the great opera-house; bold, merry, full 
of livelv interest. " I sav, there 's old Corella, 
staring straight up at you like a proper, rude, 
old toad, as they say down to Kellacoml)e." 

"He can't help staring; his eyes bulge nat- 
urally," said Reinhardt. " lie knows more about 
music than any one I haf met here. I shall 
return to my se.it next him." 

The lights were lowered. 

" I put off coming up too long," said Robin, 
regretfully. 

" Won't vou stav? " 

" Thanks, I can't. I 'm with some people who 
came over from Paris with me. Where 's old 
Tom?" 

" On guard." 

" I '11 look him up ; or I '11 come and see you 
both to-morrow if I may." 

lie disappeared and Reinhardt went with him. 

" Helmuth," said Robin, taking his arm affec- 
tionately, as they walked along the corridor. 
" Do you remember I confided to you once that 
I was madly in love with *hat goddess of beauty 
who has now become my sister-in-law? " 



The Honourable Mrs, Garry 2R5 

" I never renieml)er such oonfulenceK," said 
Keinhardt, stolidly. " There liaf been too many." 

" I have come to the end of mine at last," 
said Kobin fervently. " On my way back from 
the Strai' ^—l met " 

" A woman." 

" An adorable grass-widov* , whose husband 
misunderstood her — 

'* Is it possible? " 



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— and whom she had consequently, and 
very properly, left l)ehind her, in a climate — 
well as hot a climate as his worst enemy could 
wish any poor devil to frizzle in," said Robin, 
with a twinkle in his eye. " Still, her ima};e 
is now fixed unalterably in my heart. Before 
I went away red hair appeared to me an 
admirable thing in woman " 

« So it is." 

" It should be black as the raven's wing," said 
Robin, " with hazel eyes, and curling eyelashes, 
and a mat white complexion — to tell you the 
truth the East v ishes out any other sort of 
complexion pretty effectually — I mentioned she 
was French?" 

" No, you did not." 

"French, amiable, witty; a witch who can 
make every other woman one meets appear plain 
and stupid." 

" She must be a witch if she can make your 
sister-in-law appear plain or stupid." 



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286 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

" Litoial as ever," said Uohm with a laugh. 

'* Let me get l)a(k to my seat in time, ami I 
will grant the lady every virtue under the sun." 

" Providenee has Ikm-u beforehand with you, 
oh, omnii>otent one, in granting my charmer 
every virtue," said i{obin, with a shrug. " It 
is her only defect that she s, alas, middle-cla.«<s 
to the haekbone." 

Keinhardt lifted his melancholy eyes to 
Robin's laughing face, with an enigmatical look. 

"When I marry," he said, slowly, "I hope 
that my wife also, may be middle-class to the 
backbone." 






Lady Oakridge drove Erica home, and the 
footman ojiened the door which lurked in the 
shadowed end)rasure between the jutting shop- 
fronts, an<l returned Krica's latch-key to her as 
she descended from the brougham, in her white 
brocade cloak and dainty green satin shoes. 

She uttered her thanks and gorwl-night gaily 
as .she ran across the pavement and into the 
narrow hall-passsage. 

Rut as she shut the door, and put up the 
chain and went up to her l)edroom, passing the 
empty, silent drawing-room— Erica felt an un- 
wonted sadness and depression of spirits. 
Robin's return had brought back to her sud- 
denly the last occasion of their meeting— on tl e 
evening of the day when Christopher had thrown 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 287 

her over, ami when, stun;; to tin. quick by the 
light, (Mmtoinptin.uM lonti.lciuH. „f IJohin'sOflVr 
to rophicc liini, sIiM Imd wiitton hop tivmulous, 
almost despaiiin;r appeal to Tom. ... Ah shJ 
ivinovod the emeial.l and diamoii<l ornaments, 
and puj them in their cases and locked theni 
away, she wislied she had not worn them, or 
that s^he had shown them openly to Tom. P>om 
sheer force of hahit, her inia^'ination busied it- 
self inventing and iKM-fecting a better story to 
account for her possession of them than' the 
stale and trite repetiticm of the fact t» at she 
owed these, as she owed all her possessions of 
value, to Christopher's generosity during their 
engagement. 

IJy the time she had turned out the electric 
light by her bedside, and laid hei- head uptm the 
pillow, she had mentally explained in detail that 
the emeralds were her father's last gift to her 
mother, returned by his creditors in considera- 
tion of the rectitude he had shown in volun- 
tarily resigning his all without a murmur, to 
satisfy their claims. An ampler and more 
romantic history than that of the bracelet, yet 
founded on that story, outlined itself in the dark- 
ness. ... She stopped short, and said aloud 
to herself, almost in terror, " I am weaving a 
tissue of falsehood. I will tell him the truth." 
She wished Tom had been at home, that she 
might make one of those semi-confessions which 



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288 The Honourable Mrs. Gany 



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always eaned her conscience so greatly when she 
was in her present moo<l; and which would l)e 
BO much easier to make in the darkness, and 
with his arms about her. But he would not be 
back until the following morning. 

Contrasting him with Robin, she thought of 
him more tenderly, perhaps, thi n ever before, 
and with a more thankful realisation of the 
security which her possession of his name and 
his love afforded her. 

She was soothed by these thoughts; her de- 
pression gave way to a gentle melancholy, and 
so she fell presently into a sound sleep. 



CHAPTER XVI 

Tom came iipHtairs just iK'f.n-e noon; quietly, 
iM'cauHe Erii-a NomeJimes sIc];: lato, and he fcaml 
to (liHturb her; but she heard him prest'ntly 
moving about his ro«»m and eaHed to hini, 
(liHmiHsin;; her maid. 

He opened the door iM'tween the rooms, and 
tame in; omitting, to her surprise, his usual 
morning greeting. He had unbuckled and laid 
aside his sword, but he was still in uniform; 
anl she noticed that his usually bright alert 
expression was somewhat clouded over. 

"What is it, Tom?" 

" Oh. Nothing " 

" Xonsense. Something 's put you out." 

"I've seen Robin," he said, 'with apparent 
irrelevance. « Only for a moment. lie 'd l)een 
to his office for an hour, and had to rush away 
to his dentist to have his tooth out. He said 
he was going back to the City directly after." 

"Is there anything wrong with his invest- 
ments? " she asked with sudden alarm 

" No," Tom said gloomily. " On itrary, 

he '8 full of buck. Thinking he 's go.. « to make 
<o 389 



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a colosHal fortune. Iff 'h very angry with m, 
father for refuMhij^ to borrow money at an^ 
interest." 

"Well then—" Eriia conipleled deftly th 
coiling of her long hair which Mhe nev(«r allowe* 
her maid to haiid'c Whe h-nned back in he 
blue wrapper, looking up at him. " He toh 
you we'd met at the Oju'ra?" 

" Yes. He sahl you were looking more beaut i 
ful than he 'd ever Heen you, and that every one ii 
the house was talking about you— and admirin; 
your wcmderful emeralds," Kaid Tom, looking 
Htraight at her. 

Erica had abnolutely forgotten her self 
reproach and misgivings of the previous night; 
they rushed upon her memory now, together 
with a great anger; but the anger was directe<l 
ijgainst Kobin and not against herself. 

" It is o<ld," she said, tlushing with vexation, 
but speaking scornfully, " that 1 always had a 
inesentiment that Kobin woula try to make mis- 
cliief between you and me when he came back. 
He hasn't lost much time." 

" That 's rubl)ish," said Tom, .sternly. " Men 
don't do those things. Kobin wished to give me 
ph-asure, and he knew there could be no surer 
way thnn by praising you." 

Erica changed her tone. 

" J 'm sorry, Tom," she said softly. " It was 
horrid of me to say that. But to tell you the 



The Honourable J.Jrs. Gany j,, 

truth-" Erion wn« oon»..i,„i« of ,, gi,,,. „, ^„. 

to ahnn,l«n th- .,.,„■ of 8i,. .,o».,„,v ,^,C 

nn. the return «f ,Ue je»,.|»_" ,„ „.„ vou " 

ruth, I «■„„,. ro»s l..„,„«, ,.,„ „„„„.• ' 

W«.ne I .u,I.Ienly ,.„„„. „,„„, „„, ;.,„^" 

thought how exaetly ,hey '.I ,„„.,h .uv troeki 

ami it «een,e.I « ,h,.„Ha„,l ,,iM,., „„,- ,„ „.,,,„, 

.em. The h,»t ehan.e I „,„,. h,„, „,,, ^.^J 

,„-T, '! •*" "' '"■""' '■'' '""-""ke-l vo" 
f™';"-;.'/ -V" "''"'l"l.-'K".-«UHe, of oou,^., poo 

.n. I (r,e.I then, „„ „n,I they lo„k„I «, wel 

" I sec," ral,] Tom. 

He dirt not oflFer to caress her, nor Biue him- 

«-lf down in his impetuous w^y lK.sid? er 

Imnlting ami praising her for the effort of 

M confession and ap,K>al, as she cvpeetcl. 

r.ea d,d not lilce the change in his manner 

tier anger against Robin grew and strength- 

this" 'H^ -V ''"'■'■"' "' •™" "> t^ke it like 
th s, she .<aid, assuming petulance. " If vou 
only kncw-I lay awake in iK-d last night 'for 

mind to tell yoo about it this morning. That 



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was why I called you in here, and sent Clarge 
away." If her eonscumee protested, she was far 
too anxious to pay any attention to it. 

" Tom, don't be horrid to me." She went to 
him, and put her arms about his tall, uniformed 
fijrure, and laid her head aj^ainst his shouhler. 
Erica rarely offered a caress. " Darling, don't 
vou believe me? " There was the little thrill in 
her voice that could brinjj tears at will to her 
mother's eyes, and now actually brought them 
to her own. 

She saw herself reflected in the long glass of 
the wardrobe, as she clung to Tom; and in the 
midst of her anxiety to prevail, felt a throb of 
satisfaction in the picture thus presented; of 
the handsome soldier, with his upright supple 
figure of youth and strength combined, and dark 
head bent above the lovely face and crown of 
bright hair that lay on his breast. 

She raised blue eyes swimming with tears, 
and noted with something like alarm the grave, 
almost pitying expression of his face. 

" Are you so angry with me for not telling 
you about the emeralds?" she said, clinging 
more closely. " IJut I had forgotten all about 
them. They wei-e in two big cases at the bottom 
of my biggest trunk. I had never worn them. 
It Avas the pearls I cared for. Tom! Don't 
you believe me? " 

" I suppose so," he said, in a dull flat voice. 



The Honourable Mrs. (^arry 293 

"It— it wasn't so much— about that; though 
that was part of it — but " 

" Then what? " she said, frcnuinely bewildcml. 
A dozen conjectures flashed iuto licr mind. Ihul 
Kobin spoken indiscreetly of his oiijiinal flirta- 
tion with her, and subsequent proposal? Im- 
possible; he was a j^entleman and could never 
have spoken of either. It must have Ikm'u some 
inadvertency, some discrepancy, of her own. 
She tried to remember what she had told Tom, 
and could not. 

With an odd, sickening sensation of having 
passed once before through some scene of this 
kind, in Avhich her memory had i)layed her false, 
—she put her hand to her forehead: recollectinL', 
and not for the first time, the proverb anent the 
necessity of a good memory, in relation to 
uttered words having no foundati«)n in fact. 

" Tom! Do tell me what you mean," she said 
faintly. "Don't be like this. You might re- 
member — you might be more considerate." 

He put her gently into the arm-chair and gave 
her the bottle of salts towards which she signed ; 
and without waiting to be asked, threw open 
the window, and let the fresh spring air and 
the cheerful noises of the street enter the over- 
heated room freely. But lie rendered these 
services not with his usual tenderness and 
eagerness, but mechanically, almost abstract- 
edly; and her mood changed. 



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294 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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" I wish you would n't bo so priggish and 
solemn, making mysteries of your grievances lik«' 
this," she sai<l angrily, " when I 'ni not fit for 
tiresome scenes.'' 

" I beg your pardon," said Tom. " I did n't 
wish to make mysteries." His brown eves that 
had lost their j)leasant frank expression, re- 
garded her sombrely. " In talking of business 
to Robin, he — agaii; *vithout the faintest thought 
of making mischief — ctmgratulated me warmly 
upon the fact that your mother had managed t(> 
get five thousand shares in Kuala Keliliug 
allotted to her. He said he supposed it was 
Reinhardt's doing, and I answered that of course 
that was so." 

Erica's lips and throat were dry. She felt 
neither mentally nor physically able to cope 
with the situation. 

" You will remember," said Tom, very slowly 
and distinctly, " Robin's letter to my father from 
Singapore, mentioned that the Kuala Keliliuji; 
shares were to be allotted the morning after he 
sent hi- cable about the pictures — the morniiij,' 
after you told me your mother had placed the 
legacy in the hands of trustees and that it had 
all been invested in gilt-edged securities at three 
and one half per cent." 

Her lips quivered. 

She abandoned all effort to defend herself, and 
lay huddled together in the chair, a lonely and 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 295 

pathetic fijruiv, lioldin*? Ikm- bluo wrappor about 
her with one hand, and stretching out the other 
jtiteously to her husband. 

" It was becaust?— because I was afraid," she 
said, and began to sob in a childish despairing 
wav that made liis licai-t ache. 

" Afraid I Of me I " lie said in w<mder and pity. 

" Afraid— you would take away the money/' 
sa Erica. 

lie stoo<l looking at her. 

" I see," he rejjcated dully. 

" You 've never realised how much things of 
that kind mean to me— who 've had to do with- 
out them all my life," she sobl)ed. 

The tears rolled down her face— large, heavy 
tears; he could not bear to see them and pre- 
sently said gently, " Don't cry any more, Erica. 
It 's not good for you." 

" How can I help it, when you are angi-v with 



me 



9 » 



" I don't know that I 'm an-ry. It would n't 
be any use if I were," he said"; and the hope- 
lessness of his young voice was so unlike Tom's 
blithe tones that for a moment a pang of real 
sorrow touched her. 

He returned to his dressing-room, and she rose 
unsteadily, and bathed her eyes. Tears were 
very disfiguring to Erica's fairness, and she leant 
out of the open window for a few minutes, and 
let the air play upon her flushed face. 



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296 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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Opposite wore the frownin}^ lniil«liu};s of a hi** 
national school, and in the hifjh-walled play- 
ground she could see the children playing and 
running, and hear their shouts. 

The warmth and gaiety of early summer had 
penetrated even these dull streets, and a flower- 
seller passed on the opposite pavement with a 
basket of red roses. 

A distant barrel-organ played popular songs, 
and a butcher-boy whistled in unison. Erica 
turned away, and with flagging footsteps sought 
Tom in his dressing-room. 

He was at once too generous and too tender- 
hearted to withstand the silent appeal of that 
drooping attitude and shamed face downcast. 
He crossed the room quickly and took her into 
his arras. But the embrace between husband and 
Avife was a silent one. Neither knew what to say. 




Kobin's appearance at luncheon was a relief. 
He was far too tactful to appear to notice the 
red eyes of Erica, or the pallor and depression 
of Tom, merely devoting himself without osten- 
tation to cheering and amusing them both. 

To himself he said : " They 've had a row, 
and he 's got the best of it. Good old Tom." 

He related the history of his visit to the den- 
tist; mourned the excellence of the luncheon 
which he might not share, and complained that 
he was up to his eyes Iii work, but appeared 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 297 

to have some time on his liands; for when Tom 
mentioned that he was phivin*,' poh, at Iluilin};- 
ham that afternoon, in place of a l)r(>thei--<»ni<«M- 
who was down with influenza— he exphiincd 
that he was escorting his pretty French grass- 
widow and her sister to Flnrlingham to witness 
that very match, and offered to motor Erica 
down with his party. 

But Erica refused. Phe was feeling languid 
and unwell, and though Robin's gay chattel- had 
changed the trend of her thoughts, and (►bilged 
her to laugh witli Tom, at his adventures, slu- 
had nevertheless not forgiven her brother-in-law 
for his unconscious betrayal. 

She said she was not sure if she would b(; 
able to go out at all, and that if she did she 
was pledged to her mother; and Robin did not 
press his invitation. 

The brothers arranged to start together, and 
Tom lingered behind Robin, and whispered to 
Erica to take care of herself and kissed her 
tenderly, turning again to smile at her as he 
left the room. 

She heard the front door close, and it was as 
though all the brightness of the summer day 
faded with their departure. 

Erica bade Gudwfll say "Not at home," to 
visitors, and lay on the sofa, really feeling untit 
for the exertion of getting up and going out. 
The -loises of the street made the room seem 



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298 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

the more silent, and the h)U(I ticking of the clock 
irritated her. She lay among the cushions on 
the low divan; and the contrast which the bowls 
of red roses and vases of carnations afforded, 
with the soft, grey tone of the walls and cur- 
tains no longei- gave her pleasure. A great 
weariness and disgust possessed her. Life had 
held to her lips the magic cup overflowing with 
happiness, and it was as though she had chosen 
of her own free Avill to drop in the poison that 
must cloud that clear and sparkling draught. 
Yet she knew very well that the free will was 
only apparent, and that two powerful enemies, 
habit and opportunity, had compelled. 

She thought of all her good resolutions, and sick- 
ened ov> r the recollection. She, who had prided 
herself upon a clear brain, and a strong will, 
realised how feebly she had succumbed to one 
petty temptation after another. She thought of 
her resolve upon her wedding-day, that their 
marriage should restore to Tom every lost illu- 
sion of her perfeeti(m. And lo, she perceived 
that from mere vanity and greed of gain, she 
had shattered the idol he was so pathetically 
ready to worship. 

After resting and vexing herself with thought 
for an hour, she dozed for a few moments, and 
waking with a start, went up to her room to 
telephone to her mother, deciding that she felt 
too ill and too miserable to go out. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 299 

The clisappoiiiicd ('xtlainjjti<.ii .■nilitcd hy i^oor 
Lady Chnv,— \vlu» had ali-cady been station-'d ftir 
half an hour hy the \viii.h,.v, wale hinjr f,„. 1,,.,. 
daughter's ariival— caused Krira a passluj: cmu- 
punction. For u inoinrnt slic Uiought of luriiinj,' 

her mother's dlsap]»ointni('nt to j(,yJ)y^r,.j„.io„slv 
minimoniug her to Lower I{el«;rave"s(reet ; hut 
she decided this wouhl he a dan^'erous prcMvdeiit, 
and promised to go ou the morrow to K.'usiiigton 
instead. 

Hahit induced a h)ok at herself in the glass 
hefore descending; and she added, almost'' un- 
eonsciously, a few elective touches to her hair 
and dress, which dispelled the heavv dishevelled 
look resulting fnmi her hrief sluuiher, ami ](mg 
tossing among the cushions of the divan. 

The faint air of sadn«'ss gave meekness to 
her face; and the dull powder-hlue tint of her 
gown was exceedingly becoming to her fairness. 

It is not to he denied that that interval hefore 
her mirror sent Erica downstairs in better spirits 
with herself and the world. 

Her mind was busy again, actively working. 
She did not lack courage, and the brave are not 
able to sit down and bemoan the ruins of anv 
hope for a prolonged space of time, without be- 
stirring themselves to sweep away the debris 
and build afresh. Erica told herself that at 
least now, and for the first time, she had no 
secrets from Tom; that it was almost a relief 



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300 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

that he knew what he knew; that to-night she 
would tell him that she had been a thousand 
times on the verge of pouring out all her heart 
to him, and that only the fear of losing his 
good opinicm l.<ad prevented her. Now he knew 
her weakness; her love of wealth and luxury, her 
hatrwl of yielding c<mcrete possessions for the 
sake of abstract principles which she scarcely 
understood. lie knew now that she had lie<l 
and plotted and schemed to retain her own, but 
that he loved her in spite of this knowledge 
she did not doubt, and a vague sense of rest 
in that assurance grew upon her. 



nil 



CHAPTER XVII 

Ebica found tea waiting for her in the draw- 
ing-room, and realised that her uunnl of depres- 
sion was over. The sounds of Lonilon entering 
through the open windows no h)nger saddened 
her, and her eyes dwelt with pleasure upon a 
mighty jar of arum lilies which stood in the 
corner behind her favourite chair, before which 
the tea-table had been placed. 

Gudwall, who was famous for studying quietly 
the individual tastes of his employers, had set 
a smaller table ready to her haml with a pyra- 
mid of fresh strawberries on a painted dish, 
and a frosted silver jug of cream beside (me 
of the plain ginger cakes that Erica especially 
liked. 

She had practically no occupations; but, to 
please Tom, was endeavouring to interest herself 
in a book he had given her,— a collection of 
modern poetry, exquisitely bound. 

This, too, lay ready to her hand, with a silver 
paper-cutter inserted to keep the place. 

She lifted it idly and read Iwrneath her own 
name on the fly-leaf, written in Toms clear 

301 



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302 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

minute hand, a vorse of Yeats, which throujrh 
nil the trials of over-quotation, retains its power 
to charm. 

" When yon are old and grey and full of sleep 
And nodding by the firr, lake down thin hook. 
And ttlotrly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyex had once — and of their shadows deep. 
How many loved your moments of glad grace 
And loved your beauty with love false or true — 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you." 

For the moment, as she stood, with the open 
book '"' her hand, and her blue eyes bent upon 
the paj. whereon Tom's hand had set down these 
words — and when she raised them at the sudden 
opening of the door — they did not lack that 
" s^ft look " which was, with her, so rare an 
expression. 

Her pensiveness turned to amaze at the con- 
fident entry of a young gentleman quite unknown 
to her; and he, in his turn, stopped short, 
confounded and covered with painful confusion. 

He was very tall — and by n<i means broad in 
proportion, being on the contrary of a narrow 
build, with shoulders inclined 1o slope. His 
face was almost handsome, so far as the shape 
of his aquiline features, and his large, dark blue, 
short-sighted eyes were concerned — but his chin 
receded, and the expression of his face was not 
only gentle, but rather foolish. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 303 

"I my, hv Jove," lio siii.l, " I— Pni most 
awfully Hovvy. I Ik-^j votir i.;ir.l..n a llioiisainl 
tinu'H. I— I'd ii„ hlca. I've „Mly just coim' 
licaiie. PoHiaps you'll allow uw to iiiinMhu*' 
laysclf and explain—" Im slainmcn-d~" I 'm 
Lord Fiuguar." 

*M)ur landlord:" said EHca, with a lovely 
smile. "Will you have some tea? Tom *h 
playing polo." 

Her mny-froid enchanted him; daimbfounded 
as he was already- by the iiidiant beauty of the 
vision which had met his eyes when he burst 
into the room in such unmannerly wise. 

It was true that Erica miuht, at the moment 
of his entry, have been posinj-- for the i)icture 
of a saint, with the low afternoon sun burnish- 
ing the halo of !«er hair, and the classic folds 
of her dim blue gown faliin-,' ab(»ut her, as she 
stood, with one white fing«'r p((inting to the page 
of an open Ijook, and meek white eyelids goUlen- 
fringed, and down cast. 

Though these thoughts passed vaguely througli 
his brain, the young uiun, who jtossessed but 
a limited vocabulary, summed them up briefly 
in three words; murmuring to himself as he 
dropped an apologetic eyeglass: 

" She 's a peach ! " 

Aloud, he ctrntinued to stammer forth excuses. 

"I must have seemed quite inexcusable; but 
to tell you the truth, I meant to spring a sur- 



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304 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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prise on Onrry. DnivHuy he 'h (old you w« 'n* 
pals; at Kdiool top'tluT and all that, yon know." 

"Are you in the Ilrigade?" interpowd Erica; 
kuowinjj that he waH not, she yet asked the 
question from desire to show interest. 

" No, by J«)ve. I wish I were. I never con Id 
i-ass an exam. Failed every time," he said, 
simply. " No, I 'm a useless lo}?, but not my 
fault. Willing enough to serve my country, but 
ray country w<mld n't have me." His fatu(uis 
lautth bet raved nervousness. "Seems to me 
there ought to l)e some use for fellows like me, 
who can shoot and ride and could be trusted 
to ol)ey orders, don't you know, even If they 
can't pass exams; but the army don't think so, 
or somebf»dy dm's n't think so, and there it ends. 
I don't know how to apologise for bursting in 
upon you like this, but you see, I — I 'vo gf i 
latch-key on my watch-chain, so I let myself in, 
and meant to scribble a note to Tom if he was 
out, — but, of course, if I '0 dreamt you w«Me 
here " 

" I suppose he 'd have put you up if I had n't 
been here," she said, smiling. 

Finjruar was struck bv her astuteness, since 
he had come to suggest himself as a visitor to 
his own rooms, in accordance with arrangements 
previously made between himself and Tom. 

" Of course that 's impossible — under the cir- 
cumstances," he said, and hurriedly changing the 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 305 

r«»nv«'rH«tion— " IIow'h o1<1 r;udwall— I h-ft him 
in cliargf— mid my (»]<] auut'M houw'ket'iH'r? I 
Hiippose tht'y 'it» Ihtc Htill? " 

" YcM, they ate hci-e. D«» you mean you 
hadn't heard of Teun's maniap'?" 

" I tan'f 8ay I had," waid Fin<,niar, turning 
red. "Jolly stupid of me. Haven't stHjn any 
(me since I landed, practically." 

" I wonder he did n't write " 

"Oh! Why Kh.nihl he?" said Finjjtmr, 
vajfuely. " He never writes letters, and no m«»re 
do I. And iM'sidcs, he would n't Imve known 
where to write. I 've bivn wandering about— 
no address." 

"The papers? It was announced last No- 
veml)er." 

" T^st Xoveml)er I was 'way off in the Rocky 
Mountains. Funny, isn't it, one can do with- 
out newspapers for months and never miss them, 
when one 's uMjiy— and yet one must Im reading 
them every other minute when one's at home." 

ITe suddenly remend)ered that he was a self- 
invited guest, and sprang to his feet. 

"You've been most awfully kind to forgive 
me like this, Mrs.— er— Garry," he said. "I 
hope you '11 explain how it was, and get old Tom 
to forgive me too." 

« Oh— must you go?" said Erica. Her dis- 
appointment was so obvious that he wavered. 

"I'm all alone," she said, and through his 



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306 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

mind passed an indignant wonder as to whether 
Garry could be already neglecting this beauti- 
ful woman. Much he wondered also, who this 
beautiful woman was whom old Tom had mar- 
ried. That she had not belonged before her mar- 
riage to his own world an unerring instinct told 
him; but an equally unerring instinct assured 
him that she had not belonged, either, to that 
half-world which he thought he knew almost 
as well as his own. 

" I want to tell you," she said, " how abso- 
lutely perfect your rooms are. You must have 
the most wonderful taste." 

" I know nothing about it," said Fingimr, and 
he sat down again. " I employed one of those 
<lecorator Johnnies — you know the kind of thin;; 
— longish hair, and gave ladylike wpieaks when 
he found the right sort of cabinet to hold my 
grandmother's old cups and saucers. But I 
must say I thought he did it all jolly well." 

" ]klv ro(mi is a dream," said Erica. " I 
simply love it." 

A sudden wave of colour rushed over Lord 
Finguar's refined foolish face. 

" I 'm sure you did n't have it done like that 
for you/' she said, softly. Her eyes invited 
confidence. 

He hesitated. He knew now more certainly 
than ever that she did not belong to his owu 
world, or that such a leading question to a 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 307 

stranger would have boon inipossihlo to hor. 
But ho thoiijiht n«»no *'.o worso of Wv for that. 

no was a very iinpir y.^yr-ir man; with that 
streak of quite u < ( M,stioi,s. i,nt utter eynicism 
which a certain :■:•(' knov i,Ml<ro of the worhl 
and its ways generally forces ui>.)n simple young 
men of his class. 

She was very pretty, and all alone; and she 
had practically appealed to him to contide in 
her; and if she wanted him to confide in her, 
why the devil should n't he crmfide in hov? A 
man must confide in some woman, and he had n't 
seen any one he was in the least inclined to 
confide in for months. 

In short, he had revealed the tragedy of his 
life-history already to one pair of sympathetic 
shell-like ears on his voyage out— and to another 
in a far-off American city. 

The sad story liad become easier in the tell- 
ing; the need for human sympathy more acute; 
and if his fair hearei-s had smiled as well as 
sympathised, the simple young man had not 
di\ined their amusement. 

»SAe had l)een a little girl in the chorus of 
a musical comedy; not even a principal— nothing 
extraordinary in the way of looks— just one of 
those little girls, with grey eyes and brown hair 
and a resolute will, who have the pluck to fight, 
as well as the sweetness to charm, a world in 
which they have to earn a living. 






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308 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Lord Finguar loved her, and she wouldn't 
look at him. He wanted to many her, and 
"take her out of it all"; and if he could not 
help being struck by his own magnanimity in 
so wishing, the wish had nevertheless sprung 
from a heart filled with a warm and generous 
desire for her happiness as well as for his own. 

" You see, Mrs. Garry," he explained, simply, 
"there really wasn't any one to mind. :My 
mother was dead, and I 'd no sisters to worry 
about my marrying one of their own sort. I 
mean—" he grew suddenly red again—" some- 
body they kneiv, don't you know. There was n't 
any one to make things unpleasant, in short ; 
and I'd promised to provide for her people. 
They were awful— an old granny who drank, 
and a half-witted brother— and at last, one day, 
quite suddenly, she said she 'd marry me. I got 
the rooms ready — and — and " 

And at the last moment, the little girl with 
grey eyes and brown hair found she couhl n't 
marry a man she did n't love, and wrote Lord 
Finguar a letter blotted with tears, to say so. 

'' You knoic, Fin, I 're never pretended to lore 
you, and I only came round hecousc I thought 
Charlie was off it. I've treated you had, hut 
that teas the whole reason, and now I find hv 
was true all the while. . . . He 's got a pood 
place, so it will go hard if ice can't help Oran 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 309 

and Utile Billy along hetirccn us. He > ffot a 
I. other to keep too, so we 're got nothing to re- 
proach each other with, and I ',,1 going on with 
my work. J 'd hare hated to leave it worse than 
anything, and whatever I should hare done with 
myself, without it I don't know. And I know 
I can't lire without my Charlie, anyway. . . . 
And I don't care a hit who says I 'm a fool. I 
know myself.'' 

So she gave bcr noble suitor tlio go-by, and 
married a young man in her own (lass, anil went 
unconcerned ui)on her honest way. 

Lord Finguar had been very magnanimous 
indeed. He sent a magniticent present, which 
was accepted with cheerful gratitude; and tore 
up the letter ' reproach which he sat up all 
night to write . ad of sen<ling it. Why should 
he cloud her > .^/piness? He handed over the 
rooms to his friend (Jarry, and rushed abroad to 
get over his disappointment as best he could. 

The story took time in the telling, and the 
afternoon sunshine faded, though the light of the 
summer evening precluded all necessity for lamps. 

Fascinated, Lord Finguar lingered, and skil- 
fully Erica prolonged sympathy and interest. 
Uis suffering was now almost imaginary, but 
the wound to his vanity was not altogether 
healed, and the balm of her outspoken surprise 
at the unaccountableness of the chorus girl's 
behaviour was soothing. 



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310 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

She heard, thoiij^h ho tlid not, the stopping of 
a motor at the door, and flying footsteps taking 
the stairs, two steps at a time, and said with 

ii smile. 

'< Here 's Tom. I always know his step." 
Robin entered alone. 

He was rather pale, hut perfectly self-pos- 
sessed, though his whole demeanour conveyed the 
impression that he was the bearer of bad news. 
He nodded to Finguar, evincing no surprise at 
beholding him, since he had forgotten, after the 
manner of his kind, that Tom's pal had bee 1 
away at all; he came straight to Erica's side 
and spoke rapidly. 

" Look here. Tom made me come on ahead, 
because he was so awfully afraid of startling 
you. He's quite all right, so there's nothing 
for you to be anxious about, but he took a toss, 
and his beast of a pony managed to kick him 
in the chest. So he's coming Iwmie with his 
ribs all bound up. He says they don't hurt a 
bit. But he was frightfully anxious about yon. 
though I told him I knew yon wore far too much 
of a Spartan to think the world had come to 
an end, because he arrived looking a bit white 
about the gills." 

His brown eyes were anxious, though he spoke 

so lightly. 
" You 're not trying to make it out less than 

it is?" 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 311 

"Upon my honour I'm not," sai<l IIol»in, 
earnestly. " One iil> 's broken, that 's all. So 
they bound him np." 

"Isn't that serious?" 

" I had two ribs broken once and walked about 
for two days without knowing it," said Finguar, 
simply. 

" Every fellow gets his ribs broken sooner or 
later," said Kobin, pnmiptly. "My old Dad's 
had his smashed in twice. The surgeon on the 
ground said Tom was perfectly all right. Of 
course he may have to keep quiet in bed, for a 
day or two. IJut you '11 look after him.'' 

"Poor old Tom," said Finguar. "I'd best 
clear out. If there 's anything I can do— I 'ni 
at the Ritz, Garry—" he spoke to Kobin, " you 
know I *d be only too glad. I '11 come roun/l in 
the morning if I may, and see how he is." 

Erica smiled at him mechanically as she shook 
hands. A presentiment of evil had laid its chill 
grip about her heart. She had suddenly lost 
interest in Lord Finguar, and did not troiible 
to conceal the fact. 






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Anxiety for another was so wholly novel an 
emotion to Erica, that she hardly recognised 
the cause of the restlessness which possessed her 
through the interminable hour of her waiting 
for Tom's arrival. 

He was taken upstairs, and laid on the iron 



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bedstead in the plainly furnisbed dressing-room 
that presented so great a contrast to the lux- 
urious bedroom whieh Avas lier own; and not 
until he was safely established there did Robin 
permit Erica to see him. 

"It will only upset you," he said, in his 
most coaxing manner. " Wluit 's the good of 
crowding? It will only make him anxious about 

you," 

Erica acquiesced with calm common sense. 

She was surprised that her heart should beat 
so fast when at length she went upstairs and 
saw his pallid face smiling on the pillow. 

" I want him kept absolutely quiet," said the 
doctor in attendance, " because he 's suffering a 
bit from shock." He glanced at Erica, and said, 
cheerfully, " I '11 send round a nurse, ^Irs. 

Garry." 

"I'm all bound up, and you're not fit to 
wait on me, darling," said Tom, rather faintly. 
" I 'm most awfully sorry. It 's rotten bad luck. 
No, I 'm not in pain. I 'm perfectly all right." 

« Don't you talk. We '11 explain to Mrs. Garry 
how it all was," said the doctor. " With any 
luck vou '11 be all right in a day or two." 



Later, Tom said to the nurse : " I want to 
say one word to my wife before I go to sleep. 
Will you leave us alone a moment? " 

She nodded and went out. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 313 

Erica knolt beside him. and he hx.ked at 1h<> 
dear, familiar, beautiful faie with more tlum 
usual tenderness. 

" Sweetheart, I only want to tell you— you 're 
not to worry any more about anythiuj,'. I *ve 
made up my mind what to do." 

"Don't think of anything unpleasant while 
you 're ill,'' Erica murmured. " It would be all 
right if you 'd make up your min<l [ can't help 
what Mamma calls my crooke<l ways. I meant 
to give them up when I married vou, but it 's 
too difficult." 

" Don't you see it 's my business to make it 
easier?" he said. "I've been to blame. I 
ought not to have clung to my easy pleasant 
job of soldiering, and dependence on my poor 
old Dad ; and I 've decided to do now what I 
ought to have done at first. Chuck the Hrigade, 
and go to work, and get my wife all she wants. 
I'm no stupider than Robin, and he's made 
money. That 's settled." 

He shut his eyes as though to indicate that 
the subject was closed, but she lingered, saying 
nervously : 

"Will you forgive me, Tom?" 
" Of course," he said, with a look of surprise; 
and almost immediately dropped off to sleep. 

All was silent in the sick-room, and the noise- 
less watcher, in blue linen gown and white cap 









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314 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

and apron, sat in her armchair by the window, 
her tired eyes gazing out over th(; roofs and 
chimneys of sleeping London. 

There was a tall factory chimney— the nurse 
knew not of what kind— which was lifted against 
the dark purple of the summer sky, and sent 
out pale wreaths of white transparent smoke. 

She moved like a phantom in the light of a 
night-lamp, stealing from time to time to the 
bedside, to look at the patient, who was restless, 
though he seemed to sleep. She made not a 
sound when she admitted Gudwall, who brought 
her a cup of tea as the dawn br«)ke behind the 

tall chimney. 

The sky reddened, even through the London 
smoke, for the sunrise; Tom Garry's face (m the 
pillow was yet more pallid in the early light of 
morning than it had been on the previous even- 
ing. A whisper summoned the nurse to his 

side. 

" Is my wife sleeping? Could you see with- 
out disturbing her? " 

She smiled and nodded, and looked into the 

next room. 

"Fast asleep. Would you like me to wake 

her? " 

" Not on any account," he said, with an ex- 
pression of relief. 

" Are you still quite easy? " 

He hesitated. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 315 

" Not so comfortable as I was. I can't hr.'athe 
quite comfortably. It 's nothinjr to sifrnify." 

" I '11 take your temperature a;,'aiii now," said 
the soothing even tones. 

" Please— let me coijj,di first," said Tom in a 
voice of sufToeation. 

A few moments later the nurse kno( ked softly 
at the door of the drawinj?-room \\ here, unknown 
to Erica, Robin had spent the night on the divan. 
He started up as she entered. 

" Anything wrong? " 

" TVn/ slight hemorrhage," she said, hur- 
riedly. " I 'm afraid the bioken ri!> has injurwl 
the lung after all, though this is the first sign 
we've had of it. I think we'll get the doctor 
at once, please. Don't frighten his poor wife 
—he 's so anxious about her." She stole swiftly 
upstairs again. 

His poor wife. The j)hrase rang ominously 
in Robin's ears as he hastened through the silent 
empty streets. 



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CHAPTER XVIII 

Erica sat beside Tom's bed in her loose blue 

'>e, with her biijiht hair womid phiinly about 
her head, and his younj,', hard, healthy, brown 
hand hekl between those soft, white, uselesn 
fingers of hers. 

She had lieen w ned that Tom's one ehance 
lay in his being absolutely quiet, and he real- 
ised this also. Any attempt to speak brought 
a cough and resulting hemorrhage. 

He lay motionless; conquering the restless- 
ness that beset him by sheer force of will; his 
face was pallid and anxious, his breathin<; 
obviously difficult. 

Earlier in the day, a great authority had been 
called in to cor^ult with the surgeon who had 
treated Tom at the time of the accident, an<l 
brought him home ; and another doctor who was 
by this time also in attendance. The great man 
pronounced against any possibility of an opera- 
tion, intimated plainly that he had been sent 
for too late, and in the drawing-room down- 
stairs told Robin that the case was hopeless; 
after his departure the young surgeon spoke 

316 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 317 

eurnoNtly of the voniv^vntiu^ pou.Ms of v.,„.|. and 
lu'ulth, Imf acqiiicsml in K„|,in's ,l.Misi„n thai 
Lord Evvin- sl,o„|,l U' snnnnoncd irnnu.liaf.lv 

The nurso was untrn.ittin^r i„ ,„., ,,,,,.^ ^;,,^, 
Lrica, sittinjr on the opposite si.lr <,f the betl 
watched her deft and tender seivici' with a dull 
Heuse <.f her (nvn helpU^Nsness and .isdcssni'ss ia 
a sKk-rooni. lUn- nnderstandin- was snllicientlv 
strong to make it impossible that vanity should 
mislead her <m this poin., thou-h vanity as over- 
whelming as her o^yu mi-ht have niisle,! a 
weaker nature. Va-uely she thoujr|,t of her 
mother; and of tlie skill an«l tact ami presc-nce 
of miml with whieh that stout imonsecpient 
woman appeared always to luMMuue suddenly 
endowed in the j,resence of illness. 

Erir-a had telephoned to K<*nsinj?t«»n on the 
prev; evening that her visit must 1h' post- 
poned, hut had given no clue to the cause lest 
li«'i' mother should rush naind and make en- 
quiries. She looked forward with sufficient an- 
noyance and distaste to the probable invasion 
of her home by Lady Erriff. 

But Lady Erriff did not come; she was con- 
fined to her bed with a bad c«dd, and Kobin's 
summons, cautiously worded, had not been suf- 
ficiently alarming to make her throw prudence 
to the winds, and rush to her son's side. 

Perhaps Kobin knew very well that Tom would 
rather have his father alone, as he knew that 



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318 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

that last faint hope "f which the younger Hurgoon 
had Hpoken, (hi^uchMl on the abwmc of all emo- 
tion, an<l the inaintt-nanLe of abHolule 4uiet in 
the sick-room. 

Lord lOrritr airivol at about mix o'clock, and 
had time for (M.I.v a few hurried words with 
Kohin on the staircase; and those wonls sounded 
anury from the very excess of his painful anxiety. 
"\Vhv wasn t I sent for yesterday?" 
"They couhl n't tell, Father. There wasn't 
any si;;n of internal injury at first— we did n't 
dream it was seri<ms until— four o'clock this 

morning. It 's come like a shock " 

" D' ye mean he 's in actual danger'/— and y«»ii 
didn't'say so plainly—" stormed Lord Errill. 
still in a whisper; and even as Robin whispered 
his s(n'rowful answer, the nurse came out (m to 
the landing above, and down to the first turn 
of the stairs in a kind of soft rush. 

"Come," she said, breathlessly, and beckoned, 
and was gone instantly. 

When they entered, Tom's dark head was :il- 
ready supported by her kind, strcmg arm; aii.l 
Erica, white and motionless, stood, holding fast 
the brown hand which had scarcely left her own 
all day. It needed no words to tell them that 
it was his life blood that was ebbing away. 

They could not tell if he recognised them; 
Lord Erriff thought so, but Robin had no such 
liope or illusion. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 319 

IIIh l»i'<)wn oyeM wciv lixc.l, inf,.nt an<I jjrnvc, 
nlinost ciKiiiii-in;; i„ (..xin-cssiun. jis tliuuj;li |„' saw 
IVath cominjr in p.utlo jjiiis.., a?Hl was savin;; 
to himself, with Honicthiii},' of sui-priso aud ri^Vw? 
U that all? ' 

Ah Ihc mirso laid liirii back aniunj,' the pillows, 
and closed those dark eyes, the expression of 
grave relief <;iew and settled upon his face, and 
the anxiety fade<l for ever. 

It was all so swift, so silent, so apparently 
painless, that Ki-iea di<l not recojrnise it for 
what it was; nor realise that Tom ha<l left her, 
and without a parting; word, until she was 
brouj^ht bjuk to the chamber (.f death many 
hours hiter. 

The nurse, alarmed by her calm, which was 
almost stupor, tlum^ht the return mi<;ht brinj; 
those tears which are supposed to render grief 
inm»cuous; but the only momentary agitation 
that visited Erica was when something was 
whispered of sending for Lady (Mow— of bring- 
ing her mother to her. 

''Do you want me to go nuid?" she asked 
Kobin fiercely; and it was his intervention that 
prevailed with Lord ErritT. 

The nurse transferred her attentions from the 
patient who needed them no more, to the wife 
for whom all his care had been ; and succeeded 
in coaxing Erica to sleep much as though she 
were a babv. 



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320 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Worn out, but ready to start into wakefulness 
at the slightest sound, the little angel of healing 
took her place on a low couch beside the great 
luxurious bed, and found without seeking the 
sleep she needed so sorely and had earned so 
well. 

The days that followed were to Erica dream- 
like in the sense of horror, and blank loss, and 
unreality that pervaded them. 

All business, and the formalities arising from 
the suddenness of the death, with the answering 
of notes, and payment of bills, and interviewing 
of relations and of lawyers, were taken off her 
hands by Robin ; who, as though regarding her 
as a trust bequeathed him by his brother, guarded 
her with a tenderness and zeal which vaguely 
comforted her. 

She exerted herself only to write and break 
the news to her mother, ordering her in so many 
words to remain where she was, and promising 
to come and see her as soon as she was able; 
but Lady Clow disregarded the order and came, 
trembling at her own temerity, to the door of 
the house in Lower Belgrave Street, demanding 
news of her child. 

It was Robin who saw her, and soothed and 
calmed her and brought her port wine, as she 
sat on the edge of the divan in the grey draw- 
ing-room, possessed even in her grief by a 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 321 

wonder as to how she would ever l,e able to 
rise from that low seat without assistance 

His unvarying presence of mind was not due 
to indifference, for Robin nDurned his brother 
sincerely; but it was in his nature to shrink 
from any betrayal of feelinjjr. 

And the refrain of Lady Clow's wailing speech 
was I 

"You 're so like him. If it was n't for your 
curly hair I could think it was him speaking 
to me. And how could it hurt her to see me 
for a minute? One single moment is all I ask " 

"When people are-out of their minds with 
grief, they turn away from those they love best 
-you must know that," said the readv-witted 
one. " 

" But it is so selfish of her. Could it hurt 
her to see me? I would not speak. I would 
kiss my child and go away. But she takes a 
pleasure in hurting me, God forgive me for 
saying so." 

Robin thought it not unlikely. He had his 
own opinion of Erica, but he would rather have 
died than betray it to her mother, or any one 
else now. That peculiar, almost feminine gift 
of perception which he possessed, and which his 
brother had lacked, led him to say reproachfully: 
tome, I think it is you who are selfish. Verv 
ikely she dare not trust herself to keep calm in 
the presence of your sympathy. And you know 
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322 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

we must think of her just now the more-" 
Uobin's brown face showed emotion, because 
he is not here to take care of her." 

" God bless Tou, you are a true brother-she 
doesn't deserve it-" sobbed Lady Clow indis- 
tinctly. " I 'm glad she has the nurse here to 
see she does n't overdo herself." 

Robin felt too dreary to smile, even at the 
idea of Erica-who pass- d her time between bed 
and sofa, miserably tossing among cushions, or 
sleeping heavily— overdoing herself. 

lie told Lady Clow, in that low musical voice, 

hardly raised above a whisper, of the ari^nge- 

n'entJ that had been made; of the mih ary 

funeral-Tom was to be laid to res at Kella 

eombe-of the service in the Guards' Chapel. 

r.ut of Erica's plans he could tell her no hing 

Only that she wanted to be left alone; and that 

she would not talk; that she was probably asknn 

and that she had given orders that no one wa 

to come and see her, and ^^-\;^\^'"^ 

be disturbed; and with these reiterated explana 

tions Lady Clow was obliged to be content ^n, 

so took her reluctant departure, blessing him a 

she went. 

Erica refused to go to Kellacombe, but a 
interview with her father-in-law she could n 
escape, when he came up to London for tl 
memorial service held some days later. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 323 



He had no blame for Lor; and permitted m)t 
even his wife to express disapproval of her now. 
Her state of health, the suchlenness of her be- 
reavement, aroused all the tenderness of a sin- 
j,'ularly warm and tender-hearted nature; but he 
was struck bj- the new sullenness of the fair, 
lovely face, as Erica rose to greet him in her 
black draperies. Her exceeding loneliness filled 
bim with an acute anguish of pity; and that she 
need not have been alone did not occur to him. 

" My dear, my dear," he cried, you ought to 
come away. Let me take you home with me. 
You must not sit brooding here alone over vour 
sorrow. Indeed it is not right." 

He sat beside her, looking even more like a 
kind withered little jockey than ever, holding 
her hands between his tanned knobl»y fingers, and 
gazing at her anxiously out of the soft, long- 
lashed, brown eyes which shone oddly from a 
face disproportionately small, and wrinkled as 
a monkey's. With broken voice, in delicately 
chosen words, and with all the eloquence at his 
command,— and being half an Irishman he 
lacked neither charm nor power of expression 
—he pleaded with her to come to Kellacoml)e 
that Tom's son, if the child proved to be a son, 
might be born in the house that was his lawful 
inheritance. And incidentally he let fall, as a 
matter of little account, that he and his wife, 
consulting over the absence of marriage settle- 



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324 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

menta, had decided to allow \?r a thousan<l 
pounds a year for the maintenance of herself 
and her child. 

Erica expressed her listless thanks, and con- 
sented at last to come to Kellacombe; partlv 
from weariness, and partly because she thought 
that anything would be better, as she said tci 
herself, \han " having Mamma fussing about m( 
— at such a time." 

But «he said she would stay where she was 
for the T! resent, and declined utterly to be per 
suaded of the necessity for a change of scene. 

" Has— has anything been settled about keep 
ing on these rooms?" asked Lord Erriff 
hesitating. 

" I know Lord Finguar. He won't turn mf 
out," she said, calmly. 

Lord Finguar, whom Robin had already 
approached on this subject, became almosi 
hysterical in his protestations. 

Mrs. Garry must stay in the rooms as lon^ 
as she chose. He did n't care if he never sa\\ 
them again. Everything he had in the worh 
was at her service. Tom was the best friend lu 
ever had in the world; and why a fellow lik( 
that should be taken, and a loafer like hirasel; 
who had nothing to live for, be left behind, was 
more than he could pretend to know. No, b( 
didn't remember what rent poor Tom paid 
More than the rooms were worth, he was quit( 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 325 

sure. He did n't remember what he paid him- 
self. He thought he had the rooms on a lonjr 
lease. Yes, his lawyer would know. Tom only 
took them as a favour, because he, Finguar, was 
going abroad and wanted some one to take rare 
of them. He would probably go abroad again 
now. ^ 

Robin reported to his father that for the 
present, at all events, Erica need not be 
disturbed. 

She took all that was done for her as a matter 
of course, and the uppermost sensation in her 
mmd, when Lord Erriff left London, secure in 
her promise to go to Kellacombe in July-was 
one rather of relief than of gratitude 

The solicitude of which she was the object 
made her impatient; she was glad to say good- 
bye to the nurse who had tended her so de- 
votedly, and glad when Robin told her he was 
going down to Kellacombe with his father for 
a time. 

She wanted, in short, to be left alone; to 
Mther- together he.- Bhatteml powers of thought, 
and to realise what had happened 
fnll"!? Tfl-S suddenness of the blow that had 
mmd took in only the most material and prosaic 

mi!I't T"!*' '"'™'" ^ ^"""y Erriff. though she 
"»gU be the mother of the heir. She i^mem' 






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326 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

bered with a dull surprise that held something 
of cynicism, that Robin's fate depended on the 
sex of the coming baby. If it were a girl she 
supposed the Garrys would cease to take much 
interist in her. If it were a boy— for the first 
time a kind of cold comfort crept about her 
lieart— an odd yearning, which surprised her- 
self, to hold Tom's son in her arms, and see a 
pair of blown, honest eyes looking into hers— 
given back to her as it were, from beyond the 
grave, as though in token that Tom had not 
vanished utterly and for ever. 

" It 's all sentiment," she said to herself. " I 
never cared for children. Why should I like a 
baby simply because it happens to be my own? " 
Yet her thoughts turned again and again to- 
v - is this little phantom brown-eyed Tom, and 
she found herself saying: 

" He shall go into the Guards." 

Again, she wondered dully why Tom had died 
when his life must have been so incomplete; 
even why he should be so sincerely, almost 
passionately, it seemed, mourned by so many 
people. Apparently his brother-officers and his 
men had regarded him, not only with affection, 
but with something like reverence. Why? He 
had done nothing particular. He had been 
nothing particular. Yet letters and tokens of 
grief for his sudden end poured in, received gen- 
erally by his parents, for the time of his mar- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



327 



riage had been short, and Erica liad known few 
of his friends or associates. «he read in wonder 
of memorials, of votes of condolence, of records 
less formal, testifying to the love and res,H.(.t 
Tom had gained during his comparativelv feu- 
years on earth. 
What was Tom's history? 
A short childhood in the countrv; a clean 
record at school; a little learning \ind many 
games. A clean record at Sandhurst; a little 
more learning and more games. A great deal 
of sport, a little active soldiering in South 
Africa, and a little passive soldiering in London; 
more sport, more games. That was all. 

Life itself had been little more than a game 
to him, perhaps, so far; but he had played it 
straightforwardly, and with all his might, and 
honourably according to the rules; this was 
admitted in the few words of colloquial common- 
place, which was all the epitaph that the limited 
vocabulary of his most intimate friends could 
provide, and which would in his own simple 
opinion have been all the epituph that the heart 
of man could wish. Ue tvas one of the best 

Then it was character that counted, after all- 
more even than life itself, since life without it 
was meaningless, and since it outlasted life It 
could only be for this that Tom's memorv was 
held dear. There was nothing else that Erica 
could see. Tom had not been remarkable in 



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328 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

any way. lie had led the ordinary life of a 
healthy, undiHtiuguished, young Englishman of 
his class and of his times. 

But he had played the game. 

The long bright summer days were empty and 
silent and dreary, and she missed his compan- 
ionship, missed increas iigly the devoticm which 
had surrounded and defended her. She spent 
long hours in bed, and on her couch, mistaking 
the numbness of mind which was due to the 
shock she had sustained, for philosophy. Her 
health suffered, as was natural. 

A minor vexation was the fact that Gudwall 
had given notice. He wished to return to Loyd 
Finguar's service; or if not, to find another 
master. A house without a gentleman was not 
to his taste. 

Erica had always vaguely known that Gud- 
wall silently resented her intrusion, but she had 
not realised how much more he had mutely 
resented his own banishment to lodgings when 
she desired to make room for her maid. 

" And such a maid," he remarked to Mrs. 
Jarmin, who sympathised with him passion- 
ately. " She '11 be found out one of these days." 

Erica was already beginning to find out 
Clarge. 

The perfection and thoroughness of the ser- 
vice rendered her by the trained nurse; the 
neatness, cleanliness, and order of all her ways, 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 329 

had perhaps opened her eye« more fully to the 
HhorteonnngH ,.f tbe little cockney whom she 
had engaged in hucU huHte, and with such scant 
care of enquiry. 

She required a gowl deal of waiting upon just 
now, and the slovenliness of Clargo presently 
moved her disgust and resentment with a 
grea'tly '"'^"'"^ '''''' furtive-eyed attendant 

"I hate to watch you dusting the room," she 
«nd, wrathfully. " First you rub my shoe^ and 
whisk smuts off the chimney-piece not caring 
Tvhere they fly; and then you wipe my brushes 

first shTl ""if /'' '^'^'"^ ^'^^^' ^"^ ^v'«^«»t 
first shaking the lace-mats, or dusting the table 

on which they stand. All you do is slovenly and 
la^y and superficial. A wipe here and a flick there. 
II leave you to smooth my bed you throw my 
pillows on to the floor. Anything to save your- 
self trouWe. You never look to s^e what I w^", 
or straighten a crooked blind, or pick up a 
scrap of paper, or carry away an empty cud 
unless you 're told to do it. If that 's how 

what^'n f '^.i'"' ^^''^^°^ y«"' I ^'"«der 
there?" ""^ ^^'''^' "^'^"^ ^ '"^ °«* 

Clarge sulked, though she mended her ways 
because she feared her mistress; but she was not 
a pleasant attendant in a sick-room. Her in- 
efficiency, and the annoyance of having to search 



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330 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

for a trustworthy butler, to replace the exeel- 
leiit Giuhvall, wei;;l»(Ml heavily upon Erica, who 
bated houHehoM inaiuigeiueiit. 

And an a whim had caused her to refuse her 
mother's company, so another whim caused a 
revulsion of feeling. 

She had asked Clarge for a lace handkerchief, 
one of a kind she particularly fancied, and of 
which she knew she had ordered a dozen; and 
the handkerchief was not forthcoming. Some- 
thing was stammered about absence at the wash, 
and Erica retorted that she had not used any 
of this kind for weeks. One was at last pro- 
duced triumphantly, but her enquiries after the 
rest of the dozen could produce no more; and 
the promise of immediate enquir of the laun- 
dress could not still her suspicions. 

She lay tossing among her pillows, and thought 
of the piles of b> utifully embroided linen, and 
extravagant silk stockings, of gloves and lace 
and costly odds and ends innumerable, which 
she had handed over to the cliarge of this vulgar 
little stranger ; and growing feverish at last from 
vexation and worry — she suddenly stretched out 
her hand and telephom to Lady Clow. 

She bade her mother pack a trunk with neces- 
saries, and come to her for a few days. When 
she had finished speaking, and listened — not un- 
moved — to the broken words of delight and will- 
ingness which Lady Clow panted down the 






The Honourable Mrs. Garry 331 

tol.pI,„„e in ,1,0 m„mo,l tono wlnVh prnvod !,„ 
na!,.l,ty u, r,.froin fr„.„ ,„vs»i„;; i„ „,„ " 
ho m„„„.pi,..,^,,H..„ ,..,., „,„r „„, ::; ; 

>h tc»Ta,,,«.,. „,„| f„p th« fl,-»t ti,„,. ,!,„,. ,„. 

liart been <a,.M...l „„t „f u, p„,„,,.„ t,„„v ,,„,„,• 

after he funoml, to have all his brotl„.,-» iht- 
"c.nal K.|„„j;,„„s, ,.,„„„.„, „„if„,„,, „„,, „__. I 

pa.kcl am] ,lespal,|„.l l„ KellaconilK-.-ther.. to 
•"■ stored ■„ the attic wlm-h had l„..„ ,,,, „^° 

'lone with them. He wanted to «pare her the 
PJ...K of Hoeing the,a; b.it for a moment, Eriea 
Shtncng fearfall,- about the blank, strange' 
empty room, „.«ei,te,l the ansenee of the well' 
known dressing things,-fhe piles o. ' .|,es-fhe 
rows of boots. Then she was thankful thev were 
gone, and that the pain of ren.oval had U^n 

w i h 17 7"", ""' "»""*'"'«■<' window-before 
»hid, she had so often watoh«l hin, shav,^ 
»ith Its new of the tall chimney against the 
"mmer sky, brought him back in the bri" t 
f m.har aspect of erery day, and relegate ^o 
. e ackground the vision which haunt;, her Tt 
niRhts-of a pale face laid back upon the 
pillows, and grave intent brown eves 

motlier coming m and out of this room; 
•as, however, no other; and at home— the 



there 



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332 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

l(Mlging in KonHinpton must ixM-foiro always \)e 
home to Erica— tho mother and <laughtt»r had 
always slept in adjoining rooms. 

And with the coming of UmU Tlow there was 
no doubt that muj-h of the pain and dreariness 
of her solitude was altogether l.an'^l.ed. 

She had often remend>ere<l her un-' i'i'r's fcsdish- 
ness, seldom or never her tenderness and care. 

She could now close her eyes, and leave the 
dusting of the room, the management of Clarge, 
the looking for a new butler— in her mother's 
hands; ond lady (Mow proved herself equal to 
the occasM-rf. 

Seeing at a glance that Erica was really far 
from well, and that her spirits and nerves had 
suffered and wei-e still suffering, with an in- 
tensity that surprised her— from shock— she hid 
from her all vexatious details. 

Moving with the lightness, and somewhat of 
the appeaiance of a balloon, she Immght the 
service of love to bear upon the tending of her 
child ; and wept only as she unpacked her shabby 
trunk alone, in that room which she knew must 
have been Tom's. The ten«lerness of her heart 
added quickness to her perception, and she closed 
and locked the communicating door. 

« She >vould give a start every time she saw 
me come in instead of him," she thought, 

sorrowfully. 

The dishonesty of Clarge was detected in the 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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333 



fwinklinj? of au e.vo l,y tl.o .'xiH-riencwl ladv 
who Htoo(I by whil,. the. uiihnppy uuiU] unparknl 
ami unfohh'd and couuted the teiuaiudcr of 
Edca'H I'HUhI 8ton»s. 

" Wheiv aro thoso flno camhrir ha»dk..ivhi,.f« 
that I eiiibi-oid(.iv<l iiiysidf? Whciv arv (1,,. 
iK'autifuI nainsook nijrht«„wnH trimwod ui h 
real lace? Xino of (heni? w,„ don't tell nie 
any one ever bought nin.» of anything. You Ve 
taken thri^. And N<.ven pair of these black 
silk Ht(K^king8? What <b, you mean bv seven 
pair? " 

Gudwall was on the watch too; hand in glove 
with the old lady, and determined that his enemy 
should not escape; ami riarge had presently to 
choose between the sending for a policeman, and 
the searching of her boxes by Mrs. Jarmin in 
Lady Clow's presence. 

The housek«.per was nothing loath; as relent- 
le^« m the pursuit <,f dishonesty as an old ser- 
vant of hfe-hmg integrity usually is ; and Clarge's 
trunks gave up a variety of pilferings; but much 
of Li.ca s store of tiue linen had disappeared. 

She was always carrying parcels out of the 
house-to the cleaners indeed ! " said Mrs. Jar- 

iXre " ^ "^"""'^ ^''''''' '''^^' ^ '^'"^ ""'^ ''""^^^^ ^'^^ 

Clarge broke down, confessed, and implored 
jnercy; and Mrs. Jarmin mounte<l guard over 
I^er, while Lady Clow departed to inform Erica 



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what she hud retrieved, and enquire what should 
be done. 

" We have got back some of your best hand- 
kerchiefs. She had actuallj' sewn her own ini- 
tials — one of those cheap, ready-made mono- 
grams, over the tiny little ' E ' I embroidered," 
said Lady Clow. "She has been wearing your 
linen and stockings. You say you have your 
diamonds safe? " 

" I wear the key of my big trunk on my brace- 
let," said Erica, " and looked through my things 
yesterday. Luckily I have all my valuables and 
a lot of lace locked up there. I have given her 
heaps of tilings. She deserves to go to prison." 

" She knows it. I heard her say to Jarmin, 

* What will they do? Do you think they '11 send 
me to prison? ' And Jarmin answered sternly, 

* It 's where thieves usually go. . . .' It may 
be the saving of her, poor thing, being found out 
like this. But it 's given her a dreadful shock." 

" I daresay. Most annoying," said Erica, 
satiricallv. She saw that her mother's soft 
heart was beginning to melt as usual, and felt 
impatient. 

" She 's crying bitterly," said Lady Clow. 
" She is n't trying to brazen it out. She begs 
your forgiveness." 

Erica was about to retort forcibly, when a 
vague memory stirred her curiously. 

" She 's had a terrible lesson, and of course 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 335 

she can't expoet a character," said Ladv Clow 
M mean not as a maid, or any place Jf trust.' 
But she might find work of some other kind " 
She hesitated. « Prison is an awful thin- for 
a young woman like that. Could n't vou-give 
her a chance, Erica? " ' 

Erica was silent. 

" We 're none of us perfect," urged the soft 
voice. 

" What do 3'ou want me to do? " 

"If jou would-could Q't you-will you for- 
give her? " said Lady Clon. 

The vague memory became cle:i in Erica's 
mind as j^^dy Clow said, MVill you forgive 
her? and she recollected asking forgiveness, 
and the gentle look-the look of surprise-with 
which Tom had answered, " Of course' " 

She turned her face auay from her mother 
^^ course I '11 forgive her," she said, dullv. 
fc^ettle It all as you think best; but don't let 
me see her any more. Don't let her come near 

" She shall leave the house at once," said Ladv 
Clow in relieved tones. "I'm very glad. 
Thank you, my darling. It is very good of you 
not to be more angry." 

"What's the grid of being angry?" said 
Erica, and again the words were like an echo 
iroin the past. 

"No good. That's what I always think. 












336 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



She's a very ignorant girl; you can tell that 
from her speech and ways. And she says she 
did it to help her mother. It 's not as bad as 
though she were robbing you and deceiving you 
only from mere vanity, and greed of finery, or 
money for herself — " said Lady Clow. 

She was gone; and Erica, hiding her face in 
the pillow, suddenly burst into the pitiful, 
smothered sobbing of a hurt child. 



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CHAPTER XIX 

thfil — """■'"' ""="' ""-J "y •"' effort 5 

Mould grow up to resemLle the Garrys; nor 
tlat the Iashle.B slits of blue light ;hlh 
gleamed l^neath red and hairless towL, luM 
ever develop into brown ejes with daVand 
keavily-marked surroundings 
Lord Erriff exhibited an almost reverential 

«ho laj listlessly among the lace-edged pillows 

'»^e of the lake, and the bracken with the sun- 
rtme on it, stretching upwards to the golden 

t»^h^!LTl^ r"'*'-^ '"'"• '^'o" '•"' only 

bout her a' T r?^' " ^■°" '"'""' ""'^ <" '"»» 
aoout her. And after all, I can't help wishing 

«^l^. It would have been better 



337 



by far for 



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338 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

onr own Robin to have succeeded us than foi 
Erica's son." 

" Tom's son," said Lord Erriff. 

" But not like Tom. He is her living image.' 

"All new-born babies are alike," said Lon 

Erriff, meaning to show his plain common-sensi 

by this original remark, and indifferent to th 

look of patient forbearance which his wife cas 

upon him. " What better could be wished fo 

the child than that he should resemble hi 

mother? She is a beautiful, healthy, well-grow 

young woman. Her son should be a fine strappin 

fellow one day. No doubt he will develop som 

sort of resemblance to his father later on. An 

if not— he is all that is left to us of our son." 

« I don't think she cares for her baby," con 

plained Lady Erriff. " She is as cynical as sli 

can be. She said yesterday that she had alwaj 

understood that the mother of a new-born so 

experienced a wonderful thrill when she hear 

his first ery; and that on the contrary, wht 

she recovered from the chloroform and heai 

her baby screaming in the next room, she fe 

nothing but annoyance. I daresay she meant 1 

be clever," said Lady Erriff, resentfully, " bi 

it sounded to me most unnatural. She is alwa; 

posing." 

"You do her no kind of justice, my dea 
simply because she flirted a little with oth 
people before she married Tom." 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 339 
"A little!" 

h 'kfnd!!^','.'""'' ^'^ *'■■■■'"' «™"-'^' "yo"-' heart 
8 Under than y„„r tongue. If i ,]i,| not know 

'hat, I should find i, diffienlt to f„,.°ve yZ 

i»». If she doe.s not show the usual ioy and 
p.-..Ie of a young mother, you nught in 'pUy .^ 
me«.be,. that she has had to g„ through her tr al 
a|„ne-to bring a fatherless ehild int.: the voHd 
A baby ts all very xell. but she n.us.^^ it 
JO tea poo, ,,,,^„^„^ ,,^^ ^^^^ husban,rshe 

" If r thought that-" said Udv Erriff ween- 
.ng-b,,t in her heart she did nJt belie»; i^I^ 
Er^ had loved Ton, " She is so cold Tnd T 

;te. Plied ,„i?e4;^":,;Csh:;;fsZr; 

ai oiei. And I eannot think it right that she 

'"hTtr""'^" '- ""»"■- *" '««■"•''- - 

" She may have her reasons. Kemembcr she 

no thnll of maternal joy at her first bate's first 
cri-she was not destitute of a verv lively an, 

: 4't"'" "''T"'' Whenever I.;: kt^iff 
ventured to approach him; and privately ordered 



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340 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

the nurse to make excuses whenever his grand 
mother proposed to carry him downstairs. 

She lind no objection, on the other hand, t« 
watchinjj; the delight and excitement with whicl 
Tom's sisters regarded their nephew. One o 
the other of them was for ever seated by th 
rose-coh)ured cot; but in particular the littl 
black sheep, Nora, who had returned frou 
school, very round-shouldered, and inclined t 
be ana?mic; with a habit of furtive correspond 
ence, and an endless hoard of mysterious secret 
to be imparted to her little astonished sister. 

Nora chose to attach herself to Erica with : 
devotion rendered almost frantic by her mother' 
opposition. Her admiration for her beautifii 
sister-in-law was sincere, but the display wa 
largely self-conscious. Erica was at once borei 
and amused; bored l>ecause Nora haunted he 
room for hours, sitting with great brown eye 
fixed in adoration upon her face; and amuse 
because Lady Erriff's resentment at this dev( 
tion was so very obvious. 

Meanwhile, Robin, the disinueriied, accepte 
his fate lightly as he accepted most happenings 
He tolerated his father's and mother's displa 
of emotion over the birth of Tom's son, wit 
the half kindly, half contemptuous indulgence c 
youth for the weaknesses of age; and thougli 
privately that the odds were against Erica 
bringing up her son to be a particularly eredi 



li 



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The Honourable Mrs. Gany 341 

ino ner (hat it was a pitv tl,,. I,al,v ,va« not a 
f V ,"""S>' '".va<'.v ... his ,l,.a,l bvotlor pro 

I II .10 th,. bf.»t I can f,>,- tl„. n„„r ii„T„ 

l...t the only sons of wi.lows don't «,.no v 1' 
>.....h of a chance to ,„,• way of thh.kinl: ' * •- 

her chiw ' ""■"*" •*"•'""' '"™''"™' '<""'" t» 
It was not in human nature that the noor 
la.l.v shoni,! U altogether unrosontf,,! of her e. 

«<.nll have Iw„ to her of such cnarossin.. in 

orest; hut she feare,] to rex- her .lat.ghter aLd 

kept^^her niortifloation as far as pUV"' 

7 ' " '""«o'V- fat old flihiq like mc fm,!„n 
"'outyo,,. at Kel,aco„,ie," she wrot «„^ J ' 

ZiTVnT "" '"", """""•» ^"'-^ "'^ *rauZ 
mefrJT' "" ''""■'' ""■" '"""■•''or thn, 

«/lc» /ifHe Enea run about onee. more and 
-n,n, on uer Uttle .tool, pulling ruy Mit^^ 



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342 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

needles out of the tcooh and looking like a 
cherub dropped from heaven, trith your blue 
eyes and pretty smile. But of course it is na- 
tural, very natural you should watit a son to 
remind you of dear, dear Tom." 

But the little phantom Tom had already van- 
ished from Eriea'H dreams. Its place was filled 
by the substantial reality of this fat prosperous- 
looking baby, which grew daily fairer, more 
placid, and larger; thriving in the fresh air of 
the West Country. 

When Erica was carried downstairs for 
the first time, on a glorious September morning, 
and wheeled in an invalid chair to the shelter 
of the spreading cedar upon the lawn, she 
looked round her with a certain feeling of pro- 
prietorship which she had not, curiously en .>Qgh, 
experienced during Tom's lifetime. 

Around her was spread a fair domain, which 
was her son's lawful inheritance, and which she 
might one day be called upon to rule ar.d guard 

for him. 

The realisation gave her a momentary languid 
pleasure, and though she told herself that slit 
hated country life, an' found it intolerably dull 
yet she could not but own that whatever Kella 
combe might be in winter, it was pleasant enougl 
in summer. 

The great white house, with its green creepers 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



343 



nn<l open windows, lay in the hiaxin- snnshino 
«»f noon; ami fi-(»m the various (1<m„.s and French 
casements, opening on to the wide lawns, the 
Toimger inmates sped in and out in their 
black frocks, enjoying the holiday season even 
though the mem<ny of their brother's death had 
shadowed it, calling to each other across the old- 
fashioned ribbon-borders, bright with gerani,nns 
and cherry-pie, and basket-beds sweet with roses 
The air was scented deliciously by a giant mag- 
nolia, which spread its mighty arms about the 
south front, and offered oi)en creamy cups of 
fragrance to the warmth of the sun. 

An archway, cut in a tall box hedge on her 
right, framed a vista of kitchen garden, where 
the nurse paced along a narrow path in the 
shadow of a red wall covered with ripenin- 
pears. She carried the white bundle which held 
Erica's hopes. The sunflowers gl.»wed in this 
bright picture, and Japanese anemones flaunted 
pink and white flowers in profusion above the 
humbler crowd of :\Iichadmas daisies. 

The gardeners ^M^re busy mowing tl„. distant 
ennis lawn; the faint whirr of the machine, 
laking only a restful sound as thev led the 
■'ooted Shetland pony cautiously to and fro 

Lord Erriff, dressed like an unprosperous 
farmer, trotted down the garden path, carrying 
a bunch of grapes which he had cut in defiance 
Of his own head-gardeuer. 






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344 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Robin wa8 away, 8hooling partritljjoH, and Jau] 
Erriff had gone up to town for a few days hIioi 
ping; partly because she wanted to atten<l i 
sale at a particular shop where she could uiak 
sure of buying things she did n't want mor 
cheaply than at any other time of the year ; ani 
partly because her daughter-in-law had, she tol 
her husband, got on her nerves. 

Her absence produced a notable sense of relit= 
and freedom. Every one did what he like< 
without any guilty underlying consciousncs 
that the mistress of the house was expectin 
something else to be done. 

A servant advanced across the lawn ani 
approached the convalescent with cautiou 
respect. 

" A person wishes to see you, ma'am, if yo 
feel able. He says he would n't take but a te\ 
moments of your time." 

" What person? " said Erica, nervously. 

" Well 'm," said the young West-country fool 
man, bluntly. " He was butler over to More 
leigh in the late Mr. Thorverton's time." 

" Oh ! Is it Cloberry ? " said Erica, with grea 
relief. " Tell him to come at once." 

A moment later, and the awkward footman' 
place was taken by the ubiquitous Cloberr.A 
Calm, dignified, and reposeful, he stood befor 
young Mrs. Garry ; who might have been a queei 
as he said to himself, so stately and upright ii 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 345 

Hpito of ho,. «oakn,.R», will, tl,,. lH.a„tif„l trann- 

""Z ;:";"'- '■"■;"■'« "■'" «"■••'« ■"> I fair ,Z 

LncaH fear „f «„„„„„»„ „,., ,,,„i„|,i„,. ,„„,. 

».e l„„k«l aln„.«, fn,«il,-a« fa,- a« ouc .'f „,",,' 

Tlie .,1,1 H„l„I,„Hl cntlinsiasm ««,1 ,u.»ir,. to 
«Tve be.. r<.tu™«l ,.„„n VM..ny « i,l, r.. , w.^ 
'".•<;e, aH I,.. e.x„lai«,.,l in a f..«v ros,„.,.,f ^ ,a 

Ms. I.„„H, the hous..k«.pi.,. at M,„vlei«h- 
the only one of the old tenant, as has l„.en kit 
on by Mr Denys,-heard from Lajy CI w tta 
y»« was ,n wan. of a bntler, ma'am. I JX 
■f very g,«d t„ ,„,^„. ^.„„,. ^^_.^ . ^ ho, ui 

think me suitable." 

So Erica perceived that it was to her mother 
that .he owed this tin.eiy application. 

That •, just it, Ch.berry. I m not sure if 

Z trhi^t"" •" ":^' '■"■■'*^ -"•"" "'"" 

r ,, ^'*'''' "npassire face. "Of co„,.He r 

"honld I ke nothing letter than to enga^,,,, 
am q,,,te awa,. „, the entire conflde'nct pZ 
.111. Tho,.verton placed in you " 

said'"l!?"?.''T'^, ™-y »«Sl.. ly. To himsc.|f he 

onter^ Z'' ''""' "-• T"""-'"": She 
""eiiier a bwn a empress." 

trust absolutely, as I do my present butler. I 



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346 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 





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don't want to Ih' lirtthertul with detnilH iibout 
houHekct'pint? and wine and a««ountH " 

" Beneath her, an<l nhe known it. AhvayH was 
my ideal of a real lady," thought CIoI)erry, 
triumphantly. 

" And I like things done well, as I know yoii 
would do them, and I want everything eomfort 
able about me." 

"And oughter have it," he commented 
mentally. 

" Hut, you see— ^Ir. Thorverton was very rich 
and I 'm not rich." 

Cloberry looked grave. Well he knew tha 
nothing could be dime withimt money; and a 
that change in his expression Erica becanv 
suddenly determined to engage him. 

" I will iHi quite frank with you; knowing a 
I do that you are worthy of trust," she said 
with royal graciousness, "and it would be use 
less to expect you to manage if you did n't knov 
what there was to manage on. I intend to sta; 
in my rooms in Lower Belgrave Street. I hav 
a cook-housekeeper, and I believe some on 
conies in to help her; my own maid, and Gud 
wall saw to everything, catering and all thai 
I don't know how he managed." She spoke i 
little wearily. " Of course we did n't entertaii 
There 's only room for four at the table, but i 
anvbodv did come in to dinner or luncheon, i 
was always perfectly done. I could n't bear 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



347 



iUffonnit claHH of sorvant: and vot I have for 
the present, only my jointure of about a t'hou- 
«in.l a year to live on. I expo,t," she ruuU.i, 
calmly, to have a preat deal more later on ' 

"What Nhe exp«'ct«, Hhe 'II p-t. See if «he 
don t,' thoujrht riolK^rry. H„t his .x, wens ion 
changed not by m much an the twiu! le <.f nn 
e.vchiHh. He waited; gravely attenti.e muI de- 
ferential; a first clasK «iKH-imen, as he kne^ of 
a perfectly trained JirUish butler. 

" It is possible my mother will be with me a 
g|;<>d deal Uut if s.^she will a<M to my income, 
^e should live very quietly, of course. And in 
any case-a woman, living alone, should not have 
many exinmses." Her smile was pathetic yet 
di.,niihed. « Personally, T require verv little " 

At this a faint ripple, as it were, passed over 
the calm expanse of Cloberry's face. 

"Perhaps I ought to do without a butler 
altogether." 

" It would not be suitable, ma'am, if vou will 
pardon me; with the young gentleman growing 
lip to take his proper place in the world," sug- 
gested Cloberry, glancing towards the bundle in 
White; and even the glance was respectful " If 
.vou will excuse me, ma'am," he lowered his voice, 
and there was a ring of sincerity, even emotion 
m Its tones, " the late Mr. Garry was always a 
very good friend to me. I would do my best to 
serve his son, and you, ma'am." 






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348 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

« Then that is settled, and I am very pleased 
to engage yon," with the unmoved calm that 
always impressed Cloberry in spite of himself. 

"Xo thanks. Nothing. Takes it all as i\ 

matter of course. Never so much as asking m\ 

wages. She 's born to get on," he thought, ap 

provingly, as he went on his stately and portl\ 

way. " Me to go and live in rooms on a thou 

sand a year I But I can afford my fancies, thanl 

God. A quiet little place in London will sui 

me well enough for a time. It won't last little 

nor yet quiet. Not if I know anything of hu 

man'nature," thought the experienced Cloberry 

She '11 fall on her feet. That sort alwa;< r: les." 

Erica scrawled a pencil line to tell Lauy Clov 

that Oudwall might now leave as soon as h 

chose, since Cloberry was ready to take his place 

and she then dismissed all further domesti 

anxieties from her mind with great content. 

Within a month of her child's birth she hai 
regained her health. Her beauty and coura<; 
glowed afresh, and she was quite ready for tli 
small encounters with her mother-in-law whic 
presently arose. 

Lady Erriff returned from London laden wit 
gifts for her family ; her heart was kinder tha 
her tongue, and her intentions were always c: 
cellent, though she lacked perception to a quil 
remarkable degree. 
None of her children resembled her, and si 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 349 

■»•», often at a loss to account for the unanimity 
"f their disapproval of her actions; that di"an- 
I>."val vvhich had to be made almost tutali*^^- 

ear tefore it penetrated the armour o h V 
simple self-content. 

She thought Erica received the eml.roidcrd 
p..|.sse for her babe with scant graciousne", no 
■ea bsmg that it was Erica's CM-frience Tp ;," v 
w ,ch made her instantly ..cogui.., that Z^a- 
nent m question was, as she said to herself 

shop .oiled "; but realising vivi.llv, as perha ,,' 

a"::, if^t 't^ '"" '""'^'"•^ >■"-« wom'an w ' 
actually at this moment living upon a liberal 

a lowanee which came mainly from her morher 
mlaw s pocket. Lady Krriff di,l not grudge that 
allowance to hor sons widow; she wast likelnanv 
women generous in large ways anu'lncr-^^i^J^ 
DUMD in small ones. "^ 

Thus she had bought the baby's pelisse because 

.•^:rgt:r''"'""^ *"" •■^•^^ '"•'"«''''•' •^- 

fo7but ^J'l;""" "."""•."'"'^^y ^'-ff^™ in London 
f^s but of course ,t will clean," she said, trying 

a E,ir ',"""' S""""^'^ "■« '•'"•■'k looked: 
If r""^ " '"""'• ™""^^ maliciously, i, 
tie full glare of the sunlight. 

«,!,?"'' ";?,■""' " '•'"" '"'"''' •'■( l>.iy things at 
■"'"Her. I think it's quite horrid. And I 



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350 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 






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don't believe it's big enough. He's such a 
splendid big baby." 

Robin, lounging in the hammock with his 
cigarette, was also annoyed, exchanging a quick 
glance with his sister. 

" The lace is very handsome; of course it will 
clean; and it can easily be altered," said Erica, 
politely. " It was very kind of you to think of 

it." 

"Your mother thought it very pretty," said 
Lady Erriff; and as Erica looked surprised, 
" Oh, by-the-bye, I forgot to tell you," she spoke 
guiltily from nervousness, " I popped in to sec 
her. I knew she would like news of you." 

Erica could not hide her flush of annoyance, 
and again Kathleen's face burnt in sympathy; 
but before she could take up the cudgels for hei 
sister-in-law, Erica spoke for herself, letting tht 
clear-cut syllables fall with great distinctness. 

" I am sorry you did not t(dl me you though! 
of going. Anything unexpected startles m\ 
mother so much. She has a weak heart, as migli 
be guessed from her appearance. What mad* 
you think of it?" 

Lady Erriff's extreme curiosity to see Lad; 
Clow's abode had made her think of it ; as Eric; 
knew, and as Kathleen and Robin, and even litll 
Nora and Brigit also knew ; but she took ref uj: 
in dignity, pursing up the lips of a singular!. 
weak and obstinate mouth. 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 351 

I should feel like if nZ .f T ^°''''' ^'^^* 

knew her wcM e„o„,„ ,„^n,,„e ;;:'a:ger wo" 

leen «h„ '■■ '"■""'" "'"' ™'''' ""dressing Kath- 

cen, nhose sympathy she folt; « i think I MlJl 

m and rest a bit." " So 

"There 's an autnmn feel in the air " sairt 
Kathleen, j„,.,pi„g „ „„„ , «^. ™rt 

Eriea's cushions and mo- n„i • • / 

•able, al,„:^^Xd te^ T' t •""" " ^^'''■'- 

Erriff""" '■' *.''" '"•''•''■'•' ""y d"""-?" said Lord 
uSir^'-^'"'" "^ -"■'■"'- droop'oMho 

got round .,ou all, ,n my absence," Lady 



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352 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

Erriff be^an in lier most inconHequent mannor. 
"The cbildren all nisli about after ber. I am 
nobody in my own home. Tbey leave me alone 
without apoIo{?y. And Dr. Dobree is just the 
same. He never even asked if my lonj? journey 
had tired me, but went on raving about her 
splendid oonstituium, and the way she had re- 
covered her strength after her confinement. 
Why shouldn't she? A great healthy dairy- 
maid of a girl. Her mother told me she had 
never had a day's real illness in her life. 1 
thought she would be pleased to hear I had l)een 
to see her mother, and if you will believe me, 
she was quite put out. You know that horri<1 
cold manner she puts on. I shall be very glad 
when she is gone. I wish she would leave the 
dear baby with us and take herself off." 

" You said nothing about ^v)ing to see her 

mother." 

" Am I obliged to ask Erica's leave before 1 
call on poor Lady Clow?" cried Lady Erritf 
but she c(doured. 

« It would have been franker, perhaps, to men 
tion it, my dear," Lord Erriff said, though lu 
knew such comments were useless. 

« If I had mentioned it, she would have pre 
vented it somehow, and told her mother to say 
Not at home," said Lady Eri-iif, warmly, au< 
with quite unconscious selMw^rayal. " I sc 
through Erica, Tom, which you do not. Am 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 353 

lH.»id.», I onlv „„„„„„ „f i, „, „,^ 

Of .ours,. a» soon as I g„, „„.,■,. I kn.-w w" i 

™""«" :>"■'■ K.-i.-a «o„I,I not hav,. lik" „," t 

<2>n,fortul,l,. ,.o„„, I ,„„., „,i ^ « 

tr her n,„,h„ s.„,v in s„eh a place. I „L ,td 

.. ashan',';;." '"'"'""'"" '" '""^ "™ -'">»-« "he 

-"1.1 J-uni. I went to s.^ !«.,• with th.. 

■>"«he,o, and the sn.ell of boiling ,.al,l,l! 1 

n.es.airoa«ce.„„.tkn,.ke„„,e,t,:n t.t? 
. .eteno.n,., to let poor I.a„, ,,,„, ,„„,. „ 

t yis n, t I who preventwl her fi„m oonnn- to 

a tenpt to argne with his wife, who p,v . ! 
ke,l „„t her grievanee, and thanked' i"!^ 

i- sympathy with tears in her w,.ak eves 

I .ilnavs feel |,eit,.p when we have tilke,l 

Kriea ,„ V ,""'' '"""'"*■'" "'"■" »'' "'»' met 

ittentom. \. „„ s^ i„,„. , . „ 

^be ».<«,«.! ,0 kiss his forehead before leaving 



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354 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

him, with quite real emotion. Then she went 
away, a tall, dignified figure in her black crepe 
gown; with elaborate golden plaits of unnatural 
length and quantity dressed high upon her 
narrow head, and a kindness in her pale, blue- 
grey eyes, that was not less apparent than was 
the obstinacy of her pursed-up mouth, or the 
weakness of her receding chin. 

Her husband looked after her with an expres- 
sion of mingled humour and melancholy. 

Kathleen said dejectedly to Robin, as they 
returned to the garden together, her hand sloped 
nnder his arm, "Mamma is impossible^ \\ha 
do you think she did besides going off to set 
Erica's mother without telling her? " 
« How should I know? " growled Robin. 
« She made Packer look privately at the name 
of the maket- of that lovely black g.)wn Eric, 
wears at ni^Ui, and then went there and orderec 
a dress for herself." 
« Why should n't she? " 
« I suppose a man does n't understand. Bu 
it is a— well, it 's an impossihle thing to do. O 
course Erica would have told her if she ha^ 
asked, and equally of course she ^'^^^^^ «" 
and be disgusted. Any woman would be. 
hate it so-and I hate above all that she shoul 
mve Erica an excuse to despise her-because i 
my heart of hearts I don't care much more f( 
Erica than poor mamma does herself.' 







The Honourable Mrs. Garry 355 

"Don't put things into words—Mistakp " 
advised Robin. -^^israKe, — 

She squeezed his arm affecticnatolv 
Uut I m veiy, very soii;v f,„. h,.^ •• ^^^ 

-"r«e ma way, f,„. h,v than f,,. anv « „s 

r;/t :'? j"^'- "'•"« ■"""" "• And ; 

GarU" ''' "■'•''' " ''" ■' ■"" "■"= •he 

The next oncmnter between Erica an.I her 
mother-m-law, wa.s on the subject „f the Muvl 
ctastenmg. I.a,ly Erriil named the sponn rs 
who ought in her opinion, to be chosen- an^' 
t a rep,.ed in>„ediately that she had a,;e:dy 

" May I ask who they are? " 
" His godmother will be Mrs. Woosnam, the 
^ fe of one of Tom's brother officers," said Eri i 

^eii as of Terns; and Lord Fin<niar " 

fii.st'and''irf 7" ""^^^' *" '"'' ^^'"'^ ^^••♦»» ^''« 

pause ^h ''''''"'' ^"' ^^^^'' ^ disconcerted 

pause she pounced upon Mr. Reiuhardt 

^^ It sounds like a Genuau name." 

It IS a German name." 
" I <lo not set^ why you should give the poop 



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356 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

child a German godfather. Does he l)elong to 
the Church of England?" 

Robin laughed aloud. 

" I never aski^d hlui what church he belonged 
to," said Erica, missing the point of the laughter. 
" He has been a very good friend to Tom and 
me, and 1 mean l.im to be one of my boyV 
godfathers." 

She looked at Lady Erriff with calm non 
chalance, and I^dy Erriff, sure of receiving m 
support from her son and daughter, abandonee 

the point. 

"There is nothing left to settle, then," sh< 
added with an annoyed laugh. 

"His name!" said little Brigit, who was { 
peacemaker. She slid her hand into he 
mother's, but looked adoringly at the sleepin}] 
tranquil face on Erica's lap. 

"That is settled already, dear," said Lad; 
Erriff, tossing her head until the black crAp 
bows upon her garden hat trembled. " No 011 
has ever even raised the question. He will hav 
his dear father's name." 

" No," said Erica. Her large, blue, clear eye 
met those pale blinking ones fully; and tli 
younger woman reflected venp^fully upon h» 
islder's stealthy descent upon the lodgings ( 
poor Lady Clow. Erica was fully conscious ( 
her advantage; and she kad never looked lov«^lit 
than as she sat among the flowers of the lawi 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 357 

of her mcoverc^ hair, a.ul ,h,. fivshness ,!" 
inumpiantlj. A slight nmlici„„s smii,. ,>i.,,..rl 

::7i,::wr"™ -' '-- '"-'^ -""" "-^' 

" His name is Joseph." 



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CHAPTER XX 

Having Baid it, she was obliged to Btiek to 
it; though the satisfaction of vexing her mother- 
in-law was almost slight compared with the 
annoyance of having to withstand tl>e entreaties 
of Tom's sisters; her own secret dislike of her 
father's name, which she had no real desire to 
perpetuate; and the torrents of tears, and flocnls 
of amiable recollections, which the choice of it 
evoked from I.ady Clow. 

Lord Erriff, faithful to his task of champion- 
ing his dead son's wife, alone defendcil her. 

« It is most natural ^he should wish to give 
the boy her father's name. It does not signify 
what he is christened. I cant live for ever, and 
when I go, he will bo Erriff." 

To RobiL he said privately : " But surely, my 

dearboy, Reinhardl isa Jew?" ^ . ,i,^ 

« I suppose so, sir; but he won't come to the 

christening," said Robiu, with a twinkle m Ins 

eye. " He '11 send a inagnific(mt present instead. 

* « Could n't you suggest to Erica -" 

« Leave it alone, Dad," advised Robin. M 
mother 's badgered her till her back 's up, and 

358 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 359 
Hlie'H capable of saying she w«u'r have the kid 

:; kirif • v ^"• "^^^ '^ ^-^ ^-^^ ~ '- 

"Hking Keinhardt. He 's mauaged her mother's 
investments pretty cleverly." "vomers 

" B"t if he 's a J,.u., my dear boy ^" 

He may be a Christian for aught I know 
Do leave her to settle her own affairs " 

Lord'Er^^:"*"*"'^' "" ''''' ^" ^"^^'^^^-'' ^'^ 

ond^toT^^'" ^"^'^ ^^^^ ^^^ christening 
m^ht o take place at the parish church, and 
that the sp<.„s(,rs should 1k' invit.Kl t(, Kella- 
J-u.g..KHca did not propose to subject. 

nor o ini '\"^^'"T '" '^-^'^'y ^'••'•'ff'« criticisn.s, 
nor to mlroduce Lord Finguar thus to her 

RvfK- /. '^/^-^''.^ I^rriffs unexpected visit. 
By his time October had dawned, but summer 
^a hngenng late; the days were still \^na 

brp'r"/''.'"' '''' ""^^-^'^^ "^touched by chil 
breath of wind or frost. ^ 

kitchen garden (m her father-in-hiw's arm be^ 
fore seating herself under the cedar on the lawn • 

anju^ked obnoxious growths in the grass with a 
From the open casement of the drawing-room 



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MICROCOPY RESOIUTION TEST CHART 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




A APPLIED INA^GE Ir 

— r. '6i'3 East Main Street 

S^S Rochester. New York 14609 USA 

'•^^ (716) 482 - 0300 - Phone 

^= (716) 238 - 5989 - Fax 








360 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

there issued suddenly ca strangely familiar fig- 
ure, making his way across the garden towards 

them. 

"Who is that?" she asked quickly, and Lord 
ErrifE answered with the dismay of an English- 
man in his home surprised by a visitor : 

" I am very much afraid it must be some one 
calling, my dear." 

But before he answered, she had recognised 
Christopher Thorverton's boon companion and 
associate, Joe ^lurch. 

Erica was annoyed, but an inclination t( 
laugh overpowered her annoyance, for the alarii 
clearly painted upon his red face, made it abun 
dantly clear that he doubted his welcome. 

He carried his hat in his hand from an excesi 
of respect, and a subtle change had come ove 
his appearance. His attire, though still of i 
sporting order, was less groomlike ; his carrott. 
thin hair was shorter and carefully oiled; hi 
eyes were less bloodshot and watery. In a won 
he looked at once more healthy, sober, and n 
spectable than Erica had ever known him loo 
before. In his anxiety to greet her, he barel 
observed his host, and shook hands with Lor 
Erriff,— whose greeting was a perceptibly chi 
one — quite mechanically. 

"How d'ye do," Mrs. Clow— I mean Mif 
Garry," he said, in anxious confusion. " I hoi 
I don't intrude. The fact is, my wife is calliE 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 361 

^ou were out here, so my wife su—.'st.^d T m i . 

^iica, ttith .hstaiit grmiousncss. "j did n't 
know you were „,„,,i,.,l, Mr. Murol.." ' 

« iv- sTu, Mr. M;.t: X C';;:: r.T 

twu to sit, iniplied bv l.er gesture "I 1 In 
you all about it if you like " 

tl„?h-™' '? "'""''•''' ''^' '«''• '"^dlv reception 
that h,s good spirits were restortMl, aiid hh voice 
became so c„n«,Iential tl,at Lord Erriff re urn d 
.^Uhout^apoiogy to bis occupation o, iu,p™ 

If 'it" aTn-tt "/' '"^'^^ """"' -^I-- «a"V- 
u It badnt been for poor old Cl„isfonl,er fall 

™arr;^-"btrbTL"n.""''^ ^''™ -' 
-jare ., ro:S^-~^^^ 

i- first and t7"f- "^' "' ^"'"'' """-t-sp.-X 
n» nrst and thinking afterwards. My wife has 

AVell-ri w/ '• ■■ ""«" "" '"« «'^»k «P"t- 
ray mother Z ^■"''S-whcn I wont back to 

8 ther-turned out, as one might say, on account 






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362 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

of poor Cbristoplier'8 illness, from a place I 'd 
come to look (m as home-sho said there was 
only one thing for me to do, and that was, to 

get married." . , t^ • „ 

" I supp.)se she found you a wife? " said Erica, 

sardonically. 

" She did," said :^Ir. Murch, simply as usual, 

« a friend of her own ; ten years older than me, 

between ourselves-but with a nice bit of money. 

That was just like my mother. Always thinb 

in'' of my interests. I was married before 1 

knl^w where I was, and it 's been my salvation 

I know it. Know it well. There 's nothing 1 

would n't do for that woman, :Mrs. Garry. 1 'v( 

given up whisky-between you and me, pool 

old Chris and I used to do a bit too much tha 

way— I 've given up Bingo— he used to snap a 

her ankles, and I could n't have that-I 've givei 

up smoking-and all my ole pals have give: 

me up. Let 'em go," he snapped his finger* 

« I 've no use for pals of that sort. Here to-da 

and g<me to-morrow." 

He seemed about to weep, from sheer force ( 
habit, but restrained himself, with an alarms 
glance towards the drawing-room window ; an 
Erica reflected that she had never before set 
him so completely sober. 

« Poor old Chris was never one of that sort 
said Mr. Murch. "Many's the scrape he 
pulled me through when we were up at t 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 363 

lie failed me »t the last, k„ t„ speak." 
What do .von mean.'" 
"You oan-t have forgotten that night I wit- 
ne««ed his will? " said 31,.. Mnnh, "earnest I v 
"I warne,! hi,,, then, in y„„P p,.,.„,. ,„, .^^ ' ^ 

and void. \on riMnemhe,. what he said? < This 
.« a temporary job, ole pal,' he said, <and I'll 
)<it yon down in the ne.vt.' If I Ve told his 

But nothing came of it; tho.gh they mnst have 
Inown, Mrs. Gar.y, what hi wishes would have 
b<^n ; and as I said, ' It •« not for mvsel W^t 
1« I care?' n,„ when a man's' man-ied a 
woman with a good bit of money, and can't ven 
afford to pay for his own washing-it's a bit 
«..ck, ,s n't it Mrs. Garry? When l,e had eve v 
nght to expect a legacy. I 'm told vou were n't 
forgotten, Mrs. Oarry, in sfUe of.lbut tlmt 's 
none of my business. I 'm sure I don't grudge 

« Yo 3 very kind," said Erica, composedly 
I m not the sort to bear malice," he re- 
sponded, fervently. " Rut I do feel it hard I Z 

Chris .1 ? ^.T^ !" "•'•" '"•^ ""•" "in™ P"or 
Phns died My wife orders my clothes at the 

l-Ti T. r"" "^ ^"' "P '"" ^-" Ponua. a 
married me. I wrote my mother a beautiful 



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364 The Hono'-able Mrs. Garry 



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letter about i^ And she came to seo my wife, 
and cried on her shoulder for half an hour. Pity 
they 're not on speakiu}? terras now." 

"How's that?" 
■ "They've got nothing in common but their 
love of me; except that they're both the kind 
of women who don't think men ought to be 
trusted with money," he said, dejectedly. "I 
daresay they 're right. But my mother 's all for 
slaving in the house, and my wife all for sport 
and outdoor life. What that woman doesn't 
know about a horse isn't worth knowing. 
That 's why we 're here. Taken a place from a 
tenant of Lord Erriff's for the winter, and let 
her own little hunting-box up in Leicestershire 
for double what she 's paying for this." 

" I should like to see your wife," said Erica, 
and he jumped up with alacrity. 

Mrs. Murch was quite as tire(< of making con- 
versation with Lady Erriff in the drawing-room, 
as Erica of listening to Mr. Murch on the lawn ; 
and the return of her husband made an oppor- 
tunity for rising to take leave after the exchange 
of a few civil remarks with her host. 

Erica lad expected to see a commanding- 
looking woman with a certain modicum of good 
looks and a fine fig .re ; whereas she beheld a 
diminutive person, dressed in a suit as nearly 
resembling a riding habit as possible, with a 
hard felt hat, which appeared to be kept on, 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 365 

together with a very pal,Mhl.^ yWlow u ijr, hv a 
blacK net veil dmuu ti^ri.Uy across a small ,,laiu 
face with jsuspicioiisly red checks and lips 

Mrs. Murcli nn^ht have Ihmmi any a-e l,e,weeu 
thirty and fifty, and was li^ht and active as a 
8ehool-girl, with bird-Iike o|i,u.rinjr ,.,,.s whicli 
seemed to hypnotise her mate. 

When she made her farewells and tripped ont 
of the room, he followed suhniissivelv, and al- 
most on tip-toe. His subjugation wlis a very 
complete thing. 

"A reformed character," said Lord Erriff, look- 
ing after him with a twinkle. " Poor woman ! " 

"I think they are both quite dreadful, dar- 
ling," said Lady Erriflf, "but I called on them 
because they are renting our tenant's house, and 
because I understood he was an old friend of 
Erica's." 

Far from disclaiming the friendship Erica said 
at once; "I was delighted to see him jigniu. 
Poor Christopher Thorverton alwnvs sj.id h(» was 
a good sort at heart, in spite of his little weak- 
ness. And now he seems to have turned over 
a new leaf Itogether." 

'* How she had the face to mention voung Thor- 
verton's name to me—!" said Lady Erriff, in 
relating this occurrence to Robin. 

There was a certain amount of relief at 
Kellacombe, »vhen the beautiful yo^ng widow, 



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366 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

and lier baby, and the nurse, departed; but it 
was as nothing to the relief experienced by Erica 
when Hhe entered again the littU', grey drawing- 
room, gay with roMe-coloured ami golden globes 
of giant chrysanthemuins, and sad with mem- 
ories of the all too rercnt past; yet robbed of 
the sting of utter loneliness by her mot»\er'8 
tearful welcome, and her almost frantic joy in 
the baby, who was no\v to be handed over by 
the trained nurse to his regular attendant. 

"The most beautiful child I ever saw I Oh, 
Erica, Erica! I never dared hope he would be 
like this. He is you over again. Your vt y 
self! I could think I was holding you in my 
arms. And I have found a good, honest, old- 
fashioned nurse for yon. She will take all 
responsibility off your dear hands, and look after 
your mending as well. I could come and give 
her a hand in any emergency." Lady Clow 
looked anxiously into her daughter's face, and 
reading thereon no expression of dissent, waxed 
yet more joyful. " Mrs. Jarmin is almost as 
excited as I am, and the nursery looks so pretty 
all blue and white. Lord Finguar gave orders 
himself about its being done-up, and redecorated, 
she says, and came here to see it. He sent in 
a rocking-horse, but he told Mrs. Jarn In that 
was n't his christening present, poor man. And 
he wants to know if you 'd like a couple of rooms 
built out over the leads on the stable, because 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 367 

if HO it 's arranjro,] for i,, l.is l,,,so, I,,, savs. FT*. 

wo„dwUIi„,Mvl.uvHdon.,ifvou<.onhl„.a„. 
n^'«' to go auay f<.,. a f,nv w.-oks at anv time 
Ho seems to he a UK.st tl.onghtfnl vonn;; man " ' 
It s not a Lad idea," said KrUn. -I want 
a e hange after that reh.xin^^ Wcsl-.-onntrv. We 
could go to IJrighton and escape the fogs/ After 
a we're fearfully cramped here. IMl write 
ami tell him to s,.^ almut it. If we had two 
extra rooms, Mamn.a," she sai<l, slowlv, ami 
Lady Clow tremhled, as one on the ver-e of a 
joy almost too great for eon temp la'lion,- 
here 8 no reascm why you shouldn't come 
and settle down with me here-while the babv 's 
so young. Of course you M keep to your own 
sittmg-room, and he quit,, independent of me " 

I.i(ly Clow fell, almost literally, up<m 'her 
daughter's neck. * 

"Oh, my darling! I did n't dai.- to sugcest 
It ; hut if it could be ! I would never come'^r 
you, she cried, with an earnestness almost 
udicrous. " It is natural you should want to 
live your own life, unhamp(>red bv me-verv 
natural indeed. But to be under tlm same roof 
with you again-and with that little darling 
who IS your living image- " 



M 



Lord Finguar was obliged, after an inter- 

TT-.^^ ""^'''' ^" ''"'"^' '^"'^ «^^ I'>"-'i about 
the building of the two additional rooms. 



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368 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

The iinprossum iiuulo upon liiin at Iheir flrHt 
nu'ctliifi was vioU'iilly rcnowiMl wlu'ii lie thus Haw 
her a-aiu, less than five months after his friend 
Crry's death, in her deep mourning. 

He had iK'en in Scot hind at the time of his 
godson's christeninjx, and >Ir. Keinhardt had 
also not returned to London, so that both the 
godfathers had Ix^en represented by proxy. Both 
likewise had sent massive goblets in honour 
of the occasion. 

Mrs. Woosne-u too was out of town, but she 
had travelled from Yorkshire to be present at 
the ceremony, and her gift was a lace christerin^' 
robe and pelisse, that put poor Lady Erriff's 
bargain to shame. 

' 5V'hen the warm-hearted little godmother 
brought back the newly-made Christian to Lower 
Belri'ave Street, and lai<l him in his mother's 
amis, she coulvl hardly refrain from tears at this 
first meeting with Erica since her bereavement. 

"Oh, Erica darling— darling ! But he will 
make up to you for everything. You 'il see what 
a comfort a baby can be! He 's twice as big as 
mv bov was at his age," she cried, with over- 
flowing generosity. "Oh, if you could see how 
lovely you look— standing there wnth him in your 
arms— like those old Italian pictures—" she 

sobbed. 

Her loyal admiration was pleasant to Erica 
and delightful to Lady Clow ; but sincere as it 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 369 

was, it fell Hhort of the won«l<'r and worship 
which almost {ijii!s(ljrur,Ml Lo,,! Finjruai's r«'- 
finod, genihs f.H»lish fa o- -wlu-u ho, too, sjiw his 
godson for (ho tirst time, in the aims of Erica. 

She was too ex'iH'rieneed not to re(ojrni>e in 
that exi)ressh)n something < f the l.liml humility 
of first love; and in spite of the trage<lv whicii 
he had rehite.1 to her, gnesscnl that his feeling 
for the little chorus girl ha,, heen a lighter and 
more transient thing, than this passion, which 
she perceived herself to have aroused, mi-ht 
presently prove. ' 

At their previous meeting, she had looked 
tired, and unwell, as wan natural in the -ircum- 
stances; but now her beauty was fully restored, 
and with an added softness and delicacy which 
lent it additional charm. Th.; light blue eyes 
had lost tneir coldness, and even held something 
of appeal, as though a hint of self-distrust had'^ 
for the first time, touched Erica. 
" Here is your go'^son," she said, smiling. 
"You 're not going to ask me to hold him? " 
Ffe drew back in alarm. 

"No, no. Only to look at him before I send 
him upstairs. His name is Joseph." And in 
answer to an unspoweu question, "I couldn't 
bear to hear him called T- m," she said softly. 
*' Of course not, by Jove ! " he said hurriedly. 
'' So I named him after my fathci-, Sir Joseph 
Clow. I don't suppose you ever heard of him. 



II 



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370 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

T1m» bankruptcy of his firm, poor darling, was 
before your time." 

She dia not know why young Finguar's face 
cleared, nor divine thai he said to himself, with 
enigumtie brevity: 

" (Mty, by Jove ! That accounts for it. That s 

all right." 

« I had an uncle who wont bankrupt once, 
he said, svmpathetically. " llore it must 1h«." 
ne gazed upon the sleeping face of Tom's son, 
and searched vainly for an appropriate remark, 
bursting forth at length: 

" Seems a nice quiet sort of 1 baby." 

Erica ordered him to ring the bell, which 
he did with great i-elief. 

In the brief interview which followed, the 
subtlued and guarded reverence of his manner 

touched her. 

The interview was brief, because he decided he 
ought to make it so, and ou this occasion she 
ma'tle no effort to detam him. Perhaps she knew 
that he was already caught more securely than 
he himself dreamed, in the web of her fascina- 
ticms; the extent of her indifference to tins 
knowledge stirred her to a dull surprise. 

IL was settled that she was to remove herself 
and her child to Brighton, while the actual build- 
ing of the rooms was in progress; and he assured 
her that they would be finished with lightniuj- 
rapidity, and that the workmen would carry on 



- £P 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



371 



their oiHTatiouM fiorn tlu- stahh- vanl, scaivflv 
nwding to ontrr th,. house at all. Also, ij.ar 
the rcmti-actoi- pn.uii.MMl t<> haw th,.|ii iva.lv fm- 
occupatiou in (ho ourly spring. Kri.a insist,-.! 
that the r<Mit must 1m? raise.! and with great, 
delicacy he forbore to oppose the sugg,.stioii 

Then he took his U-ave, nH'n(i..ning casuallv, 
that later in the wint •••, he might Ihj in IJrighioni 
and asking if he m.^it come and see her; l.ui 
he was unable, in spite of the casualness ..f his 
words, to refrain from blushing ami stammering 
as he spoke. She gave the require<l iH-rmission 
with distant kindness, and he went away. 

Erica went to Brighton with her mother, the 
nurse, and the baby, and took up her alxn' in 
the excellent hnlgings which the experie. h\ 
Lady Clow had selected. 

At first she enjoyed the change of s<ene, the 
bracing air, and the brillhmt sunshine. 

Every morning and every afternoon her bath- 
chair was drawn up and <lown the esplanade, 
while the nurse walked In'side her, carrvjn- 
Master Ciarry in his long r(»bes. 

Iler widow's bonnet framed a face, to(, h.vely 
in its purity of outline and colouring not to be 
remarkable, even among a crowd of holiday- 
makers and convalescents. There w; < nothing 
I0 prevent her from walking except indolence, 
and a certain listlessness which had grown upon 



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372 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



her daily siuce Tom's death. Her spirits were 
low enough to alarm her mother, although her 
health was now perfectly restored. 

Presently bad weather set in, and after ten 
consecutive days of imprisonment in the lodging- 
house drawing-room,— with little to do beyond 
gazing through the window at a straight line 
of grey skv, ard a straight line of white-flecked 
sea^ and a straight line of rain-washed pave- 
ment—Erica's restlessness overpowered her, and 
she declared to herself that existence in such 
circumstances was intolerable. 

The baby made no demands upon her attention. 
He throve on a patent food, slept, woke, stared 
into space with large light blue eyes, fed, and 
slept again. His weight increased, his white 
cheeks took a flush of rose, and a faint indication 
of golden down appeared on his bald head. 

Lady Clow hung over him for hours enrap- 
tured ; a single gurgle from the infant appeared 
to repay her for unlimited snubbing from her 

daughter. ^ ^ ^^ a 

She had to talk to somebody, so she talked 
to the nurse; and the nurse, who was old- 
fashioned and discreet, received her confidences 
with no further betrayal of her own opinion 
than an occasional "Well, I never, my lady!" 
and "Ah, d.ar, dear!" 

They were thus excellent companions; the 
nurse sewed for her mistress while Lady Clow 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



-> ^ -^ 



the 



sewed for the baby; the nurse washed and 
dressed the baby while Lady (Mow hxiked on 
and commented eestatically upon his bodily per- 
feeticms; and Lady (Mow minded the baby while 
the nurse had her meals. 

Keminiseences of Erica's childhood poured 
forth, and her mother reproached her pitifully 
for indifferenre towards her offspring. 

" I never pretended not to be indifferent to 
babies that I know of/' said Erica, assuming at 
once the cynical pose with which she was wont 
to meet any appeal from her parent. 

" Erica ! Your own son. Dear Tom's boy ! " 
" If he had been like Tom," retorted Erica, 
" I might have thought more of him. Am I such 
a perfect being that I should wish to see myself 
reproduced? I should have imagined that you, 
—who have so often denounced what you are 
pleased to call my heartlessness, and my crooked 
ways— would see that though they are bad 
enough in a woman, they would be a thousand 
times worse in a man." 

" Why should he not inherit his father's dis- 
position? Dear Tom was kind, and gentle, and 
true," said Lady Clow, weeping. " Why should 
not the dear baby take after him? " 

" I 'm sure I can't tell you," said Erica, coldly. 
" Why did I not take after my father? " 

" I made mistakes in bringing you up. Often 
and often I have lain awake at night and thought 



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374 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

over the mistakes I made. I spoilt you. I let 
yon take it as a matter of course that every- 
thing must be done for you, until you came to 
think yourself a superior being and took it all 
as a right. It never entered your head to be 
grateful for anything I did, and because I did n't 
want gratitude I did n't see how bad it was for 
you, poor little thing. I blame myself. It was al- 
most as though I created your faults," said Lady 
Clow, sadly, "and that is why I cannot think 
this little angel will inherit them. I feel as 
if God had given me another chance, when 
I look into his dear little face that is so like 
yours." 

" You argue in a circle as usual," said Erica, 

crossly. 

" We will bring him up so carefully. To be 
a good man " 

"AVe are born what we are. Bringing up 
makes precious little difference, to my mind," 
said Erica. 

" If it comes to that— he is like me too," said 

her mother. 

" I am quite aware of that," said Erica, with 
a short laugh. 

An invitation from Mrs. Woosnam, who sug- 
gested that p:rica should accompany her on a 
shopping expedition to Paris, arrived at the 
moment when Mrs. Garry's nerves were fretted 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



375 



almost to breaking point; and she acoopted the 
invitation ^vith a faint revival of interest in the 
prospect of buying clotlu's. The interest was 
stimulated by the disapproval expressed bv Lady 
ErrifT, who wrote that she thought Erica ^should 
not leave her child, and reported Lord Erriff's 
remark that he could not understand modern 
mothers. 

" As if I were not here—devoting myself day 
and night—" cried Lady Clow, resentfullv. 
" Rut It is true that I could not have left you, 
Erica, even for a few days. And babies' ill- 
nesses are very sudden— though if it is to do 

you good, my darling " 

Mrs. Woosnam received Erica's acceptance 
with a delight, which was doubled by an intima- 
tion from Lieutenant Woosnam that he proposed, 
after all, to accompany his wife to Paris. 

« Between us we will pet her and look after 
her till she gets back her spirit.s," she cried. 
"From hints she lets drop— though she never 
actually complains, poor darling— I gather that 
dreadful old mother of hers must be rather a 
trial. And the poor dear reely does love shop- 
ping. I hope she'll let me give her a few 
things." 

"You are always wanting to give people 
things, and they don't like it," young Woosnam 
warned her. 



it 



I know, I know. But I reely do think I 



m 





376 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

cetting more tactful," slie answered with apolo- 
getic meekness. " It 's such a temptation you 
see, being able to get what one knows they 
want. And Erica's different-she's such a 

great friend " 

Mrs. Woosnam was unwilling to confess, even 
to herself, how much surprised she was at the 
new reluctance to profit by her generosity 
which was evinced by her great friend. On the 
other hand, Erica displayed a shrewdness in her 
own buying tha^ astonished Mrs. Woosnam; an. 
her affectionate admiration for Mrs. Garry would 
have increased tenfold had it not been for an 
unforeseen element that threatened to quench it 

altogether. , 

Mr Charles Woosnam's attentions to the 
beautiful widow, became so marked that the 
young wife's jealousy was aroused, m spite ot 
her conviction of Erica's disdainful indifference. 
She fought against it loyally, with the usua 
result; and began to wish heartily that she had 
never been inspired to invite Erica to accom- 
pany her to raris. ^ 

« Yet it 's a shame to be angry with her, slie 
thought, with the unusual honesty and charity 
which charneterised her. « It 's not her fault 
she 's so beautiful that she would turn any man s 
head; and I know well enough she doesnt care 
for Charlie,-though he 's twice the man to look 
at that poor Tom Garry was-I know it was 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 377 



him she loved. But— but he 's dead, poor fel^ 
low, and though I know it 's only a passing 
fancy of Charlie's, and that he loves me and 
baby a thousand times more in his heart- 
still—" she shed a few scalding tears of morti- 
fication—the bitterest perhaps of all tears— « I 
can't help wishing he would n't show his passing 
feelings as he does before people. No one could 
help noticing the way his eyes follow her about. 
And it 's mortifying that he never speaks to me 
—nor even hears what I say— when she 's in the 
room— just like he used to be about me once, 
and not so long ago either," she thought, with 
a scorn that was foreign to her simple nature. 
" But now he 's for ever putting her cloak on, 
and leaving me to look after myself. It 's— it 's 
hard- after all he's said. But I won't be a 
fool and lose him through this— I '11 win him back 
when she's gone. He'll come back to me all 
right." 

The way she took to bring about this desirable 
result was also the usual one; of snapping at 
her husband in private, and bursting into tears 
and a storm of reproaches when he shamelessly 
questioned her as to the wherefore of sucii 
unusual behaviour. 

" Don't you think / care," she sobbed. " Only 
I — I can't bear to see you make such a fool of 
yourself, that 's all." 

" Was it I who invited her to come? " asked 






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378 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

thuiiaeiea. j ^ ^^ ^y^^^ 

speak to a woman if it s gom„ lu ^^ 
sort of thing, and everlasting scenes. 

t' to "r BO longer a god, but a -ortal -- ; 
Ind the perfect happincBS for ^vW-^^h *e ha^ 
ottered a daily thanksgiving, upon her kn.*s, 
ever since her wedding morning, was no longer 
a thing of heaven but of earth. 

The sreat I^dy Kiverton appeared in Pans 
at this criUoal jimcture, and Erica transferred 
her^ff how'no one quite knew, to tV" protection 
o?Ter a«nt-in-law; while Mrs. Woosnam fle.1 
home with her husband safely in tow 

Mrs. Garry's daughterly d^otion to Tom s 
annt had Increased with her perception of tlu, 
Annoyance it caused her mother-in-law ; but also, 
the Wlady'B shrewdness and outspokenness 
were exceedingly congenial to her; ^'Ms J^^^J 
Zn subdued and gentle air, ^^t™' 
nnconsciously in Lady Rije^on's presen^, 
suited the deep mourning she wore, and com 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 379 

raemled hor lii^-hly to T^dy nivert(,n's sense of 
tlio fitness of things. 

"Poor thing! She is more beautiful than 
ever," said the little old lady to her friends, 
with tears in her bright dark eyes. "I am 
broken-hearted when I think of Tom. Xo, she 
won't see any one. Quite right. I hate these 
modern habits of setting mourning at naught. 
Hut if you like to come in at tea-tinie. . . . She 
looks the picture of health, but her nerves are 
shattered by the blow, and my sister-in-law's 
well-meant attentions when her baby Mas born 
nearly drove her mad. You know what poor 
Julia Errifl: can be. So she left the child with 
her mother for a few days, and toddled quietly 
over here, with poor Tom's favourite brother- 
officer and his wife; and I persuaded her to stay 
on with me when they left," Lady Kiverton was 
honestly convinced that she had thus persuaded 
Erica, " till I go to the Riviera. It rests me to 
lo'»k at anything so beautiful, and I am very far 
from well since my bronchial attack. Of course 
she 11 marry again, though it's too early to 
talk of such things as Julia most indecently does, 
and imagines that in that case the baby would 
be handed over to her, if you will believe me. 
Meantime we are as snug and peaceful as pos- 
sible together m this quiet little hotel." 

An agitated telegram from Lady Clow invaded 
this peace. 



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380 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

The baby was ill, and p'erhaps Erica had 
better return immediately. 

The poor lady betrayed, in tl^e confused word- 
ing of the telegram, at once her own indecision 
of mind, her anxiety, and her fear of disturbing 
her daughter by an unnecessary summons. 

Erica, during her preparations for the jour- 
ney, r.lternated between a suspense which 
astonished herself, and an impatient certainty 
that her mother was making a mountain out of 

a molehill. 

Lady Riverton offered to accompany her, but 
Erica pointed out that she was running an un- 
necessary risk by so doing, and Lady Riverton 
remembered her bronchitis, and agreed with a 
grateful sigh that she had better not. It was 
with some relief that Erica found herself travel- 
ling alone, and as fast as as she could, to London. 

Here another incoherent telegram told her 
that the baby had been violently ill, with an 
internal inflammation attributed to a chill; that 
it was hoped all danger was over, and that Lady 
Clow, not liking the sole responsibility, had 
summoned his paternal grandparents. 

Jealousy rather than anxiety made the hour s 
run from London to Brighton seem a long one 

to Erica. 

Lord and Lady Erriff had taken rooms at an 
adjacent hotel, and Lady Clow, receiving Erica 
alone, in the lodging-house drawing-room, and 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 381 

gasping forth gratitude for the kindm-as Hhown 
hy both, had to bear the brunt of her daughter's 
displeased reproaches. 

But upstairs— where the nurse awaited her, 
tearful and terrified— a sudden shoekinl sih^nce 
fell upon Erica, when large violet eyes, dwplv 
ringed in a baby's pale wasted face, met her 
own, as she bent over the cot. 

She hardly recognised the plump, n.sy cherub 
she had left, in this pathetic < hangeliiig. She 
realised that Tom's son had ksen indeed very 
near to death in her a!)sence. 

She signed imperiously to the nurse to leave 
the room, and stood beside the cot for some 
moments, watching the child; terror, self- 
reproach, a thousand mingled feelings clutching 
at her heart. 

Then she lifted him in her arms and against 
her breast; and the fierce protective instinct and 
passion of motherhood awoke in her for the first 
time. 



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CHAPTER XXI 

ON an afternoon in Fol.niary, Rdnhardt, hav- 
in.* olKjy(Ml a summons to Lower Uelgraye Street, 
stocHl in the archway of the little drawing-room, 
looking at the portrait of Erica, for x^-^uch space 
had been found on the farther wall of the inner 

^^fll'^hook hands absently with his hostess as 

she entered. ^ ' ^. 

« V ^3 not in a good light, and it wants a grrreat 
deal more space. It is a thousand pities your 
rooms are so small. Also he says he ^^uld gn e 
anything to paint you again. He told me he 
had a talk at the Academy with your mother, 
which threw a new light on your character. 

« I know She told me. I wish to heaven she 
would refrain from holding forth about me m 
public places," said Erica, with the frankness 
which she indulged without fear of shocking 
or alienating Mr. Reinhaidt, whose calm was 
not easily perturbed. "As for sitting to him 
again, it would only be because I know his paint- 
ings are valuable if I di.l ; for I hate the picture, 
and to tell you the truth I don't think it does 

me any sort of justice." 

382 



The Honourable Mrs. (iarry ^s^ 

He looked directly at her. 

"If it did once, it .ninmly dwn not now 
lou are more woLderfiil timii evei/' he Htated 
the faet dispassionately, "it wo„M talve an 
Italian artist to convey your expression to the 
canvas," he said, with a sudden hut 8uh,lued 
ftnthusiasm, " for no other could ^dve so well the 
look of-the Madonna. It is that which has 
given a new meaning to your beauty." 

" It appears that misery is becoming to me " 
said Erica, flippantly. ' 

"I am sorry you are miserable," he mk\ 
gently. His beautiful melancholy eves shed a 
sympathy that transformed the plainness of the 
small sallow face. " Yet, Indieve me— it will 
pass." 

"What do you know about it?" she said 
scornfully. 

He was silent. 

"Well?" 

" If I say what I know— I intrrrude on your 
feelings—" he pointed out. " You would have 
the right to detest me. I do not want to give 
you that right. Let me play to you " 

He rose and went to the piano. 

She did not care for music, yet his plavinc 
soothed her. ' 

When he closed the pian' returned to 

her, she was sitting in a low ur looking into 
the fire, with traces of tears upon her cheeks; 



I 







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384 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

and he notcHl, with the eye of an artist how 
infinitelv that touch of Horrow and softnenB 
achh'd to the lovellnesH of the face she turned 

^''"'lllve you ever faiU'd, utterly aud hopelessly 
.aied, in anything you meant to do? " she askeil 

^^He considered, with his usual care for 

exactness, . , 

« I cannot reraeml)er failing utterly in any- 
thing I have deliberately undertaken to do. But 
I have often attained only a small proportion 
of the success for which I hoped.'* 

" When I married Tom— I meant to make him 
bel love in me," she said listlessly. « 1 meant also 
to jiistify his belief in me; to play the game 

absolutely." 

K.'inhardt nodde<l in silence. 
« r.eforewe married IM-I'd lit J and schemed 
and plotted often enough, in small petty despic- 
able ways, to get things if I wanted them. I 
wanted so many things. But I meant to change 
all that, and make a fresh start. And I could n t 
change. You know what Tom was. You aggra- 
vated me once by talking about his fine feelings. 

« There was more to like in 1 im than in most 
people," said Reinhardt, in his usual dispassion- 
ate manner. "He had principle; not only in 
theory, but in practice." 

« I thought it would be easy to live up to his 



The Honourabie Mrs. Garry 385 

principles. And I only HucctH'<lo<l in ovpn mn^m- 
ing to live up to tli.'ni, mmv or h-ss, for a little 
while," Haid Erira, hlftnly. "<)n the day of 
his accident, he found me out, by <han(e. i 
Buppose uiy powern of invention and cunning 
failed me for ouce. 

"I was tired and my nervcH were unHtrunj?. 
I was almoNt glad to Ih» found out. Life was 
becoming impoHsible. I was sick of acting— to 
him— am] yet, in a way, I 8uj»pose I enjoyed 
playing on hin feelings, and (.utwJHIng him." 
She uttered a little laugh, ho full of i,itter pain 
that he scarcely recognlHed (he Erica he thought 
he knew. "The reason I have often wH'nu-d 
callous about his death is that— fliinkin„' it over 
—I am glad he died," she said, \\ ith a"j:ml of 
deliberate recklessness. " Tt is bettor to die than 
to live disillusioned and unhappy. I should have 
made Tom unhappy. Already he was losing his 
light-heartedness; he was puzzled and disap- 
pointed. I jarred on him. He was loyal and 
tried to hide it; but those things— don't get 
better. And yet I was trying. I suppose I tried 
to combine being different— with— getting what 
I wanted— it was n't thorough. Still I wa8 try- 
ing, for the first time in my life— that is what 
makes it so humiliating to have failed— 
utterly ." 

She was so obviously fighting the emotions 
which threatened to overcome her, that Rein- 





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386 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

hardt could not look at her. He was sitting 
opposite her, on a low chair, with his elbows 
on his knees, and his little black head m his 

hands. 

« I took out my pearls yesterday," she said, 
dejectedly, " and put them round my neck, and 
knew suddenly that I should n't care if I never 
saw them again. I never realised that these 
thincrs I have alwavs cared for so much, could 
be quite-quite worthless after all ; until Tom 
slipped awav so suddenly and quietly, and left 
them all behind for me to do what I like with. 
Then for a moment, I saw vividly that the things 
I thought real are the transitory vanishing ones 
—and that nothing lasts except memories for a 
little while,"-she spoke bitterly,-" memories 
of truth— and kindness, and— and just words- 
words — spoken or written." 

"It is only the abstract which counts," he 
said, nodding. « That is, the soul. Drreams- 
thoughts— words— these are real— the material 

things are but the toys of life " 

" The toys made me happy," she said, almost 

angrily. 

" You haf outgrown them. 

"Tom's death has spoilt my life." 

He waited a moment and then said gently: 

" You haf now — to mark time." 

"It is nearly nine months since he died," 
Bhe ^aid, "and'l think it gets worse, this rest- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 387 

lessness, of-of-yon may call it remorse, if vou 
like." 

" That is a poisoned sorrow, and hardest of 
all to bear," he agreed. 

'' What experience have yon had? " she asked, 
quickly. " When have you ever felt if* " 

" Because I am an artist," said Keinhardt, 
calmly, « I can feel-what I have never experi- 
enced. But no one can escape a shadow of that 
sensation, who looks back upon a vouth hard 
and thoughtless. Yet, if you will occupv vour 
mmd— and not permit yourself to dwell upon 
these thoughts,— the sharp edge of them will l»e 
dulled— the pain will pass-" Ho pa„sed and 
said deliberately, « If you had lofed him it would 
be different." 

" How dare you say I did not love him? " she 
said, and her face flushed. " I cared for him 
more than I ever cared for anybodv except— ah 
-K^xcept myself— that is what you ire thinking. 
But you are wrong," she said, detiautly. 

Keinhardt said nothing. His expressive dark 
eyes met her angry light ones steadily. 

"Don't you believe me? I tell vou I am sick 
with grief whenever I think of him," she said 
vehemently. « I hate Robin's footstep because 
It is so like his that will never come up the 
stair again. I rage when I think of the ugly, 
stupid, cross, useless people left on earth, while 
he who was so kind and young and active, and 



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388 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 

pleasant to look at, lies cold in liis grave. They 
wanted me to go and see it, but I would n't. I 
never will. I realise what 's happened to him 
well enough without that. I hate even that 
photograph of him in uniform," she said, point- 
ing to one on the table. " It is cold and stiff 
and dead— to me. I miss his living presence. 
I am missing him all the time." 
« That I believe," said Keinhardt, wearily. 
" If my sorrow is not a real thing," she said, 
almost pleadingly; " there is nothing real about 
me." Two spots of colour burned in her face. 
She leaned back, exhausted by the rare intensity 
of emotion which had possessed her. " I used 
to think sometimes that there was nothing real 
about me." 

" I also," said Reinhardt. 
" Tom never thought so," she said. 
"It is true. He perceived in you the soul 
which I missed," said Reinhardt, thoughtfully. 
" Perhaps it was sleeping— perhaps insignificant 
—obscured by the splendour and perfection of 
your body; it is certain that souls must differ 
in value and significance and beauty as greatly 
as the flesh which conceals them. Yet it has 
now become conscious of its own existence; and 
made me also conscious of it for the first time; 
though it was not I who called it to life." 
" It was certainly not you." 
Her scornful tone and laugh angered him. 



The Honourable Mrs. Cxarry 389 

"How could I tell you had a soul?" he said 
indignantly. " Mhat sign did vou givo me''' 
Music did not touch you, nor ai-t ; iMM^try-thc'. 
grrmat thoughts of gneat nion, clothed in the 
perfection of words-meant n..tl,ing to vou • 
never haf I seen you moved hy anxietv or'nii; 
or emotion for am.ther; to the sutTning of th^ 
world you were blin<l, and deaf, and careless. 
Only of your own desires you thoughr,-tha( 
your body might be a<lorn<Hl and care.l for as 
Its beauty deserved. And I who wr>rshii) beautv 
-worshipped beauty in you. I haf not set^n 
anything else to worship." 

" I dare say it was only Tom's fantv that there 
was anything else," she said, bitterlv '^ It wis 
my misfortune that I should have married tl.e 
kind of man who would tn.uble hi.Mself about 
a woman's soul one way or the otiicr. Thei-e 
are men who might have b.^en happy enough wUh 
me. I ought to have nmn led either a fool who 
would l<,ve me blimlly, and think me iMn-A.-t 
whatever I did-or a man so wise that he wouhl 
have no illusions about me, and love me onlv for 
my looks— like you." 

She turned blue, scornful eyes upcm him; and 
though her lack of reserve vexed him as it had 
often vexed him before, his every sense was 
thrilled by the loveliness of the fair face that 
confronted his own. Also he stood convicted in 
His own mind by her shrewdness. 



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390 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



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« It is true that I lof you," he said, in a low 
voice, " though this is not the time to tell you 
so. Perhaps I should never have told you so 
— to make myself a laughing-stock. I— who am 
almost a dwarf beside you— ugly— insignificant 
—a nobody— and yet— a slave to your l)eauty. 
Content with that— to worship that— ahme." 

"Oh, I know that you would have expected 
no fine feelings from me," she said, mocking him. 
" And I should not have needed to plot or lie 
or scheme if I had married you— simply because 
you are so rich that you would have been able 
to give me all I wanted." 

" Everything in the world — I would lay at 
your feet," he said, with a passion for which 
he despised himself, and which he could not 
help. " Haf I not said I lof you? " 

Her emotion had exhausted itself. She leaned 
back and looked at him with an utter and im- 
personal indifference to his admission which 
galled his sensitive spirit almost beyond 
endurance. 

" Of course, I shall have to marry somebody 
sooner or later. I can't go on like this," she said, 
coldly and wearily. " Everybody expects me to 
marry again, and equally, of course, everybody 
expects that I shall marry Lord Finguar, ^yho 
has made his intentions pretty obvious. He is," 
she said sardonically, " the fool of whom I was 
thinking just now." 



I. 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



391 



Rrinhardt sprang from his chair angrily. 
Wh.y do you tell me this? " 

of nL"'"r" !'™''-'""°g- It has become a kind 
of necessity with me. You are the onlv ^,vi "r 
I have whom I trust, and who underst-ant I 
You may be an artist-b„t .vo„ take a nerf,X 

And r blif "' "'■ ''"" "»"■ "" ■^'''- 
impartLSr ^- -"'«• "1v- me ,„i,e 

Reinhardt m»v«i restlessly away from her a, 
though undecided what to .say i,;..t. ,^,1' 

was glad that he^atXrslir^l/tu; 
He came back to the hearthrug, and stood look 

dark bC """"i '"■: "'-^ """«•'*'"""' "^"'-'""y 

dark blue eyes burning with supp„.s.,cd feeling, 
thoulh .-^T • ""' *"'■'""« •^'>" '""Partially. 

^rd pi„gla" r '"" '" """•'■^- •"" '•"'"""■ ""- 
" Because you are a richer man than he? " she 
asked calmly. " liut he is quite decently wHl 

TvJ/r^'^" ■"" '"'"■" "'• '■'«'" thousand 
a year and a finer hou.se than KcilacmlK., an 

e^enTftis a\ol 'T-'""''"'' """ ""■'•"""' 
T «i. 1^ . ^* '*" ^" ancient earldom. 

roo before my 'nothei-in-law. And the Garry 
woula picfer iiim a thousand times to 





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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



you— as a stepfather to my son. Can't you see 
how much more suitable it would be?" she 
asked, always with that slight derisive smile. 
But he knew that beneath the smile, she was 

in earnest. 

"He would be much more suitable to the 
Garry family," he answered, steadily, " but not 
to you." 

« Why? " 

« If I tell you why, you will be angry." 

"What does that matter? We often make 
each other angry," she said. " Why would he 

not suit me? " 

"Bemuse you are— thank God— middle-class 
to the backbone, as I am myself," he said, and 
she darted a furious look at him; and then 
laughed, but her laugh did not deceive him as 
to her anger. " You have at heart nothing m 
common with the people to whom your marriage 
has united you. You may be with them, but of 
them you will never be. And you are far too 
clever not to know this. I haf not seen Kella- 
combe, but I haf seen Finguar's ruinetl castle. 
What would you do there? In the long summer 
days? In the long winter evenings? You think 
he*^ could live in London? I tell you he could 
not. E's heart is in the sporting life, the life 
of outdoor that for generations his people have 
lofed, and which to you means nothing— as to 
me. His wander years are over, and he dreams 



The Honourable Mrs. Gany 393 

of a home, with you as the mother of hla child- 
ren; but the home of which he dreams would 
be to jou a prison. Remember the life of Kella- 
combe that you haf described to me with scorn. 
The life of the housewife; the teachin<r of the 
children; the visiting the poor; the working in 
the garden; that would l)e your life. He has 
less than ten thousand pounds a year, but he 
has more than ten thousand claims on it ; which 
he will no more ignore for the sake of your 
dresses and jewels— when that craving shall re- 
turn upon you, as it surely will— than he will 
ignore the rest of the calls that are in his blood, 
that he has inherited with his father's house, 
and woods, and fields. You think that you will 
be stronger than he, and force him to live here 
—but so surely as you do, the amiability of 
which you speak will vanish, and you will make 
another man unhappy." 

Erica was silent. She thought of Tom's love 
for Kellacoml)e. 

" You haf with Lord Finguar nothing in com- 
mon," said Reinhardt. 
"And what with you?" she demanded. 
"With me— a grrreat deal," he said slowly, 
" though I find my pleasure in art, and you find 
yours in dress, and jewels, and luxury." He 
returned to the chair opposite hers, and faced 
her. " With me you would regain that interest 
in life which you believe yourself to have lost 




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394 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



for e\or; and that, without quenching the light 
of your soul which has today dawned, however 
dimly, on my blindness. I swear to you that 
it would become to me also dear, as your beauty 
is dear. But you are of the city, as I am. The 
breath of life is for us in the streets, the theatres, 
the parks, the world of men and women; am(mg 
those who plot and scheme and work with their 
brrains to wrest their share of the gifts of the 
earth, and make use of them. I can gif you all 
you wish. Also, above all the rest, to me you 
can talk without reserve, as you haf said. It 
is the essence of companionship. As for your 
son, you know very well that I can be trusted 
to take care of his interests," he said. 

"I can take care of my son," Erica said, 
fiercely. " I want nobody to help me." 
He raised his expressive eyes. 
" I did not know that you cared for the child," 
he said, with perfect simplicity. " If that is so, 
you haf already one interest in life." 

" I did n't care, at first," she said. " I might 
if he'd been like Tom, as I hoped. But he 
wasn't. Yet when I came near losing him, 
something gripped my heart, and I suffered, God 
knows whv, as 1 never suffered when Tom died. 
And now, U 's— it 's a kind of love so intense as 
to be more like pain. Something ' never felt 
for anything or anybody in all my 1. . I sup- 
pose/' her laugh was tremulous, " it 'Sr— mother- 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 395 

hood— the kind of wild uni-easoning instinct 
that's made my poor old mother ding to me 
through thick and ihin. I dare my he '11 live to 
pay me out for it,— as I 've paid her out,— to be 
cruel to me because* he's bored to death with 
it. For he 's like me, you know. When I look 
in his little face I rau't liclp seeing wlili a kiu.l 
of terror liow like me my boy is. So my mother 
is delighte<I, an<l the (Jarrys are vexed; espi'- 
cially my mother-in-law, who luites the thought 
of my son Iwing the next Lord Krritf instead of 
Robin. But I 'm going to guard his rights like 
a tigress. And if you want to know it 's— it 's 
only for his sake I sh«)uld marry again at all. 
It 's because I care for him like this that one 
man is as good as another so far as I am 
concerned, provided he can give my boy all he 
wants, and all I'm having to do without now, 
let my mother and Cloberry manage as they 
will." 

Reinhardt was very white. 

"Who can understaml w<unen? The pith of 
their conversaticm like the ])iih of their letters 
—lies in a postscript," he said, bitterly. " .Inst 
now you said you'd lost interest in every- 
thinc- 



f> 



" In everything to do with me. I did n't mean 
to tell you a word about him," she said coldly. 
" I don't know why I did." 

" I can give you much more than Finguar — " 



396 The Honourable Mrs. Gany 



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he said, in a low voice, " so far as mere money 
is concernefl." 

*♦ You can't bring him up to be a sportsman, 
as Finguar can," »lie retorted. " You can't give 
liiui the training or companionshi^y or tastes 
which Iwlong to liis class,— the class to which 
you so politely intiniate«l just now that I do not 
belong, any more than you <lo,— as Finguar can." 

" I cannot," he said. " Hut I can give you 
the life that would suit you bc-st." 

" Th * does not matter. I 've told you I don't 
care an^, more for myself." 

" But you will. You are still only at the be- 
ginning of your life. A baby is not every- 
thing," the words were on his lips, but he did 
not utter them. He said to himself despair- 
ingly; "When it is a question of motherhood, 
who can tell? " 

" Of course there 's a great deal to be said for 
mere money — " said Erica, perhaps moved by 
his pallor and silence. " There 's his education 
to think of, and putting him into the Guards— 
and after all, visits to his own people and his 
own place at Kellacombe, would perhaps be 
happier for him than any amount of sport, and 
training of that kind, in another man's house. 

" If vou took mv advice and married me, 
rather than Finguar, it would be then only — 
for the money? " he said, with dry lips. 

" Y^es," she said, in a '^rd voice. " If I were 



ii 



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The Honourable Mrs. Garry 397 

a lirh woman— I mean icallv rirh— I won hi n't 
marry at all. Why shoiihl I?" 

He look«Ml al Ihm- Htraiijjcly, aiitl hM»k<'«l away. 
"Ilaf you forgotten the money I invcKted for 
you?" he asked. 
" Of course not." 

" Half of it is in Kuala Kelilin;;," sahl Rein- 
hardt. '' H will probably <le(lare ten jK-r eent. 
(livideml next year, and the value ot your capital 
has more than doubled already." 

"Oughtn't I to stdl out?" 

" As you choose." 

" What do you advise? " 

" I am holding on to everything I have in 
rubber, and buying more," he said. " The rest 
of your investments are as promising, or more 
so. We have got hold of some good things, 
thanks largely to young Kobin's quhkness and 
business instincts. If you hohl on, there is little 
doubt that before long, you will be a rich 
woman." 

"What do you mean by rich?" 

" I mean richer than Lord Finguar; and with 
no claims on you." 

"Are you certain?" 

" Nothing is certain in business. I myself 
have no doubt," he said, quietly. 

"When shall I know?" 

" In a year or two, at the outside." 

Vagu- y it crossed her mind that it was 



398 The Honourable Mrs. Garry 





Btinnp» Hho hIhhiM owo to hlin tho rircnin«tance 
that obviatc<l tlu» lUHTKsity, after all, of her 
marryinj; him for hiH iiuuioy. 

A Hliglit Hiiiih' half jlawnod on her lipH. Her 
.(•tive niin<l buKied itself anew; a fresh interest 
was certainly sprinj^ing to life. 

« Hy-t he-bye," she said, suddenly, " I have 
iM^en wanting to tell you that it was time there 
was an end to this farce of keeping my money 
in my mother's name. Please make arrange- 
ments now for transferring it to mine." 

" Her consent will l)e necessary," said Rein- 
hardt. 

" I will tell her I wish it," said Erica, im- 
periously. 

She rose, and he rose also, taking her i..>)ve 
as a sign of dismissal. He was half a head 
shorter than she was, and more conscious of the 
difference than she was herself; painfully and 
unnecessarily conscious. 

His eyes travelled slowly over the statuesque 
lines of her long, black gown, and rested on her 
fair and noble face, and the glory of her hair. 

" I wonder why you sent for me this after- 
noon? " he asked, and his tones were deeper and 
more guttural than ever. " Was it to ask me 
that? " 

« What? " 

" About the transfer of the money? " 

" Dear me, no," said Erica, instantly. " That 



The Honourable Mrs. Garry 



399 



was an aft.T thoii^rj,,.- si,,. Mt<»piHMl Hlu.rt, 
voUmviHl iminfullv, ami sahl liunu.liv. •• i ^,,^^y 
liave had it at th,. bmk of ,„v ,ni,„i." [ ^,.,11 foV 
.vou iHH'axm^ I uaN lonHy, ami worri,.! alM„,t 
«'xiM.ns,.M, ai»l I luul to talk t.» hoi,m.|m„|v. AiuI 
UN I said just uoxv, it Inis Ik-coi,,,. j, kind of 
ntH-esHity with nu. to fll vo„ thii,jr„, |h.,,i„s,. you 
arc the only jwrson who understands-aml with 
whom I can Im^ — niystdf." 

" I see," 8a id Hei'nhaidt. 

ne lookod at her mo Htcadfastiv that hIio was 
eonfusod. His eyes said much that his lips <lid 
not utter. 

" You 've been—very gocnl to me," Erica mur- 
mured, hurriedly. « You 'll-come and s^'e me 
again, noon? " 

" I will come and see you ajjain— some dav " 
said Reinhar<lt. ' ' 

Then he took his leave gravely, and went awav. 



THE END 

Note.— TAc author hopes in a later volume to give the 
further history of Erica and her son. 




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