“Ca, c’est vrai!” said the Comte and Jean together, and every one laughed.
Now that the betrothal ring is really on Victorine’s finger, and Heloise knows she will be got off, she does not mind a bit about the Marquis looking at me. She kept laughing to herself over it all the way home; she really detests Victorine. Godmamma and the bride-elect hardly spoke a word, and I am sure if a perfect hurricane blows to-morrow, they won’t suggest my waiting another day, so I shall be glad to be off.
Good-night, dear Mamma; you will see me almost as soon as you get this, as I shall only sleep the night in London at Aunt Mary’s.—With love from your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.
[Sidenote: Lady Theodosia’s Pets]
Dearest Mamma,—You might have prepared me for what Lady Theodosia looks like, because when I arrived yesterday and was shown into her boudoir, and found her lying on the sofa, covered with dogs and cats, I as nearly as possible laughed out loud, and it would have been so rude. She had evidently been asleep, and it looked like a mountain having an earthquake when she got up, and animals rolled off her in all directions. A poodle, two fox terriers, a toy Spitz, and a cat and kitten, had all been sleeping in the nooks her outline makes. They all barked in different keys, and between saying, “Down, Hector!” “Quiet, Fluff!” “Hush, hush, Fanny!” “Did um know it was a stranger?” etc., etc., she got in that she was glad to see me, and hoped you were better. When she stands up she is colossal! Her body dressed in the last fashion, and then the queerest face with no neck, and lemon-coloured hair parted down the middle, and not matching a bit with the chignon of thick plaits at the back. It looks as if it were strapped on with a black velvet band that comes across her forehead, like in the pictures on the nursery screen at home that the Great-aunts made when they were children. She seems as kind as possible, and has the fattest wheezy voice.
[Sidenote: "Clever Darlings"]
Her room is appalling; it is full of Early Victorian furniture, and horrid alabaster statuette things, under glass cases, and then a few modern armchairs covered in gorgeous brocade, but it is all clawed by the cats, and soiled by the dogs’ muddy feet, and you are unable to make up your mind where it will be safe to sit. When tea came in, which it did immediately, you can’t think what it was like! A St. Bernard and another poodle joined the party, and while we were trying to get something to eat and drink, they all begged or barked or pushed their noses under the muffin dish lid, or took cakes from the side table; and Lady Theodosia kept saying, “Clever darlings; see, they know where their favourite bits are.” It is impossible to have a connected conversation with her, because between every few words she puts in ejaculations about the dogs. I was obliged to simply bolt my crumpet like a Frenchman, to keep it from being snatched from me. Just as we were finishing tea, Mr. Doran and three men came in. He is a teeny-weeny man with a big head and rather weak eyes, and he and she do look odd together. What could it have been like when they trotted down the aisle after getting married!