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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about Deadham Hard.

“I enjoyed our two dances,” he told her, “and I shall enjoy taking you to Marseilles and making Faircloth’s acquaintance, if our little scheme works out successfully—­if it is sanctioned, permitted.  After that—­other things being equal—­I think I ought to break camp and journey back to England, to look after my property and my sister’s affairs.  I have gadded long enough.  It is time to get into harness—­such harness as claims me in these all too easy-going days.  And now you must really go indoors without further delay, and go to bed.  May the four angels of pious tradition stand at the four corners of it, to keep you safe in body, soul and spirit.  Sleep the sleep of innocence and wake radiant and refreshed.”

“Ah! but you’re sad—­you are sad,” Damaris cried, her lips quivering.  “Can’t I do anything?—­I would do so much, would love so much—­beyond anything—­to make you unsad.”

The man with the blue eyes shook his head.

“Impossible, alas!  Your intervention, in this case, is finally ruled out, my sweet lamb,” he affectionately, but conclusively said.

CHAPTER IX

WHICH FEATURES VARIOUS PERSONS WITH WHOM THE READER IS ALREADY ACQUAINTED

Some are born great, some attain greatness, and some have it thrust upon them to the lively embarrassment of their humble and retiring little souls.  To his own notable surprise, General Frayling, on the morning following his wife’s Cinderella dance, awoke to find himself the centre of interest in the life of the pretty pavilion situated in the grounds of the Hotel de la Plage.  He owed this unaccustomed ascendency to physical rather than moral or intellectual causes, being possessed of a temperature, the complexion of the proverbial guinea, and violent pains in his loins and his back.

These anxious symptoms developed—­one cannot but feel rather unjustly—­as the consequence of his own politeness, his amenity of manner, and the patient attentions he paid on the previous evening to one of his wife’s guests.  He had sat altogether too long for personal comfort in a draughty corner of the hotel garden, with Mrs. Callowgas.  Affected by the poetic influences of moon, stars, and sea, affected also conceivably by pagan amorous influences, naughtily emanating from the neighbouring Venus Temple—­whose elegant tapering columns adorn the facade of the local Mairie—­Mrs. Callowgas became extensively reminiscent of her dear dead Lord Bishop.  Protracted anecdotes of visitations and confirmation tours, excerpts from his sermons, speeches and charges, arch revelations of his diurnal and nocturnal conversation and habits—­the latter tedious to the point of tears when not slightly immodest—­poured from her widowed lips.  The good lady overflowed.  She frankly babbled.  General Frayling listened, outwardly interested and civil, inwardly deploring that he had omitted to put on a waistcoat back-lined with flannel—­waxing

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