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Deadham Hard eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about Deadham Hard.
not she, once and for all, learned the lesson that a man’s ways are different and contain many unadvertised occupations and interests?  If he had wished to say something, anything, special to her, before going away, how easily—­thus she saw the business—­how easily he might have said it!  But he hadn’t spoken, rather conspicuously, indeed, had avoided speaking.  Perhaps it was all a silly, conceited mistake of her own—­a delusion and one not particularly creditable either to her intelligence or her modesty.

Damaris shut up the jewel-case.  The pearls were entrancing; but somehow she did not seem to think she cared to look at them any more—­just now.

When her breakfast arrived she ate it in a pensive frame of mind.  In a like frame of mind she went through the routine of her toilette.  She felt oddly tired; oddly shy, moreover, of her looking-glass.

Miss Felicia Verity had made a tentative proposal, about a week before, of joining her niece and her brother upon the Riviera.  She reported much discomfort from rheumatism during the past winter.  Her doctor advised a change of climate.  Damaris, while brushing and doing up her hair, discovered in herself a warm desire for Miss Felicia’s company.  She craved for a woman—­not to confide in, but to somehow shelter behind.  And Aunt Felicia was so perfect in that way.  She took what you gave in a spirit of gratitude almost pathetic; and never asked for what you didn’t give, never seemed even to, for an instant, imagine there was anything you withheld from her.  It would be a rest—­a really tremendous rest, to have Aunt Felicia.  She—­Damaris—­would propound the plan to her father as soon as she went downstairs.

After luncheon and a walk with Sir Charles, her courage being higher, she repented in respect of the pearl necklace.  Put it on—­and with results.  For that afternoon Henrietta Frayling—­hungry for activity, hungry for prey, after her prolonged abstention from society—­very effectively floated into the forefront of the local scene.



An unheralded invasion on the part of the physician from Cannes had delayed, by a day, Henrietta’s promised descent upon, or rather ascent to, the Grand Hotel.

That gentleman, whose avaricious pale grey eye belied the extreme silkiness of his manner—­having been called to minister to Lady Hermione Twells in respect of some minor ailment—­elected to put in the overtime, between two trains, in a visit to General Frayling.  For the date drew near of his yearly removal from the Riviera to Cotteret-les-Bains, in the Ardennes, where, during the summer season, he exploited the physical infelicities and mental credulities of his more wealthy fellow-creatures.  The etablissement at Cotteret was run by a syndicate, in which Dr. Stewart-Walker held—­in the name of an obliging friend and solicitor—­a

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