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.
CONCERNING ITSELF WITH A GATHERING UP OP FRAGMENTS
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