“To-morrow,” said the Earl, referring once more to his diary, “Basil and I are visiting the romantic scarps of Filey.”
On the day following the unfortunate accident at Filey the Earl and Countess of Blight reclined together upon the cliffs of Bridlington.
“If we only had had Percy here!” sighed the Earl.
“It was something to have got him as far as the beach,” said the Countess hopefully. “Perhaps in time—a little higher every day—”
The Earl sighed again.
“The need for self-expression comes strongly upon the artist at a time like this,” he said. “It is not for me to say that I have genius—”
“It is for me to say it, dear,” said his wife.
“Well, well, perhaps in my own line. And at the full height of one’s powers to be baulked by the morbidity, for I can call it nothing else, of a Percy Podby! Gertie,” he went on dreamily, “I wish I could make you understand something of the fascination which an artist finds in his medium. To be lying here, at the top of the world, with the lazy sea crawling beneath us so many feet below—”
“Look,” said the Countess suddenly. She pointed to the beach.
The Earl rose, stretched his head over the edge and gazed down.
“Percy,” he said.
“Yes. Almost exactly beneath us.”
“If anything fell upon him from here,” said the Earl thoughtfully, “it is quite possible that—”
Suddenly the fascination whereof he had spoken to her came irresistibly home to the Countess.
“Yes,” she said, as if in a trance, “if anything fell upon him from here—” and she gave her husband a thoughtful push—“it—is—quite—possible—that—”
At the word “that” the Earl reached Percy, and simultaneously the title expired.
Poor Blight!—or perhaps, since the title was never really his, we should say “Poor Blighter!” It is difficult to withhold our sympathy from him.
HIGH JINKS AT HAPPY-THOUGHT HALL
[An inevitable article in any decent magazine at Christmas-time. Read it carefully, and then have an uproarious time in your own little house.]
It was a merry party assembled at Happy-Thought Hall for Christmas. The Squire liked company, and the friends whom he had asked down for the festive season had all stayed at Happy-Thought Hall before, and were therefore well acquainted with each other. No wonder, then, that the wit flowed fast and furious, and that the guests all agreed afterwards that they had never spent such a jolly Christmas, and that the best of all possible hosts was Squire Tregarthen!