“Enchantress,” he whispered softly, “it is you whose charm lays snares for men. You have no fear of falling into them yourself.”
She rippled a low laugh of satisfaction. And, having tamed her lion, she now suggested it was time to go in to luncheon.
Arabella Clinker took Sunday afternoons generally to write a long letter to her mother, and Good Friday seemed almost a Sunday, so she went up to her room from force of habit. But first she looked up some facts in the countless books of reference she kept always by her. Mrs. Cricklander had skated over some very thin ice at luncheon upon a classical subject, when talking to the distinguished Mr. Derringham, and she must be warned and primed up before dinner. Arabella had herself averted a catastrophe and dexterously turned the conversation in the nick of time. Mrs. Cricklander had a peculiarly unclassical brain, and found learning statistics about ancient philosophies and the names of mythological personages the most difficult of all. Fortunately in these days, even among the most polished, this special branch of cultivation was rather old-fashioned, Miss Clinker reflected, but still, as Mr. Derringham seemed determined to wander along this line (Arabella had unconsciously appropriated some apt Americanisms during her three years of bondage), she must be loyal and not allow her employer to commit any blunders. So she got her facts crystallized, or “tabloided,” as Mrs. Cricklander would mentally have characterized the process, and then she began her letter to her parent. Mrs. Clinker, an Irishwoman and the widow of a learned Dean, understood a number of things, and was clear-headed and humorous, for all her seventy years, and these passages in her daughter’s letter amused her.
We are entertaining a number of distinguished visitors, and among them Mr. John Derringham, the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He is a most interesting personality, as perfectly sure of what he wants in life as is M. E. (M. E. stood for “My Employer”—names were invidious). They would be a perfect match, each as selfish as the other, I should say. He is really very cultivated, and believes her to be so, too. She has not made a single mistake as yet, but frightened me at luncheon a little. I must try and get her to keep him off classical subjects. She intends to marry him—and then she will not require me, I suppose; or rather, I do not think he would permit her to keep me. If it came to a measure of wills, he would win, I think—at first, at least—but she could wear away a stone in the end, as you know. The arranging of this place is still amusing her, so she may decide to spend a good deal of time here. She closed her mouth with that firm snap this morning that I have described to you often, and said that it was going to be her delight to make them put themselves out and come so far