Halcyone eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about Halcyone.
away from London for her.  “Them,” for the moment, are Mr. Derringham and Mr. Hanbury-Green, almost a Socialist person, who is on the other side—­very brilliantly clever but with a Cockney accent in one or two words.  M. E. does not notice this, of course.  Mr. H-G. is in love with her—­Mr. D. is not, but she is determined that he shall be.  I do not know if he intends to marry her.  He is making up his mind, I think, therefore I must be doubly careful not to allow her to commit any mistakes, because if she did it would certainly estrange him, and as to keep her free is so much to our advantage, I feel I must be extra careful in doing my duty.

Arabella was a person of scrupulous honor.

She then proceeded to describe the party, and concluded with,

There is one American girl I like very much—­perfectly natural and bubbling with spirits, saying aloud everything she thinks, really well educated and taking so much outdoor exercise that she has not yet begun to have the nervous attacks that are such a distressing feature of so many of her countrywomen.  I am told it is their climate.  M. E. says it is because the men out there have always let them have their own way.  I should think so much smoking has something to do with it.

John Derringham meanwhile had gone with his hostess and some of the rest of the party, Mr. Hanbury-Green among them, to inspect the small golf links Mrs. Cricklander was having constructed in the park.  Her country-house must be complete with suitable amusements.  She had taken all the Wendover shooting, too, and what she could get of Lord Graceworth’s beyond.  “You cannot drag people into the wilds and then bore them to death,” she said.  What she most enjoyed was to scintillate to a company of two or three, and fascinate them all into a desire for a tete-a-tete, and then, when with difficulty one had secured this privilege, to be elusive and tantalize him to death.  To passion she was a complete stranger, and won all her games because with her great beauty she was as cold as ice.

She was not feeling perfectly content this Good Friday afternoon.  Something had happened since the evening before which had altered John Derringham’s point of view towards her.  She felt it distinctly with her senses, trained like an animal’s, to scent the most subtle things in connection with herself.  It was impossible to seize, she could not analyze it, but there it was; certainly there seemed to be some change.  He was brilliant, and had been even empresse before lunch, but it was not spontaneous, and she was not perfectly sure that it was not assumed.  It was his cleverness which attracted her.  She could not see the other side of his head—­not that she would have understood what that meant, if she had heard the phrase.

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Halcyone from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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