The Gay Lord Quex eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about The Gay Lord Quex.

DUCHESS.

Really?  Ah! don’t be surprised that I am not more deeply shocked.  In these surroundings it is hard to realise that every aspect of life is not as lovely as—­[pointing to the foliage] the tones of those exquisite, deep greens, for example.

MRS. EDEN.

However, the dear thing is going to be so good in the future. [Turning to the DUCHESS.] I keep forgetting—­Lord Quex is a very old friend of yours?

DUCHESS.

[Serenely.] An acquaintance of many years’ standing.  But since his Grace has been an invalid we have lived much abroad, or in seclusion, and gossip has not reached us.  Alas, you find me a ready subject a desillusionner! [Rising.] We are in the sun.  Shall we walk?

MRS. EDEN.

[Sympathetically, as they walk.] Is his Grace still very unwell?

DUCHESS.

[Smiling sadly upon MRS. EDEN.] He is still over seventy.

[They wander away, through the trees, as QUEX and MURIEL leave the fountain.

QUEX.

[With tender playfulness, first glancing at the sleeping LADY OWBRIDGE.] And so all these good things are to befall me after to-morrow?

MURIEL.

[In a low voice.] After to-morrow.

QUEX.

When I approach, I shall no longer see you skim away into the far vista of these alleys, or shrink back into the shadows of the corridors—­[prosaically] after to-morrow.

MURIEL.

No—­not after to-morrow.

QUEX.

In place of a cold word, a chilling phrase, a warm one—­after to-morrow.

MURIEL.

I am going to try.

QUEX.

If I touch your hand, you’ll not slip it behind your back in a hurry [touching her hand]—?

MURIEL.

[Withdrawing it.] Not after to-morrow.

[She sits; he stands behind the stone bench, leaning over the back of it.

QUEX.

But why, may I ask, is this bliss reserved till after to-morrow?

MURIEL.

I had rather you did not ask me, Quex.

QUEX.

No?  I see, I am a day too soon in putting even that little question.

MURIEL.

Ah, I’ll tell you this—­I am going to turn over a new leaf, after to-morrow.

QUEX.

You! your pages are all milk-white.  What can you detect upon one of them to induce you to turn it?

MURIEL.

[Gazing into space.] I—­I’ve been scribbling there—­scrawling—­drawing pictures—­

QUEX.

Pictures—­of what?

MURIEL.

You shall know, perhaps, some day.

QUEX.

After to-morrow?

MURIEL.

Yes, Quex, but—­after many to-morrows.

[TWO MEN-SERVANTS—­an old man and a young one—­descend the steps and proceed to remove the tea-things.

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The Gay Lord Quex from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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