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

QUEX.

You don’t feel you ought to go and meet your—­Mr. Valma?

SOPHY.

[Edging towards him.] I might miss him—­mightn’t I?

QUEX.

Certainly—­you might.

SOPHY.

Besides, it wouldn’t do for me to attend upon Mrs. Jack—­Mrs. Eden—­all puffing and towzelled; [archly] now, would it?

QUEX.

[Resuming his reading.] You’re the best judge.

SOPHY.

So I’ve a quarter of an hour to fill in somehow. [A pause.] I’ve a quarter of an hour to fill in somehow.

QUEX.

[Behind his paper, beginning to be extremely bored.] Indeed?

SOPHY.

[Quaking.] I—­I wish there were some quiet little shady places to ramble about in, here at Fauncey Court.

QUEX.

There are several.

SOPHY.

Are there?... are there?

QUEX.

[Turning his paper.] Oh, yes, a great many.

SOPHY.

You see, I’m a stranger—­

QUEX.

[Kindly.] Well, you run along; you’ll find ’em. [She walks away slowly, baffled.  He glances at her over his paper, slightly puzzled.] Have you seen the grotto?

SOPHY.

[Turning sharply.] No.

QUEX.

[Pointing towards the right.] It’s in that direction.

SOPHY.

Grotto?  Dark, I suppose, and lonelyish?

QUEX.

You said you desired shade and quiet.

SOPHY.

Yes, but not darkness.  Fancy me in a grotto all by myself ... by myself...!

QUEX.

[Behind his paper again.] I’m afraid I have no further suggestion to offer.

[There is another pause; then her face lights up, and she comes down to him swiftly.

SOPHY.

[Close to him.] Show me your nails, my lord.

QUEX.

[Lowering his paper.] My nails?

SOPHY.

[Taking his hand and examining it.] Excuse me.  Oh, my lord, for shame!

QUEX.

You take exception to them?

SOPHY.

This is hacking, not cutting.  You ought never to be allowed within a mile of a pair of scissors.

QUEX.

[Looking at his other hand.] Oh, come! they’re hardly as bad as all that.

SOPHY

[Examining that hand also.] Ha, ha, ha!

QUEX.

[Rising, somewhat abashed.] Ha!  I confess I am a little unskilful at such operations.

SOPHY.

No gentleman should trust to himself where his nails are concerned.  Why, a man’s hand has lost him a young lady’s affections before this!  I’ve heard of heaps of cases where matches have been broken off—­

QUEX.

[Putting his hands behind him, smiling.] Really? the results of manicure are more far-reaching than I had imagined.

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