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

[Groaning as she writes.] Oh! oh!

QUEX.

“I undertake not to approach or annoy you in the future—­”

SOPHY.

Oh!

QUEX.

“Upon any pretext whatsoever.  Yours respectfully—­” [After watching the completion of the letter.] Date it vaguely—­[with a wave of the hand] “Monday afternoon.”  Blot it. [Moving away.] That’s right. [She rises, reading the letter with staring eyes.  Then she comes to him and yields the letter, and he folds it neatly and puts it into his breast-pocket.] Thank you.  I think I need detain you no longer.

SOPHY.

[With a gasp.] Ah! stop a bit! no, I won’t!

QUEX.

What’s the matter with you?

SOPHY.

[Wildly.] Why, it’s like selling Muriel!  Just to get myself out of this, I’m simply handing her over to you!  I won’t do it!  I won’t! [She rushes to the bell-rope and tugs at it again and again.] She sha’n’t marry you! she sha’n’t!  I’ve said she sha’n’t, and she sha’n’t! [Leaving the bell-rope and facing him fiercely.] Oh, let your precious Duchess go scot-free!  After all, what does it matter who the woman is you’ve been sporting with, so that Miss Muriel is kept from falling into your clutches!  Yes, I’ll make short work of you, my lord.  The ladies shall hear from my mouth of the lively half-hour I’ve spent with you, and how I’ve suddenly funked the consequences and raised a hullabaloo!  Now, my lord! now then! now then!

[His astonishment has given way to admiration; he gazes at her as if spell-bound.

QUEX.

[After a pause, during which she stands before him panting.] By God, you’re a fine plucked ’un!  I’ve never known a better. [Resolutely.] No, my girl, I’m damned if you shall suffer!  Quick! listen! pull yourself together!

SOPHY.

[Hysterically.] Eh? eh?

QUEX.

[Taking her letter from his pocket and thrusting it into her hand.] Here’s your letter! take it—­I won’t have it. [Going quickly to the passage-door, unlocking it, and throwing the door open.] There you are!

SOPHY.

[Sobbing.] Oh! oh!

[There is a hurried, irregular knocking at the door.

QUEX.

[Gripping her arm.] Hush! [In a whisper.] Call out—­wait!

SOPHY.

[Raising her voice—­unsteadily.] Wait—­one moment!

QUEX.

[In her ear, as he gives her the key of the door.] Say the Duchess is with Mrs. Jack; say she wants her letters brought to her in the morning; say anything—­

SOPHY.

Yes, yes. [Weeping and shaking and gasping, she goes to the door and unlocks it.  He tip-toes into the bedroom and turns out the light there.  She opens the door an inch or two.] Yes?

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