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

FRAYNE.

[Mournfully.] There is nothing else to nurse, dear Harry, on the West Coast of Africa. [Glancing at SOPHY.] Yes, by gad, that gal is alluring!

QUEX.

[Walking away.] Tssh! you’re a bad companion, Chick!

[He goes to the window and looks into the street. FRAYNE joins him. SOPHY, seizing her opportunity comes down to POLLITT.

SOPHY.

[To POLLITT.] Valma dear, you see that man?

POLLITT.

Which of the two?

SOPHY.

The dark one.  That’s Lord Quex—­the wickedest man in London.

POLLITT.

He looks it. [Jealously.] Have you ever cut his nails?

SOPHY.

No, love, no.  Oh, I’ve heard such tales about him!

POLLITT.

What tales?

SOPHY.

I’ll tell you, [demurely] when we’re married.  And the worst of it is, he is engaged to Miss Eden.

POLLITT.

Who is she?

SOPHY.

Miss Muriel Eden, my foster-sister; the dearest friend I have in the world—­except you, sweetheart.  It was Muriel and her brother Jack who put me into this business.  And now my darling is to be sacrificed to that gay old thing—!

[The door-gong sounds; QUEX turns expectantly.

POLLITT.

If Miss Eden is your foster-sister—­

SOPHY.

Yes, of course, she’s six-and-twenty.  But the poor girl has been worried into it by her sister-in-law, Mrs. Jack, whose one idea is Title and Position.  Title and Position with that old rake by her side!

MISS LIMBIRD enters, preceding CAPTAIN BASTLING—­a smart, soldierly-looking man of about eight-and-twenty. MISS LIMBIRD returns to her seat at the desk.

SOPHY.

[Seeing BASTLING.] My gracious!

POLLITT.

What’s the matter?

QUEX.

[Recognising BASTLING and greeting him.] Hallo, Napier! how are you?

BASTLING.

[Shaking hands with QUEX.] Hallo, Quex!

QUEX.

What are you doing here?

SOPHY.

[To POLLITT.] Phew!  I hope to goodness Lord Quex won’t tumble to anything.

POLLITT.

Tumble—­to what?

[QUEX introduces BASTLING to FRAYNE.

SOPHY.

You don’t understand; it’s Captain Bastling—­the man Muriel is really fond of.

POLLITT.

What, while she’s engaged—?

SOPHY.

[With clenched hands.] Yes, and she shall marry him too, my darling shall, if I can help to bring it about.

POLLITT.

You?

SOPHY.

Bless ’em, I don’t know how they’d contrive without me!

POLLITT.

Contrive—?

SOPHY.

[Fondly.] You old stupid! whenever Muriel is coming to be manicured she sends Captain Bastling a warning overnight; [squeezing POLLITT’S arm, roguishly] this kind of thing—­“My heart is heavy and my nails are long.  To-morrow—­three-thirty.”  Ha, ha, ha!

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