A Damsel in Distress eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about A Damsel in Distress.

“I don’t care.  I love him, and I always shall love him, and nothing is ever going to stop me loving him—­because I love him,” she concluded a little lamely.

“Nonsense,” said Lady Caroline.  “In a year from now you will have forgotten his name.  Don’t you agree with me, Percy?”

“Quite,” said Lord Belpher.

“I shan’t.”

“Deuced hard things to remember, names,” said Lord Marshmoreton.  “If I’ve tried once to remember that tobacconist girl’s name, I’ve tried a hundred times.  I have an idea it began with an ‘L.’  Muriel or Hilda or something.”

“Within a year,” said Lady Caroline, “you will be wondering how you ever came to be so foolish.  Don’t you think so, Percy?”

“Quite,” said Lord Belpher.

Lord Marshmoreton turned on him irritably.

“Good God, boy, can’t you answer a simple question with a plain affirmative?  What do you mean—­quite?  If somebody came to me and pointed you out and said, ‘Is that your son?’ do you suppose I should say ‘Quite?’ I wish the devil you didn’t collect prayer rugs.  It’s sapped your brain.”

“They say prison life often weakens the intellect, father,” said Maud.  She moved towards the door and turned the handle.  Albert, the page boy, who had been courting earache by listening at the keyhole, straightened his small body and scuttled away.  “Well, is that all, Aunt Caroline?  May I go now?”

“Certainly.  I have said all I wished to say.”

“Very well.  I’m sorry to disobey you, but I can’t help it.”

“You’ll find you can help it after you’ve been cooped up here for a few more months,” said Percy.

A gentle smile played over Maud’s face.

“Love laughs at locksmiths,” she murmured softly, and passed from the room.

“What did she say?” asked Lord Marshmoreton, interested.  “Something about somebody laughing at a locksmith?  I don’t understand.  Why should anyone laugh at locksmiths?  Most respectable men.  Had one up here only the day before yesterday, forcing open the drawer of my desk.  Watched him do it.  Most interesting.  He smelt rather strongly of a damned bad brand of tobacco.  Fellow must have a throat of leather to be able to smoke the stuff.  But he didn’t strike me as an object of derision.  From first to last, I was never tempted to laugh once.”

Lord Belpher wandered moodily to the window and looked out into the gathering darkness.

“And this has to happen,” he said bitterly, “on the eve of my twenty-first birthday.”


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A Damsel in Distress from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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