and go for bad brain fever just avoided! Lord
Miltoun’s constitution was extremely sound.
Yes, he would certainly favour a removal. His
rooms were too confined in this weather. Well
nursed—(decidedly) Oh; yes! Quite!
And the doctor’s eyes became perhaps a trifle
more intense. Not a professional, he understood.
It might be as well to have another nurse, if they
were making the change. They would have this
lady knocking up. Just so! Yes, he would
see to that. An ambulance carriage he thought
advisable. That could all be arranged for this
afternoon—at once—he himself
would look to it. They might take Lord Miltoun
off just as he was; the men would know what to do.
And when they had him at Valleys House, the moment
he showed interest in his food, down to the sea-down
to the sea! At this time of year nothing like
it! Then with regard to nourishment, he would
be inclined already to shove in a leetle stimulant,
a thimbleful perhaps four times a day with food—not
without—mixed with an egg, with arrowroot,
with custard. A week would see him on his legs,
a fortnight at the sea make him as good a man as ever.
Overwork—burning the candle—a
leetlemore would have seen a very different state of
things! Quite so! quite so! Would come
round himself before dinner, and make sure.
His patient might feel it just at first! He bowed
Lady Valleys out; and when she had gone, sat down
at his telephone with a smile flickering on his clean-cut
Greatly fortified by this interview, Lady Valleys
rejoined her daughter in the ear; but while it slid
on amongst the multitudinous traffic, signs of unwonted
nervousness began to start out through the placidity
of her face.
“I wish, my dear,” she said suddenly,
“that someone else had to do this. Suppose
“He won’t,” Barbara answered; “she
looks so tired, poor dear. Besides——”
Lady Valleys gazed with curiosity at that young face,
which had flushed pink. Yes, this daughter of
hers was a woman already, with all a woman’s
intuitions. She said gravely:
“It was a rash stroke of yours, Babs; let’s
hope it won’t lead to disaster.”
Barbara bit her lips.
“If you’d seen him as I saw him!
And, what disaster? Mayn’t they love
each other, if they want?”
Lady Valleys swallowed a grimace. It was so
exactly her own point of view. And yet——!
“That’s only the beginning,” she
said; “you forget the sort of boy Eustace is.”
“Why can’t the poor thing be let out of
her cage?” cried Barbara. “What good
does it do to anyone? Mother, if ever, when I
am married, I want to get free, I will!”
The tone of her voice was so quivering, and unlike
the happy voice of Barbara, that Lady Valleys involuntarily
caught hold of her hand and squeezed it hard.
“My dear sweet,” she said, “don’t
let’s talk of such gloomy things.”
“I mean it. Nothing shall stop me.”