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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about The Patrician.

The unsparing light of that first half-hour of summer morning recorded many other changes, wandering from austere tapestries to the velvety carpets, and dragging from the contrast sure proof of a common sense which denied to the present Earl and Countess the asceticisms of the past.  And then it seemed to lose interest in this critical journey, as though longing to clothe all in witchery.  For the sun had risen, and through the Eastern windows came pouring its level and mysterious joy.  And with it, passing in at an open lattice, came a wild bee to settle among the flowers on the table athwart the Eastern end, used when there was only a small party in the house.  The hours fled on silent, till the sun was high, and the first visitors came—­three maids, rosy, not silent, bringing brushes.  They passed, and were followed by two footmen—­scouts of the breakfast brigade, who stood for a moment professionally doing nothing, then soberly commenced to set the table.  Then came a little girl of six, to see if there were anything exciting—­little Ann Shropton, child of Sir William Shropton by his marriage with Lady Agatha, and eldest daughter of the house, the only one of the four young Caradocs as yet wedded.  She came on tiptoe, thinking to surprise whatever was there.  She had a broad little face, and wide frank hazel eyes over a little nose that came out straight and sudden.  Encircled by a loose belt placed far below the waist of her holland frock, as if to symbolize freedom, she seemed to think everything in life good fun.  And soon she found the exciting thing.

“Here’s a bumble bee, William.  Do you think I could tame it in my little glass bog?”

“No, I don’t, Miss Ann; and look out, you’ll be stung!”

“It wouldn’t sting me.”

“Why not?”

“Because it wouldn’t.”

“Of course—­if you say so——­”

“What time is the motor ordered?”

“Nine o’clock.”

“I’m going with Grandpapa as far as the gate.”

“Suppose he says you’re not?”

“Well, then I shall go all the same.”

“I see.”

“I might go all the way with him to London!  Is Auntie Babs going?”

“No, I don’t think anybody is going with his lordship.”

“I would, if she were.  William!”

“Yes.”

“Is Uncle Eustace sure to be elected?”

“Of course he is.”

“Do you think he’ll be a good Member of Parliament?”

“Lord Miltoun is very clever, Miss Ann.”

“Is he?”

“Well, don’t you think so?”

“Does Charles think so?”

“Ask him.”

“William!”

“Yes.”

“I don’t like London.  I like here, and I like Cotton, and I like home pretty well, and I love Pendridny—­and—­I like Ravensham.”

“His lordship is going to Ravensham to-day on his way up, I heard say.”

“Oh! then he’ll see great-granny.  William——­”

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