Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees

By Maurice Hewlett | Go to book overview
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II
MR. GERMAIN REVELS SEDATELY

CONVERSATION within the Rectory garden did not, could not, revive until the young footman, released from his urn-bondage, could bring out the tea-tray. Punctually with that glittering apparatus came the Rector and Lord Cantacute, prosperous, clean, leisurely gentlemen both: the peer with a huntsman's face and white whiskers, a square-topped felt hat and neatly folded white tie with a foxhead pin, Mr. James Germain, thin, smiling, and fastidious, amused at his own benevolence. A little desultory talk flickered up on their approach; the Rector was packed off to say Grace for what the revellers might be about to receive. Lord Cantacute took his tea and asked, "Where's Hertha?" Miss Hertha de Speyne was only child of his noble house.

"Hertha's gone to play tennis at the cottage -- in this grilling heat," said her ladyship. "But she's to be here to tea. Mrs. Duplessis, is very sadly, I'm told. Ah!" and she put up her lorgnette. "Here they come, dear things."

A tall young man in white flannels accompanied a tall young lady, also in white, round the house.

-17-

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