Being versed in the ways of consolations, he opened a bottle of
Moselle with an inviting rush of sound, and let the golden stream
foam itself softly over a lump of ice in a glass. Lady Dolly looked
up, dried her eyes, and sat down at the table.
" Vere must be hungry, surely," she said, with a sudden re¬
membrance, twenty minutes later, eating her last morsel of a
The counsellor smiled grimly.
" It's rather late to think about that; I sent her her breakfast
before you came in."
" Dear me ! how very fatherly of you! "
The counsellor laughed. " I feel like her father, I assure you."
Lady Dolly coloured, and lit a cigarette. She felt that she
would not digest her breakfast. Henceforth there would be two
bills to pay—the interest of them at any rate—at all the great
tailors' and milliners' houses in Paris and London; she had an un¬
easy sense that to whirl in and out the mazes of the cotillons, or
smoke your cigarette on the smooth lawns of shooting-clubs, vis-l,-
vis with your own daughter, was a position, in the main, rather
ridiculous; and she had still an uneasier conviction that the girl in
the brown holland would not be taught in a moment to compre¬
hend the necessity for the existence of Jack—and the rest.
" That horrid old duchess ! " she murmured, sinking to sleep
with the last atom of her cigarette crumbling itself away on the
open page of a French novel. For it was the duchess who had sent
Lady Dorothy Vandeedecken, who was Lady Dolly to every¬
body, down to the very boys that ran after her carriage in the
streets, was the seventh daughter of a very poor peer, the Earl of
Caterham, who was a clever politician, but always in a chronic
state of financial embarrassment. Lady Dolly had made a very
silly love-match with her own cousin, Vere Herbert, a younger son
of her uncle the Duke of Mull and Can tire, when she was only
seventeen, and he had just left Oxford and entered the Church,
But Vere Herbert had only lived long enough for her to begin to get
very tired of his country parsonage in the wilds of the Devonshire
moors, and to be left before she was twenty with a miserable pit¬
tance for her portion, and a little daughter twelve months old to
plague her farther. Lady Dolly cried terribly for a fortnight, and
thought she cried for love, when she only cried for worry. In
another fortnight or so she had ceased to cry, had found out that
crape brightened her pretty tea-rose skin, had discarded her baby