18 *AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.'
At this both Guy and Cyril laugh in spite of them¬
' Are you really afraid, mother ? ' asks Cyril fondly.
' What a goose you are about your " boys " ! Are we
always to be children in your eyes ? Not that I won¬
der at your horror of widows. Even the immortal
Weller shared your sentiments, and warned his
" Samivel" against them. Never mind, mother;
console yourself. I for one swear by all that is lovely
never to seek this particular " widder " in marriage.'
' You see he seems to take it so much for granted,
my giving The Cottage and that, I hardly like to
' It would not be of the least consequence, if it was
not situated actually in our own woods, and not two
mile.s from the house. There lies the chief objection,'
says Lady Chetwoode.
' Yes. Yet what can I do ? It is a pretty little
place, and it seems a pity to let it sink into decay.
This tenant may save it.'
'It is a lovely spot. I often fancy, Guy,' says his
mother somewhat sadly, ' I should like to go and live
there myself when you get a wife.'
'Why should you say that?' says Guy almost
roughly. ' If my taking a wife necessitates your quit¬
ting Chetwoode I shall never burden myself with that
' You don't follow out the Mater's argument, dear
boy,' says Cyril smoothly. ' She means that when
your sylvan widow claims you as her own she must
leave, as of course the same roof could not cover both.
But you are eating nothing, mother; Guy's foolish
letter has taken away yom- appetite. Take some of
this broiled ham.'
' No, thank you, dear, I don't care for------'
' Don't perjure yourself. You know you have had
a positive passion for broiled ham from your cradle up.