'AIBY FAIRY LllJAN,' 237
be in the room at this moment. Mab and I had a
6tand-up fight about it in the haU just before starting,
and it was only after a good deal of calm though firm
expostulation I carried the day, I represented to her
that as a rule babies are not invited out to dine at
eight o'clock at night, and that chUdren of her age
are generaUy more attractive to their mothers than to
' Barbarian ! ' says Lady Chetwoode.
' How have you been getting on in London, Mab ?'
asks CyrU. ' ;^Iade any new conquests ? '
' Several,' repHes Tom, ' though I think on the
whole she is going off. She did not make up her usual
number this season. She has, however, on her Hst two
nice boys in the F.O. and an infant in the Guards.
She is rather unhappy about them, as she cannot
make up her mind which it is she likes best.'
' Wrong, Tom. Yesterday I made it up. I like
the "infant" best. But what reaUy saddens me is,
that I am by no means sure he Hkes me best. He is
terribly fond of Tom, and I sometimes fear thinks him
the better feUow of the two.'
At this moment the door opens and Taffy comes in.
' Why ! Here is my " infant," ' exclaims Mabel,
surprised. ' Dear r\Ir. Musgrave, I had no idea I should
meet you here.'
' My dear ^hs. Steyne ! I had no idea such luck
was in store for me. I am so glad to see you again !
Lilian—why didn't you break it to me ? Joyful sur¬
prises are sometimes dangerous.'
'I thought you knew. We have been discussing
"Mabel's " coming,'with a shy smile,' all the past month.'
' But how could I possibly guess that the " Mabel "
who was occupying everybody's thoughts could be my
' Ours !' murmurs Tom, faintly.
' Yes, mine,' says Taffy, who is not troubled with