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when I was there. Egad, I was ashamed of him. The Queen used to
ask me about the English noble who was always quarrelling with
the cabmen about their fares. They made quite a story of it. I didn’t
dare show my face at Court for a month. I hope he treated his
grandson better than he did the jarvies.” “I don’t know,” answered
Lord Henry. “I fancy that the boy will be well off.
He is not of age yet. He has Selby, I know. He told me so. And...
his mother was very beautiful?” “Margaret Devereux was one of
the loveliest creatures I ever saw, Harry.
What on earth induced her to behave as she did, I never could
understand. She could have married anybody she chose.
Carlington was mad after her. She was romantic though. All the
women of that family were. The men were a poor lot, but, egad!
the women were wonderful. Carlington went on his knees to her.
Told me so himself. She laughed at him, and there wasn’t a girl in
London at the time who wasn’t after him. And by the way, Harry,
talking about silly marriages, what is this humbug your father tells
me about Dartmoor wanting to marry an American? Ain’t English
girls good enough for him?” “It is rather fashionable to marry
Americans just now, Uncle George.” “I’ll back English women
against the world, Harry,” said Lord Fermor, striking the table
with his fist.
“The betting is on the Americans.” “They don’t last, I am told,”
muttered his uncle.
“A long engagement exhausts them, but they are capital at a
They take things flying. I don’t think Dartmoor has a chance.”
“Who are her people?” grumbled the old gentleman. “Has she got
any?” Lord Henry shook his head. “American girls are as clever at
concealing their parents, as English women are at concealing their
past,” he said, rising to go.
“They are pork-packers, I suppose?” “I hope so, Uncle George, for
Dartmoor’s sake. I am told that pork-packing is the most lucrative
profession in America, after politics.” “Is she pretty?” “She behaves
as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of
“Why can’t these American women stay in their own country?
They are always telling us that it is the Paradise for women.” “It is.
That is the reason why, like Eve, they are so excessively anxious to
get out of it,” said Lord Henry. “Good-bye, Uncle George. I shall
be late for lunch, if I stop any longer. Thanks for giving me the
information I wanted. I always like to know everything about my
new friends, and nothing about my old ones.” “Where are you
lunching, Harry?” “At Aunt Agatha’s. I have asked myself and Mr.