Ziska, The Problem of a Wicked Soul (Chapter 6, p. 2)

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Chapter 6 : Page 2 of 12

"I should rather think not!" interrupted Lord Fulkeward, hastily. "By Jove! She wouldn't have a hair left on her head in London, don'cher know!"

"What do you mean?" inquired Muriel Chetwynd Lyle, simpering. "You really do say such funny things, Lord Fulkeward!"

"Do I?" and the young nobleman was so alarmed and embarrassed at the very idea of his ever saying funny things that he was rendered quite speechless for a moment. Anon he took heart and resumed: "Er--well--I mean that the society women would tear her to bits in no time. She'd get asked nowhere, but she'd get blackguarded everywhere; she couldn't help herself with that face and those eyes."

His mother laughed.

"Dear Fulke! You are such a naughty boy! You shouldn't make such remarks before Lady Lyle. She never says anything against anyone!"

"Dear Fulke" stared. Had he given vent to his feelings he would have exclaimed: "Oh, Lord!--isn't the old lady a deep one!" But as it was he attended to his young moustache anxiously and remained silent. Lady Chetwynd Lyle meanwhile flushed with annoyance; she felt that Lady Fulkeward's remark was sarcastic, but she could not very well resent it, seeing that Lady Fulkeward was a peeress of the realm, and that she herself, by the strict laws of heraldry, was truly only "Dame" Chetwynd Lyle, as wife of an ordinary knight, and had no business to be called "her ladyship" at all.


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