Beyond the Rocks (Chapter 19)

 
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Chapter 19 : Page 1 of 13

Harrowfield House, as every one knows, is one of the finest in London;
and with the worst manners, and an inordinate insolence, Lady
Harrowfield ruled her section of society with a rod of iron. Indeed, all
sections coveted the invitations of this disagreeable lady.

Her path was strewn with lovers, and protected by a proud and complacent
husband, who had realized early he never would be master of the
situation, and had preferred peace to open scandal.

She was a woman of sixty now, and, report said, still had her lapses.
But every incident was carried off with a high-handed, brazen daring,
and an assumption of right and might and prerogative which paralyzed
criticism.

So it was that with the record of a demimondaine--and not one kind
action to her credit--Lady Harrowfield still held her place among the
spotless, and ruled as a queen.

There was not above two years' difference between her age and Lady
Bracondale's; indeed, the latter had been one of her bridesmaids; but
no one to look at them at a distance could have credited it for a
minute.

Lady Harrowfield had golden hair and pink cheeks, and her embonpoint
retained in the most fashionable outline. And if towards two in the
morning, or when she lost at bridge, her face did remind on-lookers of a
hideous colored mask of death and old age--one can't have everything in
life; and Lady Harrowfield had already obtained more than the lion's
share.

 
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