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Theodora hummed to herself a glad little chansonnette as she changed
her breakfast negligee for the freshest and loveliest of her spring
frocks. She did not know why she was so happy. There had been no word of
any one else being of the party, only she and Mrs. McBride, but
Versailles would be exquisite on such a day, and something whispered to
her that she might not yawn.
The most radiant vision awaited the widow, when, with unusual
punctuality, her automobile stopped at the hotel door. She came in. She
was voluble, she flattered Josiah. So good of him to take Mr. Tubbs--and
she hoped it would not tire him. Theodora should be well looked after.
They might be late and even dine at Versailles, she said, and Mr. Brown
was not to be anxious--she would be responsible for the safe return of
his beautiful little wife. (Theodora was five foot seven at least, but
her small head and extreme slenderness gave people the feeling she was
little--something to be protected and guarded always.) Josiah was affable. Mrs. McBride's words were so smooth and so many, he
had no time to feel Theodora was going to dine out without him, or that
anything had been arranged for ultimate ends.
The automobile had almost reached Suresnes before the widow said to her
guest: "Your father and Lord Bracondale have promised to meet us at the
Réservoirs. Captain Fitzgerald told me how you wanted to go to
Versailles, and how your husband is not strong enough to take these
excursions, so I thought we might have this little day out there, while
he is engaged with Mr. Clutterbuck Tubbs."