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Beyond the Rocks (Chapter 4)
Theodora did not wonder why she felt in no exalted state of spirits as
she dressed for dinner. She seldom thought of herself at all, or what
her emotions were, but the fact remained there was none of the
excitement there had been over the prospect of breakfast. Her husband, on the contrary, seemed quite fussy.
"A devilish fine woman," he had described Mrs. McBride. "Acts like a
tonic upon me; does me more good than a pint of champagne!"
"Is she not delightful?" agreed Theodora; "so very kind and gay. I am
sure the dinner will do you good, Josiah, and perhaps we might give one
in return. What do you say?"
Josiah said, "Certainly!" He could give a meal with the best of them!
They would consult that father of hers, who knew Paris so well, and ask
him to help them to arrange a regular "slap-up treat."
And so they arrived at Armenonville. It was a divine night, quite warm,
and a soft three-quarter moon.
Mrs. McBride had everything arranged to perfection. Their table was just
where it should be, the menu was all that heart of gourmet could desire,
and the company sparkling.
Theodora found herself seated beside Mr. Harryman Hoggenwater and an
elderly Austrian, and before the hors d'oeuvres were cleared away
both gentlemen had decided to make love to her.
It was when the bisque d'écrevisses was being handed she became
conscious that, not two tables off, there was an empty one simply
arranged with flowers, and almost at the same instant Lord Bracondale
and his party arrived upon the scene.