Nell of Shorne Mills (Chapter 11, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 11

The next morning, while at breakfast, he received a little note from
Lady Angleford, asking him to dinner that night. It was a charming
little note, as pleading and deprecating as her eyes had been when she
looked at him at the Northgates'.

Drake sent back word that he would be delighted to come, and at eight
o'clock presented himself at his uncle's house in Park Lane. Lord
Angleford was, like Northgate, detained in London by official business.
He was a very fine specimen of the old kind of Tory, and, though well
advanced in years, still extremely good-looking--the whole family was
favored in that way--and remarkably well preserved. His hair was white,
but his eyes were bright and his cheeks ruddy, and, when free from the
gout, he was as active as a young man. Of course, he was hot-tempered;
all gouty men are; but he was as charming in his way as Lady Angleford,
and extremely popular in the House of Lords, and out of it.

Though he had fallen in love with a pretty little American, perhaps he
would not have married her but for the little tiff with Drake; but that
little tiff had just turned the scale, and, though he had taken the step
in a moment of pique, he had not regretted it; for he was very fond and
proud of his wife. But he was also very fond and proud of Drake, and was
extremely pleased when Lady Angleford had told him that she had met
Drake, and was going to ask him to dinner.

"Oh, all right," he had said. "I shall be very glad to see him--though
he's an obstinate young mule. I think you'll like him."

"I do like him very much indeed," she had said. "He is so handsome--how
very like he is to you!--and he's not a bit stand-offish and superior,
like most Englishmen."

"Oh, Drake's not a bad sort of fellow," said Lord Angleford, "but he's
too fond of having his own way."

At this Lady Angleford had smiled; for she knew another member of the
family who liked his own way.

She was waiting for Drake in the drawing-room, and gave him both her
hands with a little impulsiveness which touched Drake.

"I am so glad you have come," she said; "and your uncle is very glad,
too. You won't--get to arguing, will you? You English are such dreadful
people to argue. And I think he has a slight attack of the gout, though
he was quite angry when I hinted at it this morning."

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