Glancing at the different members of her party, she was glad that one of them at least, Lady Eva Beaulyon, had secured a front seat, for her ladyship was never content unless she was well to the foremost of everything.
So the motor-cars continually flashed between Abbot's Manor and Badsworth Hall, and Lady Beaulyon apparently found so much to amuse her that she stayed on longer than she had at first intended. So did Mrs. Bludlip Courtenay. They had their reasons for prolonging their visit, reasons more cogent than love of fresh air, or admiration of pastoral scenery.
And then, with the usual formula "Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost be praise, honour and glory for ever and ever" the congregation stood up. Lady Beaulyon shook her silken skirts delicately. Mrs. Bludlip Oourtenay put her hand to her back hair coil and made sure that it was safe.
He was quite in his element, as he handed out the beautiful Lady Beaulyon from the motor-car, and expressed his admiration for her looks in no unmeasured terms, he felt himself to be almost an actual Badsworth, of Badsworth Hall, as he patted Lord Charlemont familiarly on the shoulder, and called him 'My dear boy! As he greeted Maryllia, he smiled at her knowingly.
Then Eva Beaulyon turned her back indifferently on the whole party and stepped out on the lawn. She was followed by Mrs. Bludlip Courtenay, and both ladies gave vent to small smothered bleats of mocking laughter as they sauntered across the grass side by side. But Maryllia did not care. She had carried her point, and was satisfied.
Exchanging a suggestive glance with Lady Beaulyon, Roxmouth saw that she was taking notes equally with himself on this circumstance, and his already hard face hardened, and grew colder and more inflexible as Walden, with a gaiety and humour irresistibly his own, kept the ball of conversation rolling, and gradually drew to his own strong and magnetic personality, the appreciative attention of nearly all present.
Each was in her own line a 'power, each could coax large advances of money out of the pockets of millionaires to further certain 'schemes' which were vaguely talked about, but which never came to fruition, each had a little bevy of young journalists in attendance, press boys whom they petted and flattered, and persuaded to write paragraphs concerning their wit, wisdom and beauty, and how they 'looked radiant in pink' or 'dazzling in pea green. Contemplating first one and then the other of these ladies, Julian almost resolved to compose a poem about them, entitled 'The Sirens' and, dividing it into Two Cantos, to dedicate the First Canto to Lady Beaulyon and the Second to Mrs.
"First, because I don't love him, second, because he has slandered me by telling people that I am running after his title, to excuse himself for running after Aunt Emily's millions; and lastly, but by no means leastly, because he is unclean." "All men are;" said Eva Beaulyon, drily "It's no use objecting to that!" Maryllia made no remark.
Down here, in the stately old-world surroundings of Abbot's Manor, they looked very strange to her, nay, even more than strange. Clowns, columbines and harlequins with all their 'make-up' on, could not have seemed more out of place than these socially popular persons in the historic house of her ancestors. Lady Beaulyon was perhaps the most remarkable 'revelation' of the whole company.
Next day all the guests at the Manor had departed with the exception of three Louis Gigue, and the 'Sisters Gemini, namely, Lady Wicketts and Miss Fosby. With much gush and gratitude for a 'charming stay a delightful time! Lady Beaulyon and Mrs. Bludlip Courtenay took leave of their 'dear Maryllia, who received their farewells and embraces with an irresponsively civil coldness.
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