When Laura at length raised her eyes a little, she saw Philip and Harry within the bar, but she gave no token of recognition. The clerk then read the indictment, which was in the usual form.
In some of them there was a flicker of light, and a shadow, crab-like, moved across the window. Laura bent her head and hurried on. She wished now she had put on a coat. How her frock shone! And the big hat with the velvet streamer if only it was another hat! Were the people looking at her? They must be. It was a mistake to have come; she knew all along it was a mistake.
Of these was Lady Laura Gaveston; and though she had no fear of becoming the talk of the town, or losing the slightest particle of a bright and pure reputation, by treating one who had rendered her important services in all respects as she would a brother, by being seen with him often and often alone, by showing herself with him in public places, or by any other act of the kind that her heart prompted her to, she in no way gave in to the evil practices which the English had learned from their continental neighbours, and, indeed, never thought or reasoned upon the subject, feeling that decency as well as morality is a matter of sentiment and not of custom.
At all events, I think it will be better to converse with the Earl, and get the order at the same time. I will then hasten to your father with all speed, give him what comfort and consolation I can, and afterwards come for a few minutes to Beaufort House to see my Laura, and tell her the result that is to say, if I may."
Laura is perfectly impassive, perfectly careless about the question of all others in which a woman's personal interests are most closely bound up. She has left it all to the dressmaker and to me. If poor Hartright had been the baronet, and the husband of her father's choice, how differently she would have behaved!
I am sure by the look in her eyes that she knows it by heart." "We all do," said John Mortimer's eldest daughter. "Ah! it's a fine thing to be a public character," observed her father; "but even I aspire to some notice from the True Blue next week in consequence of having old Nicholas for my gardener." "I am very fond of poetry," said Laura simpering. "I should like to hear the poem you spoke of."
Ben rose as she approached, and Graciella looked up. "I have been to the post-office," said Miss Laura. "Here is a letter for you, Ben, addressed in my care. It has the New York postmark." "Thank you, Miss Laura." Eagerly Ben's hand tore the envelope and drew out the enclosure. Swiftly his eyes devoured the lines; they were typewritten and easy to follow. "Glory!" he shouted, "glory hallelujah!
"If Lady Rockminster asks you herself, will you listen to her?" Pynsent cried, eagerly. "No," Laura said. "I beg you never to speak of this any more. I must go away if you do;" and with this she left him. Pynsent never asked for Lady Rockminster's intercession; he knew how vain it was to look for that: and he never spoke again on that subject to Laura or to any person.
"I did not see the Duke, my lord," replied Wilton, a good deal mortified at the tone the Earl assumed "I only saw Lady Laura." "And what said she?" demanded the Earl. "Is she as proud as her father?"
"There's nothing to prevent that, if we live outside the old B-Hive. We'll start a new B-Hive! Poor Thomasia O.!" They would miss T.O. very much indeed well, they could invite her in to tea and keep her all night! In spite of the wicked old Compact, they would keep together. "And we'll never," vowed Laura Ann for them all, "sign any more nefarious bonds!"
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