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At the finish of my story he suddenly leaped to his feet and brought his fist down on the table with a bang. "Well, you little devils!" he said admiringly, and burst into loud laughter. "You're a spunky lad, Jeff. And there ain't any doubt that the de Pierreponts are as good stuff as you can get in the ancestry business. The Christmas supper is spread in the banquet hall.

Evelyn Pierrepont was merely a younger son and remote from the succession to the Earldom of Kingston. The Pierreponts of Holme Pierrepont were a Nottinghamshire family of considerable antiquity, though of no particular distinction.

The insteps do not belie the tradition that a kitten could lie beneath the arch of the wearer's naked foot, for they are so high that it seems as if the blue blood of the Pierreponts were accompanied with physical deformity.

She was born of a family that had already produced two men of splendid genius, whose names are written in golden letters in the annals of literature: Beaumont, the dramatist, who wrote, in collaboration with his friend Fletcher, some plays that are considered by our best critics as inferior only to Shakespeare's, was related by his mother to the Pierreponts of the Elizabethan age; and Henry Fielding, the novelist, was Lady Mary's second cousin.

They say it's a wonderful old pile; and its history is in many ways connected with that of our own family. As long as you're the last of the Geoffray Pierreponts, such things ought to interest you." Like her auburn namesake who bossed the Thames of yore, sweet, red-haired, romantic autocrat, Aunt Elizabeth! Her wishes were commands. "What the deuce is Aunt Elizabeth up to now?"