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France). Mine has a high-poster with a half lambrequin, or bed curtain, that being all Lemois could find, and he being too honest an antiquary to piece it out with modern calico or chintz. My guests, of course, will take their pick of the adjoining rooms—Madame Sévigné’s, Grèvin’s, the Chambre du Roi, and the others—and may thank their stars that it is not a month back. Then, even if they had written ten days ahead, they would have been received with a shrug—one of Lemois’ most engaging shrugs tinged with grief—at his inability to provide better accommodation for their comfort, under which one could have seen a slight trace of suppressed glee at the prosperity of the season. They would then doubtless have been presented with a massive key unlocking the door of a box of a bedroom over the cake-shop, or above the apothecary’s, or next to the man who mends furniture—all in the village of Dives itself.

And now a word about the Inn itself—even before I tell you of the Arm-Chair or the man who sat in it or the others of the clan who listened and talked back.

Not the low-pitched, smothered-in-ivy Kings