Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/86

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“Invited a friend of his—a young—the Marquise de la Caux—to dine with us to-night. Says she’s the real thing and the most wonderful woman he knows. Doesn’t that make your hair curl up backward! He’s coming down with her in her motor—be here at seven precisely. A marquise! Well!—if that doesn’t take the cake! I’ll bet she’s Marc’s latest mash!”

Herbert put his head out of an adjoining window. “What’s the matter?”

“Matter! Why that lunatic Marc is going to bring a woman down to dinner—one of those fine things from St. Germain. She’s got a château above Buezval. Marc stayed there last night instead of showing up here.”

“Very glad of it, why not?” called Herbert, drawing in his head.

Lemois, who had heard the entire outbreak, nodded to himself as if in assent, looked at Gaston for a moment, and, without adding a word of any kind, disappeared in the kitchen. What he thought of it all nobody knew.

There was no doubt as to the seriousness of the impending catastrophe. Marc, in his enthusiasm, had lost all sense of propriety, and was about to introduce among us an element