THE ARRIVAL OF A LADY OF QUALITY
“I knew you were all down here for a good time,” she began in soft, low, musical tones, when the introductions were over, “and would understand if I came just as I was. I have been hunting all day—tramping the fields with my dogs—and I would not even stop to rearrange my hair. It was so good of you to let me come; and I love this room—its atmosphere is so well bred, and it is never so charming as when the firelight dances about it. Ah, Monsieur Lemois! I see some new things. Where did you get that duck of a sauce-boat?—and another Italian mirror! But then there is no use trying to keep up with you. My agent offered what I thought was three times its value for that bit of Satsuma, and I nearly broke my heart over it—and here it is! You really should be locked up as a public nuisance!”
We turned instinctively toward Lemois, remembering his queer, dry smile when he referred to her coming, but his only reply to her comment was a low bow to the woman of rank, with the customary commonplace, that all of his curios were at her disposal if she would permit him to send them to her, and with this left the room.
“And now where shall I sit?” she bubbled