Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/98

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“If madame will permit me,” said Lemois with a low bow, “I will be her father-confessor, for I alone of all this group know how good she really is.”

“Very well, I take you at your word, Fra Lemois, and to prove how good you are, you shall send me the Satsuma with your compliments, and pick from my collection anything that pleases you. But you must first let me have a cigarette. Wait”—she twisted back her arm and drew a gold case from the side pocket of her jacket—“yes, I have one of my own—one I rolled myself, and I cure my own tobacco too, if you please. No! no more Burgundy” (she had declined my carefully selected Chablis and had drank the heavier wine with the rest of us). “That Romanée Conti I know, and it generally gets into my head, and I don’t like anything in my head except what I put there myself. What did you want me to do? Oh, yes, tell you that story of my youth.

“Well, one day my dear husband received a letter from an English officer, a dear friend of his with whom he had had the closest relations when they were both stationed in Borneo. This letter told us that his daughter, whom,