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The Convert   By: (1862-1952)

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First Page:

THE CONVERT

Transcriber's note:

Lists of Macmillan titles from this spot have been moved to the end of the text. Following the moved section, the reader will find a list of corrections made to the text.

THE CONVERT

by

ELIZABETH ROBINS

Author of "A Dark Lantern," "The Magnetic North," Etc.

New York The MacMillan Company 1913

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1907, by the MacMillan Company.

Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1907. Reprinted March, 1910; March, 1912; August, 1913. Norwood Press J. S. Cushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

THE CONVERT

CHAPTER I

The tall young lady who arrived fifteen minutes before the Freddy Tunbridges' dinner hour, was not taken into the great empty drawing room, but, as though she were not to be of the party expected that night, straight upstairs she went behind the footman, and then up more stairs behind a maid. The smart, white capped domestic paused, and her floating muslin streamers cut short their aƫrial gyrations subsiding against her straight black back as she knocked at the night nursery door. It was opened by a middle aged head nurse of impressive demeanour. She stood there an instant eyeing the intruder with the kind of overbearing hauteur that in these days does duty as the peculiar hall mark of the upper servant, being seldom encountered in England among even the older generation of the so called governing class.

'It's too late to see the baby, miss. He's asleep.'

'Yes, I know; but the others are expecting me, aren't they?'

Question hardly necessary, perhaps, with the air full of cries from beyond the screen: 'Yes, yes.' 'We're waiting!' 'Mummy promised' cut short by the nurse saying sharply, 'Not so much noise, Miss Sara.' But the presiding genius of the Tunbridge nursery opened the door a little wider and stood aside. Handsome compensation for her studied coldness was offered in the shrill shrieks of joy with which a little girl and a very small boy celebrated the lady's entrance. She, for her part, joined the austere nurse in saying, 'Sh! sh!' and in simulating consternation at the spectacle behind the screen, Miss Sara jumping up and down in the middle of her bed with wild brown hair swirling madly about a laughing but mutinous face. The visitor, hurrying forward, received the impetuous little girl in her arms, while the nurse described her own sentiments of horror and detestation of such performances, and hinted vaguely at Retribution that might with safety be looked for no later than the morrow. Nobody listened. Miss Levering nodded smiling across Sara's nightgowned figure to the little boy hanging over the side of the neighbouring cot. But he kept remonstrating, 'You always go to her first.'

The lady drew a flat, shiny wooden box out of the inside pocket of her cloak. The little girl seized it rapturously.

'Oh, did you only bring Sara's bock?' wailed the smaller Tunbridge. 'I told you expecially we wanted two bocks.'

'I've got two pockets and I've got two bocks. Let me give him his, Sara darling.'

But 'Sara darling' dropped her own 'bock' the better to cling round the neck of the giver.

Naturally Master Cecil sounded the horn of indignation.

'Hush!' commanded his sister. 'Don't you know his little lordship never did that?' And to emphasize this satirical appeal to a higher standard of manners, Sara loosened her tight locked arms an instant; but still holding to the visitor with one hand, she picked up the pillow and deftly hurled it at the neighbouring cot, extinguishing the little boy. Through the general recriminations that ensued, the culprit cried with shrill rapture, 'Lady Gladys never pillow fought! Lady Gladys was a little lady and never did any thing!' The merry eyes shamelessly invited Miss Levering to mock at Dampney's former charges... Continue reading book >>




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