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The Fortunes of the Farrells   By: (1857-1917)

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The Fortunes of the Farrells

By Mrs George de Horne Vaizey Old Mr Bernard Farrell is known to be immensely rich. No one in his family has seen him for ages. Suddenly he turns up, and is invited to stay for a few days, as he isn't very well. His proposition is, that he would like various of his nephews and nieces to come and stay with him for quite a long time, so that he might gauge which of them should receive the greater part of his wealth after he dies.

The house part duly convenes, and they don't find him a very agreeable host, but for the most part they persevere. He has made a preliminary will "in case of accident". He is trying to keep this will secret, and of course the young people are all agog to know what is in it. One day he accidentally leaves his desk open, and realises that someone has been at his desk, and has read the will. He calls all the young people to his bed, and asks them point blank who it was. Of course he gets various kinds of answer, from the offended, to the frightened and cowed. But by chance he finds out exactly who had peeked into his desk and read the will. We won't spoil the story for you, but would say this: that it is as good a Horne Vaizey story as any, even the earlier Pixie books. NH





"Berengaria, what do you generally do with your old court trains? How do you use them up?"

The fire had died down to a dull red glow; only one tiny flame remained, which, flickering to and fro, showed a wide expanse of floor, and two easy chairs drawn up before the fender, on which reclined vague, feminine figures. The voice which had asked the question was slow and languid, and breathed a wearied indifference to the world in general, which was more than equalled in the tone of the reply

"Really, don't you know, I can't say! I put them away, meaning to use them for cloaks or evening dresses; but I forget, or they get mislaid, or the maid confiscates them for her own purposes. I expect, as a matter of fact, she makes them up into Sunday blouses."

"You spoil that woman, dear! You are so absurdly easy going that she robs you right and left. Do take my advice, and give her notice at once!"

"I couldn't, darling, even to please you! It bores me so to deal with strangers, and no one else could do my hair like Elsie. If it pleases her to use up a few of my garments, why shouldn't the poor soul have her pleasure like the rest? That reminds me, Lucille are you going to the duchess's ball to night? I suppose it is superfluous to ask, since no entertainment is complete without you nowadays."

"Oh, I suppose so! If I am not too fagged, that is to say. But I have a dinner first, and two At homes, and people make such a fuss if you don't put in an appearance. One hardly feels up to dancing after struggling through two of the asphyxiating mobs dignified by the name of entertainments; still, I promised Arthur the cotillion, and he will be desolated if I play him false; and I have a new frock for the occasion which is really rather a dream. Silver tissue over satin, and shoulder straps of diamonds. I had them reset on purpose. I spend quite a fortune on resetting jewels nowadays; but one must be original, or die!"

"My dear, you will be too bewitching! Lord Arthur will be more desperate than ever. My poor little self will be nowhere beside you! I'm going to be sweet and simple in chiffon and pearls. Paquin made the gown. Don't ask what it cost! I tore up the bill and threw it in the fire. Really, don't you know, it made me quite depressed! So perishable, too! I expect I shall be in rags before the evening is over. But it's quite sweet at present all frilly willys from top to toe... Continue reading book >>

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