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Sir George Tressady — Volume II   By: (1851-1920)

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On a hot morning at the end of June, some four weeks after the Castle Luton visit, George Tressady walked from Brook Street to Warwick Square, that he might obtain his mother's signature to a document connected with the Shapetsky negotiations, and go on from there to the House of Commons.

She was not in the drawing room, and George amused himself during his minutes of waiting by inspecting the various new photographs of the Fullerton family that were generally to be found on her table. What a characteristic table it was, littered with notes and bills, with patterns from every London draper, with fashion books and ladies' journals innumerable! And what a characteristic room, with its tortured decorations and crowded furniture, and the flattered portraits of Lady Tressady, in every caprice of costume, which covered the walls! George looked round it all with an habitual distaste; yet not without the secret admission that his own drawing room was very like it.

His mother might, he feared, have a scene in preparation for him.

For Letty, under cover of some lame excuse or other, had persisted in putting off the visit which Lady Tressady had intended to pay them at Ferth during the Whitsuntide recess, and since their return to town there had been no meeting whatever between the two ladies. George, indeed, had seen his mother two or three times. But even he had just let ten days pass without visiting her. He supposed he should find her in a mood of angry complaint; nor could he deny that there would be some grounds for it.

"Good morning, George," said a sharp voice, which startled him as he was replacing a photograph of the latest Fullerton baby. "I thought you had forgotten your way here by now."

"Why, mother, I am very sorry," he said, as he kissed her. "But I have really been terribly busy, what with two Committees and this important debate."

"Oh! don't make excuses, pray. And of course for Letty you won't even attempt it. I wouldn't if I were you."

Lady Tressady settled herself on a chair with her back to the light, and straightened the ribbons on her dress with hasty fingers. Something in her voice struck George. He looked at her closely.

"Is there anything wrong, mother? You don't look very well."

Lady Tressady got up hurriedly, and began to move about the room, picking up a letter here, straightening a picture there. George felt a sudden prick of alarm. Were there some new revelations in store for him? But before he could speak she interrupted him.

"I should be very well if it weren't for this heat," she said pettishly. "Do put that photograph down, George! you do fidget so! Haven't you got any news for me anything to amuse me? Oh! those horrid papers! I see. Well! they'll wait a little. By the way, the 'Morning Post' says that young scamp, Lord Ancoats, has gone abroad. I suppose that girl was bought off."

She sat down again in a shady corner, fanning herself vigorously.

"I am afraid I can't tell you any secrets," said George, smiling, "for I don't know any. But it looks as though Mrs. Allison and Maxwell between them had somehow found a way out."

"How's the mother?"

"You see, she has gone abroad, too to Bad Wildheim. In fact, Lord Ancoats has taken her."

"That's the place for heart, isn't it?" said his mother, abruptly. "There's a man there that cures everybody."

"I believe so," said George. "May we come to business, mother? I have brought these papers for you to sign, and I must get to the House in good time."

Lady Tressady seemed to take no notice. She got up again, restlessly, and walked to the window.

"How do you like my dress, George? Now, don't imagine anything absurd! Justine made it, and it was quite cheap... Continue reading book >>

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