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The Twelfth Hour   By: (1862-1933)

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Transcriber's note:

Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. Printer errors have been changed and are listed at the end. All other inconsistencies are as in the original.

THE TWELFTH HOUR

by

ADA LEVERSON

London Chapman & Hall

Originally published 1907 by Grant Richards Ltd. Reissued 1951 by arrangement with the Richards Press Ltd.

Printed by BrĂ¼der Rosenbaum, Vienna, Austria Cat. No. 5090/4

CONTENTS

Chapter Page

I FELICITY 7

II THE TRIALS OF WOODVILLE 23

III A LOVE SCENE 32

IV "AUNT WILLIAM" 40

V ARTHUR MERVYN AT HOME 55

VI AN AGREEABLE RATTLE 70

VII THE NIGHT OF THE PARTY 82

VIII FELICITY AND HER CLIENTS 100

IX A DINNER AT WILLIS'S 112

X THE THIN END OF THE WEDGE 125

XI SAVILE AND SYLVIA 138

XII AT THE STUDIO 148

XIII AT MRS. OGILVIE'S 155

XIV LORD CHETWODE 166

XV MADAME TUSSAUD'S 175

XVI A GOLDEN DAY 189

XVII SAVILE TAKES A LINE 195

XVIII FELICITY'S ENGAGEMENTS 202

XIX THE VELVET CASE 216

XX ZERO, THE SOOTHSAYER 232

XXI "THE OTHER GIRL" 246

XXII SAVILE AND JASMYN 255

XXIII SAVILE AND BERTIE 261

XXIV THE EXPLANATION 267

XXV THE QUARREL 274

XXVI VERA'S ADVENTURE 282

XXVII AUNT WILLIAM'S DAY 292

XXVIII THE TWELFTH HOUR 302

CHAPTER I

FELICITY

"Hallo, Greenstock! Lady Chetwode in?"

"Her ladyship is not at home, sir. But she is sure to see you, Master Savile," said the butler, with a sudden and depressing change of manner, from correct impassibility to the conventional familiarity of a patronising old retainer.

"Dressing, eh? You look all right Greenstock."

"Well, I am well, and I am not well, Master Savile, if you can understand that, sir. My harsthma" (so he pronounced it), "'as been exceedingly troublesome lately."

"Ah, that's capital!" Not listening, the boy he was sixteen, dark, and very handsome, with a determined expression, and generally with an air of more self control than seemed required for the occasion walked up deliberately, three steps at a time, knocked, with emphasis, at his sister's dressing room door, and said

"I say, Felicity, can I come in?"

"Who's there? Don't come in!"

Upon which invitation he entered the room with a firm step.

"Oh, it's you, Savile darling. I am glad to see you! Dear pet! Come and tell me all about everything papa and the party and, look out, dear, don't tread on my dresses! Give Mr. Crofton a chair, Everett. Even you mustn't sit down on a perfectly new hat!"

Felicity was a lovely little blonde creature about twenty five years old, dressed in a floating Watteau like garment of vaporous blue, painted with faded pink roses. She was seated in a large carved and gilded chair, opposite an excessively Louis Quinze mirror, while her pale golden hair was being brushed out by a brown, inanimate looking maid. Her little oval face, with its soft cloudy hair growing low on the forehead, long blue eyes, and rosebud mouth, had something of the romantic improbability of an eighteenth century miniature. From the age of two Felicity had been an acknowledged beauty. She profited by her grasp of this fact merely by being more frank than most charming people, and more natural than most disagreeable ones. With little self consciousness, she took a cool sportsmanlike pleasure in the effect she produced, and perhaps enjoyed the envy and admiration she had excited in her perambulator in Kensington Gardens almost as much as her most showy successes in later life... Continue reading book >>




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