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The Wicked Marquis   By: (1866-1946)

The Wicked Marquis by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: Luncheon at 94 Grosvenor Square was an exceedingly simple meal. FRONTISPIECE. See page 92 .]








Copyright, 1919,


All rights reserved


Luncheon at Grosvenor Square was an exceedingly simple meal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

"Richard Vont was head keeper at Mandeleys when I succeeded to the title and estates"

"I expect we are all as bad, though," she went on rather gloomily, "even if we are not quite so blatant"

"You're very hard, father," she said simply



Reginald Philip Graham Thursford, Baron Travers, Marquis of Mandeleys, issued, one May morning, from the gloomy precincts of the Law Courts without haste, yet with certain evidences of a definite desire to leave the place behind him. He crossed first the pavement and then the street, piloted here and there by his somewhat obsequious companion, and turned along the Strand, westwards. Then, in that democratic thoroughfare, for the first time since the calamity had happened, his lips were unlocked in somewhat singular fashion.

"Well, I'm damned!" he exclaimed, with slow and significant emphasis.

His companion glanced up furtively in his direction. The Marquis, as Marquises should be, was very tall and slim, with high well shaped nose, very little flesh upon his face, a mouth of uncertain shape and eyes of uncertain colour. His companion, as solicitors to the aristocracy should be, was of a smaller, more rotund and insignificant shape. He had the healthy complexion, however, of the week end golfer, and he affected a certain unlegal rakishness of attire, much in vogue amongst members of his profession having connections in high circles. In his heart he very much admired the ease and naturalness with which his patron, in the heart of professional London, strode along by his side in a well worn tweed suit, a collar of somewhat ancient design, and a tie which had seen better days.

"The judge's decision was, without doubt, calamitous," he confessed gloomily.

The Marquis turned in at the Savoy courtyard with the air of an habitué.

"I am in need of a brief rest and some refreshment," he said. "You will accompany me, if you please, Mr. Wadham."

The lawyer acquiesced and felt somehow that he had become the tail end of a procession, the Marquis's entrance and progress through the grillroom towards the smoking room bar was marked by much deference on the part of porters, cloak room attendants and waiters, a deference acknowledged in the barest possible fashion, yet in a manner which his satellite decided to make a study of. They reached a retired corner of the smoking room, where the Marquis subsided into the only vacant easy chair, ordered for himself a glass of dry sherry, and left his companion to select his own refreshment and pay for both.

"What," the former enquired, "is the next step?"

"There is, alas!" Mr. Wadham replied, "no next step."

"Exactly what do you mean by that?" the Marquis demanded, knitting his brows slightly as he sipped his sherry.

"We have reached the end," the lawyer pronounced. "The decision given by the Court to day is final."

The Marquis set down his glass. The thing was absurd!

"Surely," he suggested, "the House of Lords remains?"

"Without a doubt, your lordship," Mr. Wadham assented, "but it is of no use to us in the present instance. The judge of the Supreme Court this is, by the by, our third appeal has delivered a final decision."

The Marquis seemed vaguely puzzled.

"The House of Lords," he persisted, "remains surely a Court of Appeal for members of my order whose claims to consideration are not always fully recognised in the democracy of the common law court... Continue reading book >>

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