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All those houses they were going to build, for instance--very proper, but a little unnecessary if Kit still had Lippinghall Manor and South Square, Westminster, to dwell in. Francis Wilmot and the two Blair girls believed that they would get back and watch the polo. When he opened them she was standing in front of him with the ukuleles in her hands. " A young woman, with crinkly chestnut hair above a creamy face, with smiling lips, a short straight nose, and very white dark-lashed eyelids active over dark hazel eyes, stood near the door. Francis Wilmot bowed over it, and said, gravely: "Mrs. That Kit should inherit an England worth living in was of more intrinsic importance than anything they proposed in the Commons and were unable to perform. "I reckon there's too much space left in this country," said Francis Wilmot; "a man has all the chances to get off. He started between them, Francis Wilmot going ahead with his sister. She's beautiful." The eyes regarded him gravely, the lips smiled faintly. "Not a bit; so long as you're warm and comfy." Her head settled in again; and the vigil was resumed. And slowly the creeping glimmer became light, and, between the tree-stems, stole, invading their bodies till they were visible. But, as though she divined his thought, she turned her head, and her eyes looked into his. You surely had me scared." "I'm awfully sorry," said Jon humbly, "I forgot the horses were new to the country." "Well! " Francis Wilmot did not answer; he went to a window and stood looking out. He sat down on the arm of a long chair, suddenly extremely tired. Jon was happier than he had been since he landed in the New World three and a half years ago. This, the first private English house he had ever proposed to enter, inspired him with a certain uneasiness, as of a man who expects to part with a family ghost. They're not sitting till Monday--Ireland, of course. Italy's so wonderful--you must see it." "Pardon me, but is that the Parliament clock that chimes so loud? With our first Labour Government, it's been specially interesting this year. With old Danby always in the right--it isn't a career." "Oh!
Their way led through pine woods--of trees spindly and sparse, and over a rather sandy soil; the sunlight was clear and warm, the air still crisp. I get homesick sometimes." "I'd love to travel." "You never have? Francis would like to have you come." "Do you always know what your brother would like? I mean--well, you know--" But as he didn't, he was not so sure that she did. I went there walking one holiday with a school friend." "It sounds just lovely. They had a place called Naseby; that's why we call ours Naseby. To give the reason--family feud--broken love affair--was not exactly possible. The sun went down even faster than he had thought, the air grew cold, the light grey. "I'm awfully sorry; I don't believe we're on the track we came by from the picnic. The tracks are all alike and these horses only came in from Columbia yesterday; they don't know the country any more than we do." The girl laughed. In the evening he learned from her to play the ukulele before a wood fire lighted at sundown, or heard about cotton culture from Francis, with whom, since that moment of animosity, he was on the best of terms. When the last boom died, the door yawned inward, and a man, almost hairless, said: "Yes, sir? " "Correct, sir." "Will you give her my card, and this letter? "It's the baby, sir," said the hairless man, pointing to a sort of nest on the floor before the fireless hearth; "he will go for people when he's with the baby. Mont was here a minute ago; I'll take your card up to her." Francis Wilmot sat down on a settee in the middle of the room; and the dog lay between him and the baby. The room was painted in panels of a sub-golden hue, with a silver-coloured ceiling. Six days later it became apparent that she had listened in earnest. We're frightfully handy for the House, here." "It costs money, Fleur." "Yes; I've spoken to father. " "My dear boy, you must know--at thirty." "I'm not a Liberal. You read it." "No." "Well, you said so." "So did others." "Never mind--his eyes are fixed on 1944, and his policy's according. They were at first extremely silent, and then extremely vocal. Jon learned that they, as well as the givers of the picnic, Mr. He began to look longingly between his horse's ears at Francis Wilmot and his sister, cantering ahead in a silence that, from a distance, seemed extremely restful. But I reckon we'll have to sell the old home--cotton doesn't pay any more." "I grow peaches near Southern Pines, you know, up in North Carolina; that's paying at present." "D'you live there alone? "Won't you come back with us and see our home--it's old? " "I certainly do." "I'd enjoy it awfully; I hate hotels. It's a fruit-growing county--very pretty; white timbered houses, pastures, orchards, woods, green hills. "Let's gallop, it'll be down in half an hour; and there's no moon till late." They galloped back along the track. And Jon began to have the feeling that it would be inadvisable for the moon to rise. For suddenly he became conscious that it was there, behind the trees somewhere lurking, a curious kind of stilly glimmer creeping about the air, along the ground, in and out of the tree-stems. The moon gained power and a cold glory, and rose above the trees; the world was alive once more. After the midday meal he rode with them or with Anne alone. It was too good--that long dark look over the ukulele. Without a word she drooped her head against his shoulder, as when they sat under the Indian mound. While waiting for the door to be opened, he was conscious of extreme quietude, broken by a clock chiming four as if with the voice of Time itself. That dog is a proper little brute with strangers, sir. I've known him bite clean through a lady's stockings." Francis Wilmot saw with interest a silver-grey dog nine inches high and nearly as broad, looking up at him with lustrous eyes above teeth of extreme beauty. It's quite usual, and about the same screw." He had spoken in jest. You've got ideas." "Other people's." "And the gift of the gab. " Next day, while he was shaving, and she was in her bath, he cut himself slightly and said: "The land and this unemployment is what I really care about. " "Old Sir James Foggart's book, that he published after all. So where we feel strong about a thing, we take the law into our own hands." "Well, every country to its own fashions. " "Old Indian remains that go way back thousands of years, they say. The Blair girls were young and pretty with a medium-coloured, short-faced, well-complexioned, American prettiness, of a type to which he had become accustomed during the two and a half years he had spent in the United States. They asked him many questions about England, to which Jon, who had left it at the age of nineteen, invented many answers. " "He died four years ago." "Francis and I have been orphans ten years." "I wish you'd both come and stay with us some day; my mother would be awfully glad." "Is she like you? "I'd just love to come, but Francis and I can't ever be away together." "But," said Jon, "you're both here." "We go back to-morrow; I wanted to see Camden." The eyes resumed their steady consideration of Jon's face. They talked a little now, of nothing important, and he thought: 'It's queer--one could live months knowing people and not know them half so well as we shall know each other now.' Again a long silence fell; but this time his arm was round her, it was more comfortable so, for both of them. But if she had, the moon in its courses paid no attention. And still they sat, unstirring, as if afraid to break a spell. He sat there looking at the ground, and frowning heavily. In the mornings he sauntered with the dogs in the sunlight or tried to write poetry--for the two young Wilmots were busy. And, suddenly shifting along the floor, he put his arm round her. And, just as she had screwed her face round in the moonlight, she turned it to him now. The young man, who, at the end of September, 1924, dismounted from a taxicab in South Square, Westminster, was so unobtrusively American that his driver had some hesitation in asking for double his fare. Comparing a letter with the number chased in pale brass on the door, he murmured: "It surely is," and rang the bell. " Ushered through the doorway of a room on the right, Francis Wilmot was conscious of a commotion close to the ground, and some teeth grazing the calf of his leg. " said the voice of the hairless man, "you little devil! Don't you think it's rather touching the way this dog watches my baby? Michael, you'll be bored to death." "I'll go into Parliament. Not infrequently she attended at the House, and sat, not listening too much to the speeches, yet picking up, as it were, by a sort of seventh sense (if women in Society all had six, surely Fleur had seven) what was necessary to the conduct of that 'salon'--the rise and fall of the Governmental barometer, the catchwords and clichés of policy; and, more valuable, impressions of personality, of the residuary man within the Member. Fluttering about her 'salon'--this to that person, and that to the other, and to all so pretty, she charmed by her grace, her common-sense, her pliancy.
So long as Kit had cake, it was no good bothering too deeply about the rest; though, of course, one must seem to.