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   Chapter 8 MADAME AND HER GARDENER.

A Heart-Song of To-day By Annie Gregg Savigny Characters: 4361

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


One word of Mrs. Tompkins, on the up trip to the city, a few hours previous, as she cares for her little plot digging with smiles as sunbeams; frowns as showers. On the guard locking the door, she was astonished to find, besides the strawberries and Sir Peter, her head gardener, who smiled as he stroked his beard in satisfaction; he loved this woman (so like himself) with the strongest passion his heart had ever known, and here she was coming in to him, making his heart throb with joy, while she, more in love with his rival than ever, by this day's social contact, still, in pique at his falling into Haughton's plan to remain, and so (though he knew she loved him) letting her return in other company, gave her a certain relish for this man's bold love-making, and whom she could also use in nourishing her plot to keep Trevalyon free. So now, while instructing Delrose in the manner of the plot, she let him love her with his eyes, while with smiles and caressing words, she bound him in stronger chains than ever.

"When may I come, my beauty?" he whispered feverishly, at the door of

No. -- Eaton square.

"Now," she said impulsively, she would so perfect her plot; "and you, my dear little strawberry blondes, with Sir Peter and little Tilton, to whom I owe a sugar-plum, for taking care of Blanche," who yawning said-

"I just hate an English rail-car, locked up like Oscar Wilde's blue china, with only Sir Tilton to talk to."

Major Delrose was in a fool's Paradise, all night, and swore to leave no stone unturned in effectually preventing the marriage of his rival with Miss Vernon, Madame him such was the wish of Trevalyon's heart. Tedril favoured Delrose's suit in every possible way; Haughton Hall was four times the size of Richmondglen. Sir Peter represented his division of the county only on sufferance; and, he knew it right well, should Haughton marry money, he would be persuaded to stand for Surrey, he had refused, heretofore, on the plea of absenteeism and lack of gold; and so he, Tedril, greatly preferred that Delrose should win; but his fierce passions would not brook his, Tedril's, coupling any man's name with hers; but after this r

un to Surrey, he knew she would wed Haughton, while, as now, throwing dust in his friends eyes. And so it was in four days, the announcement of the marriage of 'Kate Vivian Tompkins, relict of the late Lincoln Tompkins, Esq., of New York, U.S., to Eric, Col. Haughton, of Haughton Hall, Surrey, England,' appeared in the Court Journal and Times, at which Major Delrose raved and swore, said some queer things, which went the round of the clubs, for the usual nine days, then for the time, it was forgotten in, the newer scandal of Captain Trevalyon, one of society's pets, having a "hidden wife."

"Well, the darling is handsome enough to have half-a-dozen," said gay

Mrs. Eustace Wingfield.

"I am ready to bet a box of gloves (twelve buttons) that a dozen women have as good as asked him," laughed another butterfly.

"Forestalling the advanced method in Lytton's 'New Utopia,'" said Mrs.

Claxton.

"There would be an absence of the usual mother-in-law difficulty," lisped a young Government attache, meekly, who had recently married the only child of her mother.

"Or, if so, she would pose not as Mark Twain's, but as M. Thiers," said Wingfield, jestingly.

"I don't believe a word of it," said Posey Wyesdale, weeping profusely; "it is invented by some person who is jealous of his overwhelming love for me; but I'll let them see I shall marry him all the same."

"Give me your attention, young ladies," said Madame de Lancy, privately, and with a business-like air, to her eight daughters, who were out. "It is commonly reported that Capt. Trevalyon has a 'hidden wife;' but as it may be a complete falsehood, I wish you all-all, remember-for we do not know his style, and one of you will doubtless suit him; I repeat, I wish you all, to be tenderly sympathetic and consoling in your manner towards him; it is unfortunate that the season is just about over; but much may be done in one meeting, and I shall tell your father to invite him to dinner to-morrow; I shall have no one else to distract his attention from yourselves."

And in her own mind she decided that Mrs. Trevalyon should have at least four of her sisters on her hands to settle in life.

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