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   Chapter 19 FOR A FAIR WOMAN FACE.

A Heart-Song of To-day By Annie Gregg Savigny Characters: 5484

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


"What an irrepressible fellow Everly is," thought Trevalyon, as he sauntered along the avenue towards his hotel; having heard his question to Vaura (as to the ball), "he manages to get a card for everything. I should not regret his departure for anywhere; our little coterie was perfect without him. Vaura is extremely lovely and fascinating, she, of course, is the magnet that draws him; what a presumptuous little poppet he is, a mere fortune-hunter, hanger-on of society to dare turn his eyes in her direction. But am I not taking too deep an interest in this sweet Vaura Vernon. I must guard my heart; she is a flirt, I must beware. Another tender billet from Mrs. Haughton, and full of this hidden-wife falsehood; I have been careless, never even having told Haughton the truth of the matter. Every seven years, it seems to me, there is a rehash of by-gone villifications; one must only grin and bear it, but I do feel it terribly just now, not because it is what it always was, 'a lie direct,' but because of my close companionship with my dear friend and bewitching Vaura."

Let us now follow small Everly, and read some of his thoughts; with rapid steps he is soon at his destination, where, seating himself in a huge easy chair which almost hides his small body, draws a table to his side, on which are placed his pipe, glass of punch, with some letters.

"Gad, a missive from Aunt Martha," he exclaimed. "Whether it be sugar or vinegar it will keep until I do the others."

One was from his lawyer telling him the Jews were after him; with a muttered exclamation of "they must wait," he threw it aside. The others were from acquaintances-mere chit-chat; "and now for the old girls," he thought, which on opening a bank draft for L50 dropped out. "Gad! almost a holocaust," he said, picking it from the dying embers in the grate. "And now for the letter."

"MY DEAR NEPHEW,-Enclosed you will find a draft for fifty pounds; it is extremely inconvenient to remit you even such a small sum, but I promised your mother on her death-bed to give you all the assistance in our power, as also did your sister Amy; and so please heaven we shall, as we are quite aware that the trifle you inherit from your father is extremely small for the maintenance of an English baronet. Moreover, considering it an honour to the house of Morton that an Everly should have linked himself thereto, we have decided to let you have Johnston's rent for the future, and regularly. But, dear nephew, remember you cannot afford to make a mere love-match; you must marry an heiress. Your setter Hecate has had pups, which we shall nurse tenderly for you, as they represent money. But the school bell rings me away, and, dear nephew, from you I go with my

pupils into the mysteries of pounds, shillings and pence. You will laugh and say you and they are always associated in my mind; and it is so, for, you are both things of worth. When you marry some rich young lady (you know whom I tell you you can win), I shall pay a master to take the arithmetic class. Make your old aunts glad with the news of a wealthy marriage being arranged for you. Acknowledge draft.

"With much love, from your affectionate Aunt,

"MARTHA MORTON.

"Sir Tilton Everly, "Paris, Hotel European, 2nd Nov., 1887."

"It will please the aunts if I write instanter, so here goes."

"DEAR AUNT MARTHA,-Draft received, came in handy, can assure you. You are a jolly pair of relations for a fellow to have; never wanted the needful more. I know I shall have to marry money; I expect I guess correctly as to the girl you mean, but tallow candles are out of fashion. I know the gilding is thick, and debts are a bother. But you never fear for Tilton, he may yet win a glorious beauty and great expectations from a titled relation. Eureka! I can tell you; aunts you have no idea what a fuss society makes over me. Glad Hecate has done something for a living, or rather for mine. Goodnight or morning, for it is one a.m.

"Your devoted Nephew,

"TILTON EVERLY.

"Miss Morton's Seminary,

"Bayswater, Suburbs, London Eng.

Nov., 5th, 1877."

"Yes, 'pon my life, the old girls are right, I must have the sovereign for my name; pity I was born with a taste for the beautiful; my father was wanting in forethought on my account, or he would never have wed penniless Rose Morton; here am I over head and ears in love with a peerless beauty, with not much or not enough of the needful to keep us both in style; there is not a doubt though that she will inherit from that stately godmother of hers. Never say die, Tilton, my boy; she smiled on you to-night, go in and win; why, the very thought of her sends the blood dancing through my veins; splendid figure, perfect as a Venus. She knows naught of my relations to that young schemer, and if my love by a stern fate says nay, she is too much accustomed to conquests to boast; and the other who is ready to marry me any day will, never know anything to erect her spine about; a week from tonight the de Hauteville ball, I shall there know the best or worst; if I fail it won't be because of aught wanting in myself, but because I cannot win over the Lady of Esmondet; then, if so, I shall hide my groans under an M.P., and the gold of my lemon-face, to whom I shall not exactly play count to her, Miss Kilmansegg, for I could not act such a villain's part; but I must have some hobby to ride, to make up for the sacrifice of self; and now to bed and sleep or dream."

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