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nervously. He was big altogether, with a great head, and huge hands, and broad shoulders that he held badly. His light grey eyes had not much expression, nor had his wide mouth, with a slightly pendulous nether lip; but he was a clever man in a useless ineffectual way, though his falling in love with Henrietta was hardly a proof of it. "Falling" is perhaps too strong an expression for the process; he never exactly fell, but merely subsided into a mild desire to make her Mrs. Tromble. The subsidence was not quite complete at the time Henrietta reported her mother's cutting speech.
"I suppose," Lord Drumshambo observed to Mr. Burscough, "your bridal pair will get off the train at Derby. You'd better let me send a carriage for them; it's cold weather for a ten-mile drive in a phaeton."
Mr. Burscough accepted the friendly offer with a dry graciousness; but Lord Drumshambo was used to the dryness, and did not mistake it for crossness. He valued both his elderly neighbours, especially for their excellent qualities at the whist-table, but was apt to spar pretty often with the lady. It was, after all, a proof of intimacy; one dare not quarrel with people whom one intends to
treat as social inferiors. Lady Drumshambo entrenched herself behind an invisible fence, or ha-ha, of insurmountable urbanity, never bickered with the rector's wife, and was much less intimate.
"I shall send the big carriage," Lord Drumshambo told her Ladyship. A bride's
arrival is a state occasion.'
Lady Drumshambo had not the least objection. Without being so warmly romantic as her husband she was perfectly amiable, and was quite willing to show civility to a young Irish girl about to make her first appearance among a set of new relations whom she shrewdly guessed the bride might find rather formidable. Lady Drumshambo had been a beauty, and was still handsome; she was keenly alive to the claims both of birth and beauty, and had felt, though she did not show it, as much irritation as her husband at Mrs. Burscough's frosty reception of the news of her son's engagement. Her Ladyship saw no reason why the rector's youngest son should not pick up an heiress, and if the young lady had good blood and good looks, it was pretty well.
"I shall call on her," she remarked, on the day after her arrival."
"Yes do; that'll show 'em," said his Lordship. "You'd better drive. If you walk down, the old woman will be making out that it's a casual dropping in like you always do."
'Oh, I shall leave cards."
Yes, that'll be it. Don't you ask any special parish questions, or Madam will be pretending you called on purpose."
Lady Drumshambo laughed.
"Not the slightest danger," she explained. "I shall ask for Mrs. Hubert and not get out if she isn't in. If I'm to drive-and it will be best—you had better come with me.”
Very well," said her husband, and it was a sign of great good-will, for he hated driving short distances. "After all, Sheila Desmond's a sort of relation of yours."
"I don't see that at all," said My Lady. So Lord Drumshambo's best carriage, with the best pair of horses, that never drew any other, fetched Fernando's mother and father from Derby to Hardstone (only Fernando was not born, of course), and Hardstone parish perceived duly that Mrs. Hubert was somebody. When Mrs. Roger and Mrs. Joshua had visited their husbands' parents for the first time no carriage from Tufted Hall had been
sent for them. True, Lord and Lady Drumshambo had been in Ireland at the time, but that was not remembered.
"This noo Mrs. Burscough," the butler informed the housekeeper, "is some relation of My Lady's. His Lordship said as much and she took him up quite sharp. I was coming in with the second-post letters, and was behind the screen, but I heard her, and quite sharp she took My Lord up."
"Ah," said the housekeeper, "My Lady's a deal higher than My Lord. He has a pottering aimable way when he talks to you, but Her Ladyship's all sugar and distance."
"Not to me," urged Miss Trim, My Lady's own maid. She'll ask my advice as simple -about the hanging of a skirt, and that; but your first place was a baronet, Mrs. Pucksett, and mine were a countess. I'm sure when I first come here it seemed so queer, the eldest son being just 'Mr.'-I wasn't used to it. It makes a difference."
Well, yes," Mr. Sellers admitted, "it do. It was a marquess I was first footman tothere were four-"
"Four marquesses!" cried Mrs. Pucksett helping herself to nearly all the kidney, which she usually divided with strict impartiality.
"Footmen," said the butler, slightly reddening, as he saw the iniquitous division of the kidney. "Not quite so much fat, Mrs. Pucksett. Yes, gravy. And all the sons were My Lords. There was Lord Crosby, and Lord Plantagenet, and Lord Tudor, and-”
"And Lord knows who," interrupted Mrs. Pucksett, inundating the butler's plate with gravy.
Come, come," said My Lord's valet, adjusting his chin in his collar placidly, "" marquess or earl, what's that? All subjicks. My father drove royalty. But do you hear me mentioning it?"
Very true," agreed the housekeeper. "Miss Trim began it. So this Mrs. Hubert is own cousin to My Lady-"
"Nay, nay," urged the butler, "I didn't go so far. Only His Lordship did 'int there was a connection and My Lady didn't seem best pleased-that's all it comes to."