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1 Dupatcr1 Seriae
Of NEW NOVELS
By Famous Author*.
Sunday, Sept. 16, 1X)8.
The House of Defence
By E. F. BENSON.
o6, by E. V. ]
ii Bray was long and rambling, standing in
tlie ???. <!.- nil'! lawns and stiff box-hedges, cut
shape, which screened it from tin that the Sunday afternoon
crowd could not, as i-i mosl of the riverside houses, observe exactly
who was tin-re and what they had for tea. Indeed, had it not been
for this impenetrable hedge, what they had for breakfast, lunch and
dinner would have been equally clear, for Lady Thurso had built a
biij. open pavilion "ii 'he lawn, where, when the day was hot, it was
pleasanter to have -di meals. another pavilion on the opposite side
of the lawn ser\ i ! ;s drawing room "r card room, and often no1
reall) s, i foot m - ? at all from breakfast till bedtime. A
dozen guests wer. .- the house itself would hold, but if. as
often happened, pt at tin- last moment, it
was possible I phboring hotel,
where the) retired for the night. To day, however, there was '
to be no sleeping out. It was doubtful, indeed, whether the house
itself would be quite full. Maud was certainly coming; Count Vil
lars am! Alice Yardly and lu-r husband were certainties, as also were
Jim Stratton and Ruby Majendie, and a couple of American cousins
had proposed themselves, but that only broughl their number up to
ten. Lily hardl) knew whether she was or was not glad of this.
For once, it is true, she would have a i ?met Sunday, but she V
little worried, not only about the emotional history of her own,
which his been touched on, but also about her husband, and she
was no1 sure that she would not bave preferred rush and bustle.
Yet, alter all. with only these few people in the bouse, she could
keep herself fairly well occupied. The American cousins, too?a
plain, elderly millionaire, dyspeptic and rather mournful, with his
wife, who was young, voluble, and carried about with her, as it
were, pails of gross and fulsome flattery, with which she white
a lil . how.
ever, never neglected ? most distant c aisins when they came
to England, for she had inherited from her mother that idea of Amer?
ican hospitality whicl all other hospitality churlish in com?
parison, and did not i her duty as done when she had asked
n the if ousins to dinner. Shi vledged
to herself that these pari ular ones were ;i little trying, but she
acknowledged it to nobody else. Silas P. M >rton, in fact, and '1
? ia. whom : : Iressed slowl ing
each syllable its full ad arrive.1 b< I there, and
met them hospitably al the front door.
"Why, if this do< le me to deatl
"to receive you at \ house, Lily; ?. Lord
Thurso, and my! wl uitiful motor' and I got here
just half an hour a ? w.ir servant lit us tea right
away out on the lawi us ever - But as
I'm foro er sa) ii "I ,ilj TI
everything she !ih is ?i ' perfed her hi ' houses, her
?, her in<
I Ik m e when Th< She
was usi I ...
always talking win n i Ise was.
"I )on'l you said he
"1 ). m't I ?>.'.-. ? ? ?ly thal '' \ isl per-?
feel ? W h\ j ' nu bal \'\ e se?
bm like that. ! !''- e pi >ud of
your wife, Lorfl Thur* > \nd I guess she's pi ou."
This was .ill isant. and '1! ip. She was
never tired or iilcnt, and ii was a matter of serious conjecture
whether anything known to happen would make her stop talking.
She talked all the time she was at a dentist's, even when her mouth
was full of pads and pairs, and she liad once talked without inter.