bag. And inside, it fitted together like a puzzle. The bottles could not possibly have spilled: there wasn't room.
The thing was wonderfully made and contrived, excellent craftsmanship of the Victorian order. But somehow it was monstrous. Some Chatterley must even have felt it, for the thing had never been used. It had a peculiar soullessness.
Yet Mrs Bolton was thrilled.
`Look what beautiful brushes, so expensive, even the shaving brushes, three perfect ones! No! and those scissors! They're the best that money could buy. Oh, I call it lovely!'
`Do you?' said Connie. `Then you have it.'
`Oh no, my Lady!'
`Of course! It will only lie here till Doomsday. If you won't have it, I'll send it to the Duchess as well as the pictures, and she doesn't deserve so much. Do have it!'
`Oh, your Ladyship! Why, I shall never be able to thank you.'
`You needn't try,' laughed Connie.
And Mrs Bolton sailed down with the huge and very black box in her arms, flushing bright pink in her excitement.
Mr Betts drove her in the trap to her house in the village, with the box. And she had to have a few friends in, to show it: the school-mistress, the chemist's wife, Mrs Weedon the undercashier's wife. They thought it marvellous. And then started the whisper of Lady Chatterley's child.
`Wonders'll never cease!' said Mrs Weedon.
But Mrs Bolton was convinced, if it did come, it would be Sir Clifford's child. So there!
Not long after, the rector said gently to Clifford:
`And may we really hope for an heir to Wragby? Ah, that would be the hand of God in mercy, indeed!'
`Well! We may hope,' said Clifford, with a faint irony, and at the same time, a certain conviction. He had begun to believe it really possible it might even be his child.
Then one afternoon came Leslie Winter, Squire Winter, as everybody called him: lean, immaculate, and seventy: and every inch a gentleman, as Mrs Bolton said to Mrs Betts. Every millimetre indeed! And with his old-fashioned, rather haw-haw! manner of speaking, he seemed more out of date than bag wigs. Time, in her flight, drops these fine old feathers.
They discussed the collieries. Clifford's idea was, that his coal, even the poor sort, could be made into hard concentrated fuel that would burn at great heat if fed with certain damp, acidulated air at a fairly strong pressure. It had long been observed that in a particularly strong, wet wind the pit-bank burned very vivid, gave off hardly any fumes, and left a fine powder of ash, instead of the slow pink gravel.
`But where will you find the proper engines for burning your fuel?' asked Winter.
`I'll make them myself. And I'll use my fuel myself. And I'll sell electric power. I'm certain I could do it.'
`If you can do it, then splendid, splendid, my dear boy. Haw! Splendid! If I can be of any help, I shall be delighted. I'm afraid I am a little out of date, and my collieries are like me. But who knows, when
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