‘Mr. Sympson and the ladies are returned,’ she said, ‘and Sir Philip Nunnely is with them.’

‘How you did start, and how your hand trembled, Shirley!’ said Henry, when the maid had closed the shutter and was gone. ‘But I know why—don’t you, Mr. Moore? I know what papa intends. He is a little ugly man, that Sir Philip. I wish he had not come—I wish sisters and all of them had stayed at De Walden Hall to dine. Shirley should once more have made tea for you and me, Mr. Moore, and we would have had a happy evening of it.’

Moore was locking up his desk and putting away his St. Pièrre.

‘That was your plan, was it, my boy?’

‘Don’t you approve it, sir?’

‘I approve nothing Utopian. Look Life in its iron face; stare Reality out of its brassy countenance. Make the tea, Henry; I shall be back in a minute.’

He left the room; so did Shirley, by another door.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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