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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Keeper Of The Door - Part 2 - Chapter 30. The Line Of Retreat
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The Keeper Of The Door - Part 2 - Chapter 30. The Line Of Retreat Post by :ClickBank Category :Long Stories Author :Ethel May Dell Date :May 2012 Read :989

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The Keeper Of The Door - Part 2 - Chapter 30. The Line Of Retreat


"No," said Daisy, with decision. "I shall never like Dr. Wyndham, though I am quite willing to admit that he may be admirable in many ways. He is not my ideal of a nice husband, but then of course--" she dimpled prettily--"I'm only just back from my honeymoon, and I've been thoroughly spoilt."

Will smiled upon her indulgently. "It's just as well we don't all like the same people. He looked happy enough anyhow."

"In his lordly, cynical fashion," objected Daisy. "He was quite the most self-possessed bridegroom I ever saw."

"Just as well perhaps," commented Will. "Olga was positively shaking with nervousness. Dr. Jim went grimly armed with a brandy-flask and smelling-salts."

"Will, did he really? How like him!"

"Yes. Sir Kersley told me. But he added that it is a well-known fact that brides never faint, so Jim's precautions were quite unnecessary. He also said--But perhaps it's hardly fair to tell you that!"

"What?" said Daisy eagerly. "Of course tell me! Tell me at once, Will!"

Will smiled again. "Well, if I must! He told me that Max himself was anything but as serene as he looked and had been dosing with bromide to steady his nerves."

Daisy broke into a laugh. "No, you certainly shouldn't have told me that! How mean of Sir Kersley! Still, it's nice to know that Max is a little human now and then. I shall like him better now. And so I don't mind telling you something in return. I've been making the most discreet enquiries, and I haven't unearthed the vaguest rumour of that tale Major Hunt-Goring told me. I believe it was all his own invention after all."

"Very likely," said Will. "Opium-smokers often get delusions."

Daisy caught and kissed her husband's hand. "How very charitable of you, Will! You're a perpetual antidote to my poison. Did you observe Nick during the ceremony? He was grinning like a Hindu idol--just as if he'd done it all."

"He has his finger in most pies," observed Will. "I daresay it wasn't altogether absent from this one. Muriel looked supremely proud of her C.S.I."

"And she has reason to be," declared Daisy warmly. "He is quite a king in his own line. I'm so glad he got the Star."

"It's time he got something of the sort certainly," said Will. "I suppose he'll be good now for another six years. Then he'll send the boy to school and inveigle her back to the East."

But Daisy shook her head. "No. I think she'll keep him now. This country is wanting men very badly--and there's plenty to be done."

"Oh, he's a bulwark of the Empire," smiled Will. "He'll do the work of ten. Where's the kiddie gone?"

"She's somewhere with Noel. Did you see those two come out of church together? It was the sweetest sight," said Daisy with enthusiasm.

"She ought to have been walking with Reggie," observed Will.

"Yes, I'm afraid she deserted him. But he ran after Dr. Jim. They are great pals. But Peggy and Noel--" Daisy suddenly laughed--"oh, Will, I do love that boy!" she said. "It is good to see him his gay, handsome self again. See, there they are together now, sitting on the grass! I wonder what they are talking about."

"Probably discussing to-day's event," said Will.

"And wishing it had been their turn," laughed Daisy. A guess which, as it chanced, was not altogether wide of the mark! Peggy, the while she leaned against her cavalier, was remarking at that very moment that she thought Midsummer Day the nicest day in all the year for a "weddin'."

"Why?" said Noel.

"All the fairies gets married then," said Peggy.

"Silly little duffers!" said Noel unsympathetically.

She looked at him round-eyed, then slipped a soft hand into his. "Dear Noel, don't you like weddin's?"

Noel cut short an involuntary sigh. "Not always, Peggy," he said.

"Not when you're best man and I'm chief bridesmaid?" persisted Peggy, with her cheek against his shoulder.

He laughed, without much gaiety. "Oh, well, of course that makes a difference," he said.

There was a pause during which Peggy rubbed her cheek up and down his coat in tender silence. At last coaxingly, "Why didn't you like this weddin', dear Noel?" she asked.

But at that he broke into a half-shamed laugh and springing up snatched her high into his arms. "I'll tell you when we're married, Peg-top," he promised her. "Till then--let's have some fun!"

"Yes, yes!" cried Peggy, laughing down at him alluringly. "Let's have some fun!"

And that ended the conversation.

Ethel May Dell's Novel: Keeper of the Door

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