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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 5
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The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 5 Post by :punter Category :Long Stories Author :Elinor Glyn Date :May 2012 Read :1564

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The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 5


The next day Augustus went to London by the early train. I fortunately saw the dog-cart coming, and rushed to tell Hephzibah to say I was not up if he stopped, which of course he did on his way to the station. He left a message for me. He would be back at half-past four, would come in to tea. The Marquis and I were to dine there in the evening, so I am sure that would be time enough to have seen him. Grandmamma said it was no doubt the engagement-ring he had gone to London to buy, and that I _really must receive it with a good grace.

At about four o'clock, while I was reading aloud the oration of Bossuet on the funeral of Madame d'Orleans, the tuff-tuff-tuff of a motorcar was heard, and it drew up at our gate and out got Sir Antony Thornhirst and Lady Tilchester.

Although I could see them with the corner of my eye, and grandmamma could too, I should not have dared to have stopped my reading, and was actually in the middle of a sentence when Hephzibah announced them. I did not forget to make my _reverence this time, and grandmamma half rose from her chair. Lady Tilchester has the most lovely manners. In a few minutes we all felt perfectly happy together, and she had told us how Sir Antony was so anxious to make grandmamma's acquaintance, having discovered by chance that he was a connection of hers, that she--Lady Tilchester--had slipped away from her guests and brought him over in her new motor, and she trusted grandmamma would forgive her unannounced descent upon us. She also said how she wished she had heard before that we were in this neighborhood, that she might have months ago made our acquaintance, and could perhaps have been useful to us.

I shall always love her, her sweet voice and the beautiful diffidence of her manner to grandmamma, as though she were receiving a great honor by grandmamma's reception of her. So different to Mrs. Gurrage's patronizing vulgarity! I could see grandmamma was delighted with her.

Sir Antony talked to me. He asked me if I was tired, or something _banal like that; his voice was _distraite_. I answered him gayly, and then we changed seats, and he had a conversation with grandmamma. I do not know what they spoke about, as Lady Tilchester and I went to the other end of the room, but his manner looked so gallant, and I knew by grandmamma's face that she was saying the witty, sententious things that she does to the Marquis. A faint pink flush came into her cheeks which made her look such a very beautiful old lady.

Lady Tilchester talked to me about the garden and the ball the night before, and at last asked me when I was going to be married.

It seemed to bring me back with a rush to earth from some enchanted world which contained no Augustus.

"I--don't know," I faltered, and then, ashamed of my silly voice, said, firmly, "Grandmamma has not arranged the date yet--"

"I hope you will be very happy," said Lady Tilchester, and she would not look at me, which was kind of her.

"Thank you," I said. "Grandmamma is no longer young, and she will feel relieved to know I have a home of my own."

"It is delightful to think we shall have you for a neighbor. Harley is only fifteen miles from here. I wonder if Mrs. Athelstan would let you come and stay a few days with me?"

"Oh! I should _love to," I said.

However, grandmamma, when the subject was broached to her presently, firmly declined.

"A month ago I should have accepted with much pleasure," she said, "but circumstances and my health do not now permit me to part even for a short time with Ambrosine."

She looked at Lady Tilchester and Lady Tilchester looked back at her, and although nothing more was said about the matter, I am sure they understood each other.

Sir Antony came and sat by me in the window-sill. I was wearing my chatelaine and he noticed it.

"I am a blind idiot!" he exclaimed. "Of course you are the kind lady who lent me the knife, which I broke, and then stole in a brutal way."

"I saw you did not recognize me the other night."

"I could only see out of one eye, you know, that day in the lane--that must be my excuse."

I said nothing.

"I am not going to give back the knife."

"Then it is real stealing--and it spoils my chatelaine," I said, holding up the empty chain.

"I will give you another in its place, but I must keep this one."

"That is silly--why?"

"It is very agreeable to do silly things sometimes--for instance, I should like--"

What he would have liked I never knew, for at that moment we both caught sight of Augustus getting out of his station brougham at our gate.

"Here comes your bear," said Sir Antony, but he did not attempt to stir from his seat. We could see Augustus walk up the path and turn the handle of the front door without ringing. In this impertinence I am glad to say he was checked, as Hephzibah had fortunately let the bolt slip after showing in Lady Tilchester. He rang an angry peal. Grandmamma frowned.

When Augustus finally got into the room his face was purple. He had hardly self-control enough to greet Lady Tilchester with his usual obsequiousness. She talked charmingly to him for a few moments, and then got up to go.

Meanwhile Sir Antony had been conversing with me quite as if no _fiance had entered the room.

"You know we are cousins," he said.

"Very distant ones."

"Why on earth did you not let me know when first you came to this place?"

"Grandmamma has never told me why she left you uninformed of our arrival," I laughed. "How could we have known it would interest you?'"

"But you--don't you ever do anything of your own accord?"

"I would like to sometimes."

"It is monstrous to have kept you shut up here and then to--"

Augustus crossed the room.

"Ambrosine," he interrupted, rudely, "I shall come and fetch you this evening for dinner, as you are too busy now to speak to me."

"Very well," I said.

Sir Antony rose, and we made a general good-bye.

There was something disturbed in his face--as if he had not said what he meant to. A sickening anger and disgust with fate made my hand cold. Oh!--if--Alas!

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The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 6 The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 6

The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 6
BOOK I CHAPTER VITo-morrow is my wedding-day--the 10th of June. There is my dress spread over the sofa, looking like a ghost in the dim light--I have only one candle on the dressing-table. It is pouring rain and there are rumbles of thunder in the distance. Well, let it pour and hail and rage, and do what it pleases--I don't care! Just now a flash came nearer and seemed to catch the huge diamonds in my engagement-ring, which hangs loose on my finger now. I flung it into the little china tray strings of pearls and a fender tiara are

The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 4 The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 4

The Reflections Of Ambrosine: A Novel - Book 1 - Chapter 4
BOOK I CHAPTER IVIt is difficult to judge of a thing when your mind is prejudiced on any point. Balls may be delightful, but my first ball contained hours which I can only look back upon as a nightmare. The Marquis and I arrived not too early; Mrs. Gurrage and her bevy of nieces and friends were already in the dressing-room. They seemed to be plainish, buxom girls, several of the bony, _passe description. They looked at me with eyes of deep interest. My dress, as I said before, was perfection. Mrs. Gurrage wore what she told me were the "family