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My Lady's Money

Chapter 3
"MY nephew!" Lady Lydiard exclaimed in a tone which expressed astonishment,
but certainly not pleasure as well. "How many years is it since you and I last
met?" she asked, in her abruptly straightforward way, as Mr. Felix Sweetsir
approached her writing-table.
The visitor was not a person easily discouraged. He took Lady Lydiard's hand,
and kissed it with easy grace. A shade of irony was in his manner, agreeably
relieved by a playful flash of tenderness.
"Years, my dear aunt?" he said. "Look in your glass and you will see that time
has stood still since we met last. How wonderfully well you wear! When shall we
celebrate the appearance of your first wrinkle? I am too old; I shall never live to
see it."
He took an easychair, uninvited; placed himself close at his aunt's side, and ran
his eye over her ill-chosen dress with an air of satirical admiration. "How perfectly
successful!" he said, with his well-bred insolence. "What a chaste gayety of
color!"
"What do you want?" asked her Ladyship, not in the least softened by the
compliment.
"I want to pay my respects to my dear aunt," Felix answered, perfectly
impenetrable to his ungracious reception, and perfectly comfortable in a spacious
arm-chair.
No pen-and-ink portrait need surely be drawn of Felix Sweetsir--he is too well-
known a picture in society. The little lith e man, with his bright, restless eyes, and
his long iron-gray hair falling in curls to his shoulders, his airy step and his cordial
manner; his uncertain age, his innumerable accomplishments, and his
 
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