The Evil Shepherd
Lady Cynthia and Sir Timothy strolled after dinner to the bottom of the lawn and
watched the punt which Francis was propelling turn from the stream into the river.
"Perfectly idyllic," Lady Cynthia sighed.
"We have another punt," her companion suggested.
She shook her head.
"I am one of those unselfish people," she declared, "whose idea of repose is not only to
rest oneself but to see others rest. I think these two chairs, plenty of cigarettes, and you in
your most gracious and discoursive mood, will fill my soul with content."
"Your decision relieves my mind," her companion declared, as he arranged the cushions
behind her back. "I rather fancy myself with a pair of sculls, but a punt-pole never
appealed to me. We will sit here and enjoy the peace. To-morrow night you will find it all
disturbed--music and raucous voices and the stampede of my poor, frightened horses in
the park. This is really a very gracious silence."
"Are those two really going to marry?" Lady Cynthia asked, moving her head lazily in
the direction of the disappearing punt.
"I imagine so."
"And you? What are you going to do then?"
"I am planning a long cruise. I telegraphed to Southampton to-day. I am having my yacht
provisioned and prepared. I think I shall go over to South America."
She was silent for a moment.
"Alone?" she asked presently.
"I am always alone," he answered.
"That is rather a matter of your own choice, is it not?"
"Perhaps so. I have always found it hard to make friends. Enemies seem to be more in my
"I have not found it difficult to become your friend," she reminded him.
"You are one of my few successes," he replied.