The Illustrious Prince
16. Concerning Prince Maiyo
The Duchess looked up from her writing table and nodded to her husband, who had just
"Good morning, Ambrose!" she said. "Do you want to talk to me?"
"If you can spare me five minutes," the Duke suggested. "I don't think that I need keep
The Duchess handed her notebook to her secretary, who hastened from the room. The
Duke seated himself in her vacant chair.
"About our little party down in Hampshire next week," he began.
"I am waiting to hear from you before I send out any invitations," the Duchess answered.
"Quite so," the Duke assented. "To tell you the truth, I don't want anything in the nature
of a house party. What I should really like would be to get Maiyo there almost to
His wife looked at him in some surprise.
"You seem particularly anxious to make things pleasant for this young man," she
remarked. "If he were the son of the Emperor himself, no one could do more for him than
you people have been doing these last few weeks."
The Duke of Devenham, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, whose wife entertained
for his party, and whose immense income, derived mostly from her American relations,
was always at its disposal, was a person almost as important in the councils of his country
as the Prime Minister himself. It sometimes occurred to him that the person who most
signally failed to realize this fact was the lady who did him the honor to preside over his
"My dear Margaret," he said, "you can take my word for it that we know what we are
about. It is very important indeed that we should keep on friendly terms with this young
man,--I don't mean as a personal matter. It's a matter of politics--perhaps of something
greater, even, than that."
The Duchess liked to understand everything, and her husband's reticence annoyed her.
"But we have the Japanese Ambassador always with us," she remarked. "A most
delightful person I call the Baron Hesho, and I am sure he loves us all."