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The Way We Live Now

Carbury Manor
'I don't think it quite nice, mamma; that's all. Of course if you have made up your mind to
go, I must go with you.'
'What on earth can be more natural than that you should go to your own cousin's house?'
'You know what I mean, mamma.'
'It's done now, my dear, and I don't think there is anything at all in what you say.' This
little conversation arose from Lady Carbury's announcement to her daughter of her
intention of soliciting the hospitality of Carbury Manor for the Whitsun week. It was very
grievous to Henrietta that she should be taken to the house of a man who was in love with
her, even though he was her cousin. But she had no escape. She could not remain in town
by herself, nor could she even allude to her grievance to any one but her mother. Lady
Carbury, in order that she might be quite safe from opposition, had posted the following
letter to her cousin before she spoke to her daughter:
'Welbeck Street, 24th April, 18--.
My dear Roger,
We know how kind you are and how sincere, and that if what I am going to propose
doesn't suit you'll say so at once. I have been working very hard too hard indeed, and I
feel that nothing will do me so much real good as getting into the country for a day or
two. Would you take us for a part of Whitsun week? We would come down on the 20th
May and stay over the Sunday if you would keep us. Felix says he would run down
though he would not trouble you for so long a time as we talk of staying.
I'm sure you must have been glad to hear of his being put upon that Great American
Railway Board as a Director. It opens a new sphere of life to him, and will enable him to
prove that he can make himself useful. I think it was a great confidence to place in one so
young.
Of course you will say so at once if my little proposal interferes with any of your plans,
but you have been so very very kind to us that I have no scruple in making it.
Henrietta joins with me in kind love.
Your affectionate cousin,
MATILDA CARBURY.'
There was much in this letter that disturbed and even annoyed Roger Carbury. In the first
place he felt that Henrietta should not be brought to his house. Much as he loved her, dear
 
 
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