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Where Angels Fear to Tread


Chapter1
They were all at Charing Cross to see Lilia offÑPhilip, Harriet, Irma,
Mrs. Herriton herself. Even Mrs. Theobald, squired by Mr. Kingcroft,
had braved the journey from Yorkshire to bid her only daughter good-
bye. Miss Abbott was likewise attended by numerous relatives, and the
sight of so many people talking at once and saying such different things
caused Lilia to break into ungovernable peals of laughter.
"Quite an ovation," she cried, sprawling out of her first-class carriage.
"They'll take us for royalty. Oh, Mr. Kingcroft, get us foot-warmers."
The good-natured young man hurried away, and Philip, taking his
place, flooded her with a final stream of advice and injunctionsÑwhere
to stop, how to learn Italian, when to use mosquito-nets, what pictures to
look at. "Remember," he concluded, "that it is only by going off the track
that you get to know the country. See the little townsÑGubbio, Pienza,
Cortona, San Gemignano, Monteriano. And don't, let me beg you, go
with that awful tourist idea that Italy's only a museum of antiquities and
art. Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvel-
lous than the land."
"How I wish you were coming, Philip," she said, flattered at the un-
wonted notice her brother-in-law was giving her.
"I wish I were." He could have managed it without great difficulty, for
his career at the Bar was not so intense as to prevent occasional holidays.
But his family disliked his continual visits to the Continent, and he him-
self often found pleasure in the idea that he was too busy to leave town.
"Good-bye, dear every one. What a whirl!" She caught sight of her little
daughter Irma, and felt that a touch of maternal solemnity was required.
"Good-bye, darling. Mind you're always good, and do what Granny tells
you."
She referred not to her own mother, but to her mother-in-law, Mrs.
Herriton, who hated the title of Granny.
Irma lifted a serious face to be kissed, and said cautiously, "I'll do my
best."
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