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Prostrated by mental exertion, Mrs. Wragge was pursuing the course of the
omelette in dreams. Her head was twisted one way, and her body the other. She
snored meekly. At intervals one of her hands raised itself in the air, shook an
imaginary frying-pan, and dropped again with a faint thump on the cookery-book
in her lap. At the sound of her husband's voice, she started to her feet, and
confronted him with her mind fast asleep, and her eyes wide open.
"Assist Miss Vanstone," said the captain. "And the next time you forget yourself
in your chair, fall asleep straight -- don't annoy me by falling asleep crooked."
Mrs. Wragge opened her eyes a little wider, and looked at Magdalen in helpless
"Is the captain breakfasting by candle-light?" she inquired, meekly. "And haven't I
done the omelette?"
Before her husband's corrective voice could apply a fresh stimulant, Magdalen
took her compassionately by the arm and led her out of the room.
"Another object besides the object I know of?" repeated Captain Wragge, when
he was left by himself. "Is there a gentleman in the background, after all? Is there
mischief brewing in the dark that I don't bargain for?"