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BOTH Lord and Lady Hetherington were
in the dining-room when Joyce entered, the
former with his brown velveteen suit
splashed and clay-stained, and his thick
boots rich with the spoil of many a furrow
(he was bitten with a farming and agricultural
mania just then), and the latter calm
and collected as Walter ever remembered
her. She received the visitor with perfect
politeness, expressed in a few well-chosen
sentences her pleasure at seeing him again,
and the satisfaction with which she had
learned of his improved position; then, after
scanning him with rather a searching
glance, she turned to the footman, and asked
where was Lady Caroline, and whether she
knew luncheon was ready. Joyce replied
for the man. Lady Caroline had heard the
announcement of luncheon, but had asked
him to come in by himself, saying she would
follow directly. Her ladyship had gone up
to her room, the footman added; he did not
think her ladyship was very well. The
footman was new to Westhope, or he would
have known that the domestics of that
establishment were never allowed to think, or
at least were expected to keep their thoughts
to themselves. Lady Hetherington of course
ignored the footman's remark entirely, but
addressed herself to Joyce.

"I hope you did not bring down any ill
news for Lady Caroline, Mr. Joyce?"

"Not I, indeed, Lady Hetherington. I
merely came to ask her ladyship's advice on
well, on a matter of business."

"In which she was interested?"

"No indeed! I was selfish enough to
lay before her a matter in which my own
interests were alone concerned."

"Ah!" said Lady Hetherington, with a
sigh of relief, "I was afraid it might be
some business in which she would have to
involve herself for other people, and really
she is such an extraordinary woman,
constituting herself chaperon to two young
women who may be very well in their way,
I dare say, but whom nobody ever heard of,
and doing such odd things, but however,
that's all right."

Her ladyship subsiding, his lordship here
had a chance of expressing his delight at
his ex-secretary's advancement, which he
did warmly, but in his own peculiar way.
So Joyce had gone into Parliament; right,
quite right, but wrong side, hey, hey?
Radicals and those sort of fellows, hey?
Republic and that sort of thing! Like all
young men, make mistakes, hey, but know
better soon, and come round. Live to see
him in the Carlton yet. Knew where he
picked up those atrocious doctrines didn't
mind his calling them atrocious, hey, hey?
from Byrne; strange man, clever man,
deuced clever, well read, and all that kind
of thing, but desperate free-thinker.
Thistlewood, Wolfe Tone, and that kind of thing.
Never live to see him in the Carlton. No,
of course not; not the place for him.
Recollect the Chronicles? Ah, of course;
deuced interesting all that stuff thatthat I
wrote then, wasn't it? Had not made much
progress since. So taken up with farmin' and
that kind of thing; must take him into the
park before he left, and show him some
alterations just going to be made, which
would be an immense improvement,
immense imp- Oh, here was Lady Caroline!"

What did that idiotic footman mean by
saying he thought Lady Caroline was not