maternity, ran into the little room where Vere was at tea with her
governess; Lady Dolly was arrayed for the evening sauterie at the
Casino, and was in great haste to be gone.
"Have you everything you like, darling?" she asked, pulling
on her pearl-hued Crispins. " Did you have a nice little dinner ?
Yes? Quite sure? Has Adrienne been to you? An excellent
creature; perfect taste. Dear me, what a pity!—you might have
come and jumped about to-night if you had had only something to
wear. Of course you like dancing ? "
" I dislike it very much,"
" Dear me! Ah well! you won't say so after a cotillon or two.
You shall have a cotillon that Zouroff leads: there is nobody better.
Good night, my sweet Vera. Mind, I shall always call you Vera.
It sounds so Russian and nice, and is much prettier than Vere."
" I do not think so, mother, and I am not Eussian."
" You are very contradictory and opinionated; much too opin¬
ionated for a girl. It is horrid in a girl to have opinions. Fraulein,
how could you let her have opinions ? Good night, dear. I shall
hardly see you to-morrow, if at all. We shall be cruising about
in Jack's yacht, and we shall start very early. The Grand Duchess
will go out with us. She is great fun, only she does get in such a
rage when she loses at play, that it is horrible to see. So sorry
you must be shut up, my poor Vera !"
" May I not go out just for a walk ? "
" Well, I don't know—yes, really, I think you might; if it's
very early, mind and you keep out of everybody's sight. Pray
take care not a soul sees you."
"Is not this better, then?" murmured the offender, glancing
down on a white serge frock, which she had put on in the hope
that it might please. It was a simple braided dress with a plain
silver belt, and was really unobjectionable.
Lady Dully scanned the garment with a critical air and a, parti
pris. Certainly it might have done for the morrow's yachting, but
then she did not want the wearer of it on the yacht. The girl
would have to be everywhere very soon, of course, but Lady Dolly
put off the evil day as long as she could.
" It is the cut," she said, dropping her glass with a sigh. " It
can't be Morgan's ? "
" Who is Morgan ? " asked the child, so benighted that she had
not even heard of the great Worth of nautical costume.
" Morgan is the only creature possible for serge," sighed Lady
Dolly, " You don't seem to understand, darling. Material is nothing,
Make is everything. Look at our camelot and percale gowns that
Worth sends us; and look at the satins and velvets of a hourgeoise
from Asnieres or a wine-merchant's wife from Clapham ! Oh, my
dear child! cut your gown out of your dog's towel or your horses'
cloths if you like, but mind Who cuts it: that is the one golden
rule! But good-night, my sweetest. Sleep well."