'AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.' 17
stances,' says Cyril. ' It would be the very thing for
lier. I don't see why she should come down here to
suffer, and put us all in the dumps, and fill our woods
with her sighs and moans.'
< Is she young ?' asks Lady Chetwoode anxiously.
' No—I don't know, I'm sure. I should think not by
Trant's way of mentioning her. " An old friend," he
says, though, of course, that might mean anything.'
' Married ?'
' Yes. A widow.'
' Dear me!' says Lady Chetwoode distastefully.
'A most objectionable class of people. Always in the
way, and—er—very designing, and that.'
' If she is anything under forty she will want to
marry Guy, directly,' Cyril puts in with an air of con¬
viction. 'If I were you, Guy, I should pause and
consider before I introduced such a dangerous ingre¬
dient so near home. Just fancy, mother, seeing Guy
married to a woman probably older than you! '
'Yes—I shouldn't wonder,' says Lady Chetwoode
nervously. 'My dear child, do nothing in a hurry.
Tell Colonel Trant you—you—do not care about letting
The Cottage just at present,'
' Nonsense, mother. How can you be so absurd ?
Don't you think I may be considered proof against
designing widows at twenty-nine ? Never mind Cyril's
talk. I dare say he is afraid for himself. Indeed, the
one thing that makes me hesitate about obliging Trant
is the knowledge of how utterly incapable my poor
brother is of taking care of himself.'
' It is only too true,' says Cyril resignedly. ' I feel
sure if the widow is flouted by you she will revenge
herself by marrying me. Guy, as you are strong, be
' After all, the poor creature may be quite old, and
we are frightening ourselves unnecessarily,' says Lady
Chetwoode in all sincerity.