MOLLY BAWN. 17
tion of rousing Molly's ire, * this is the day for which we
have accepted Lady Barton's invitation to go to the Castle,
to meet Lord and Lady Rossmere.'
' " This is the cat that killed the rat, that did something
or other in the house that Jack built,"' interrupts Molly
' And on this occasion you have not been invited,' goes
on John serenely, ' which shows she does not think you
respectable—not quite fit for polite society; so you must
stay at home, like the bold little girl, and meditate on your
* Lady Barton is a very intelligent person, who fully
understands my abhorrence of old fogies,' says Miss Masse¬
reene with dignity.
* Sour grapes,' says John. ' But, now that you have
given such an unfair turn to Lady Barton's motives, I feel it
my duty to explain the exact truth to Luttrell. When last,
my dear Tedcastle, Molly was invited to meet the Rossmeres
she behaved so badly, aud flirted so outrageously with his
withered lordship, that he became perfectly imbecile towards
the close of the entertainment, and his poor old wife was
reduced almost to the verge of tears. I blushed for her—I
* Oh, John! how can you say such things before Mr.
Luttrell? If he is foolish enough to believe you, think
what a dreadful opinion he will have of me!' With a
lovely smile at Luttrell across the bowl of flowers that orna¬
ments the breakfast-table. ' And with such a man too ! A
terrible old person who has forgotten his native language
and can only mumble, and who has not got one tooth in
his mouth or one hair on his head, and no flesh at all to
' What a fetching description !' says Luttrell, ' You
excite my curiosity. He is not " on view," is he ?'
' Not yet,' says Molly, with an airy laugh. ' Probably
when he dies they will enbalm him, and forward him to the
British Museum, as a remarkable species of his kind ; and
then we shall all get the full value of one shilling. I myself
would walk to London to see that.'
' So would I,' says Luttrell, ' if you would promise to tell
me the day you are going.'
* Letitia, I feel myself de trap, whatever you may,'