20 MOLLY BAWN.
potatoes (an Irish dish, you will remember), more especially
as every year we find ours are superior to Lord Barton s.
There is a certain solace in that, considering how far short
we faU in other matters when compared with him. Heie is
the oat-field. Am I to understand you feel admiration ?'
' Of the most intense,' gravely.
' Good again. We rather feared'—speaking in the
affected, stilted style of a farming report she has adopted
throughout—'last month was so deplorably wet, that the
oats would be a failure; but we lived in hope, and you may
mark the result here again—we are second to none. The
wheat-field------' With another slight comprehensive ges¬
ture. ' By the by,' pausing to examine his face, ' am I ful¬
filling my duties as a hostess— am I entertaining you ?'
' Very much indeed. The more particularly that I was
never so entertained before.'
' I am fortunate. Well, that is the wheat. I don't
know that I can expect you to go into ecstasies over it, as I
confess to me it appears more or less weak about the head.
Could one say that wheat was imbecile ?'
' In these days,' politely, ' one may say anything one likes.'
' Yes ? You see that rain did some damage ; but after
all it might have been worse.'
' You will excuse my asking the question,' saj's Luttrell
gravelv, 'but did you ever write for the "Farmer's
Gazette " ?'
' Never, as yet. But,' with an irrepressible smile, ' your
words suggest to me brilliant possibilities. Perhajis were I
to sit down and tell everyone in trisyllables %\hat they
already know only too well about the crops and the we.athcr,
and the Colorado beetle, and so forth, I might perchance
wake up some morning to find myself famous.'
' I haven't the faintest doubt of it,' says Tedcastle, with
such flattering warmth that they both break into a merry
laugh. Not that there is anything at all in the joke worthy
of such a joyous burst, but because they are both so young
and both so happy.
' Do you think I have done enough duty for one day ?'
asks Molly. ' Have I been prosy enough to allow of my
leaving off now ? Because I don't think I have got any¬
thing more to say about the coming harvest, and I wouldn't
care to say it if I had.'