156 MOLLY BAWir.
you.* He chuckles odiously as he winds up this pleasing
Mr, Potts, rather taken aback, mutters something
inaudible, and turns to Lady Stafford, who receives him
He is a young man of about twenty-four (though he
might, in appearance, be any age from that to forty-four),
and is short rather than taU, His eyes are grey, small,
and bright, and full of fun, bespeaking imperturbable good
His hair is red. It is hair that admits of no compro¬
mise ; it is neither auburn, golden, nor light brown, it is a
distinct and fiery red. His nose is ' poor, but honest,' and
he has a thorough and most apparent appreciation of
As I said before. Lady Stafford greets him warmly; he
is one of her special pets.
' How are you getting on ? ' he asks, mysteriously, when
the first questions and answers have been gone through, ' old
boy evidently worse than ever. The wine theory would not
suit his case, age does anything but improve him. He has
gone to the bad altogether. I suppose you've been putting
in an awfully bad time of it,'
* We have, indeed,' says Lady Stafford; ' he has been
unbearable all through dinner, though he was pretty weU
yesterday. I think myself it must be gout; every twinge
brings forth a caustic speech.'
By this time everyone has shaken hanas with the new¬
comer, and welcomed him heartily. He seems specially
pleased to see Tedcastle.
' Luttrell! you here ? Never had a hint of it. So glad
to see you, old man! Why you're looking as fit as even your
best friend could wish you.'
' Meaning yourseU,' says Luttrell. ' Now let's have a
look at you. Why, Planty, what an exquisite get-up! New
coat and—etc., latest tie, and diamonds ad lib. Quite
coquettish, upon my word. Who gave you the diamonds.
Potts ? Your mother ?'
' No, I got tired of hinting there,' says Potts, ingo-
nuou.sly, ' so gave it up, and bought 'em myself They are
fetching, I take it. Luttrell, who is the girl at the piano 9
Never saw anything so lovely in aU my life.'