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About Peggy Saville by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

Mother is going to twy electwicity for it


"`Let

me down this moment, Robert. Bring a chair and let me get down.'

"`Will you promise to give us a pie to-morrow, then, and a decent sort of a pudding?'

"`It's no business of yours what I give you. You ought to be thankful for good wholesome food!'

"`Milk puddings are not wholesome. They don't agree with us--they are too rich! We should like something a little lighter for a change. Will you swear off milk puddings for the next fortnight if I let you down?'

"`You are a cruel, heartless fellow, Robert Darcy--thinking of puddings when Peggy is ill, and we are all so anxious about her!'

"`Peggy would die at once if she heard how badly you were treating us. Now then, you have kept me waiting for ten minutes, so the price has gone up. Now you'll have to promise a pair of ducks and mince-pies into the bargain! I shall be ashamed of meeting a sheep soon, if we go on eating mutton every day of the week.'

"`Call yourself a gentleman!' says she, tossing her head and withering me with a glance of scorn.

"`I call myself a hungry man, and that's all we are concerned about for the moment,' said I. `A couple of ducks and two nailing good puddings to-morrow night, or there you sit for the rest of the evening!'

"We

went at it hammer and tongs until she was fairly spluttering with rage; but she had to promise before she came down, and we had no more starvation diet after that. Oswald went up to town for a day, and bought a pair of blue silk socks and a tie to match--that's the greatest excitement we have had. The rest has been all worry and grind, and Mellicent on the rampage about Christmas presents. Oh, by the bye, I printed those photographs you wanted to send to your mother, and packed them off by the mail a fortnight ago, so that she would get them in good time for Christmas."

"Rob, you didn't! How noble of you! You really are an admirable person!" Peggy lay back against her pillows and gazed at her "partner" in great contentment of spirit. After living an invalid's life for these past weeks, it was delightfully refreshing to look at the big strong face. The sight of it was like a fresh breeze coming into the close, heated room, and she felt as if some of his superabundant energy had come into her own weak frame.

A little later the vicarage party arrived, and greeted the two convalescents with warmest affection. If they were shocked at the sight of Rosalind's disfigurement and Peggy's emaciation, three out of the four were polite enough to disguise their feelings; but it was too much to expect of Mellicent that she should disguise what she happened to be feeling. She stared and gaped, and stared again, stuttering with consternation--

"Why--why--Rosalind--your hair! It's shorter than mine! It doesn't come down to your shoulders! Did they cut it all off? What did you do with the rest? And your poor cheek! Will you have that mark all your life?"

"I don't know. Mother is going to twy electwicity for it. It will fade a good deal, I suppose, but I shall always be a fwight. I'm twying to wesign myself to be a hideous monster!" sighed Rosalind, turning her head towards the window the while in such a position that the scar was hidden from view, and she looked more like the celestial choir-boy of Peggy's delirium than ever, with the golden locks curling round her neck, and the big eyes raised to the ceiling in a glance of pathetic resignation.


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