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A Honeymoon in Space by George Chetwynd Griffith

Van Stuyler turned round and said angrily Zaidie


"There's

one dissentient. We are prisoners, and I guess I'd better surrender at discretion."

The next moment her captor's arm was round her waist, and Mrs. Van Stuyler, with her twitching fingers linked behind her back, and her nose at an angle of sixty degrees, was staring away through the blue immensity, dumbly wondering what on earth or under heaven was going to happen next.

CHAPTER III

After a couple of minutes of silence which could be felt, Mrs. Van Stuyler turned round and said angrily:

"Zaidie, you will excuse me, perhaps, if I say that your conduct is not--I mean has not been what I should have expected--what I did, indeed, expect from your uncle's niece when I undertook to take you to Europe. I must say----"

"If I were you, Mrs. Van, I don't think I'd say much more about that, because, you see, it's fixed and done. Of course, Lord Redgrave's only an earl, and the other is a marquis, but, you see, he's a man, and I don't quite think the other one is--and that's about all there is to it."

Their host had just left the deck-saloon, taking the early coffee apparatus with him, and Miss Zaidie, in the first flush of her pride and re-found happiness, was taking a promenade of about twelve strides each way, while Mrs. Van Stuyler, after partially

relieving her feelings as above, had seated herself stiffly in her wicker-chair, and was following her with eyes which were critical and, if they had been twenty years younger, might also have been envious.

"Well, at least I suppose I must congratulate you on your ability to accommodate yourself to most extraordinary circumstances. I must say that as far as that goes I quite envy you. I feel as though I ought to choke or take poison, or something of that sort."

"Sakes, Mrs. Van, please don't talk like that!" said Zaidie, stopping in her walk just in front of her chaperon's chair. "Can't you see that there's nothing extraordinary about the circumstances except this wonderful ship? I have told you how Pop and I met Lord Redgrave in our tour through the Canadian Rockies two or three years ago. No, it's two years and nine months next June; and how he took an interest in Pop's theories and ideas about this same ship that we are on now----"

"Oh yes," said Mrs. Van Stuyler rather acidly, "and not only in the abstract ideas, but apparently in a certain concrete reality."

"Mrs. Van," laughed Zaidie, with a cunning twist on her heel, "I know you don't mean to be rude, but--well, now did any one ever call _you_ a concrete reality? Of course it's correct just as a scientific definition, perhaps--still, anyhow, I guess it's not much good going on about that. The facts are just this way. I consented to marry that Byfleet marquis just out of sheer spite and blank ignorance. Lord Redgrave never actually asked me to marry him when we were in the Rockies, but he did say when he went back to England that as soon as he had realised my father's ideal he would come over and try and realise one of his own. He was looking at me when he said it, and he looked a good deal more than he said. Then he went away, and poor Pop died. Of course I couldn't write and tell him, and I suppose he was too proud to write before he'd done what he undertook to do, and I, like most girl-fools in the same place would have done, thought that he'd given the whole thing up and just looked upon the trip as a sort of interlude in globe-trotting, and thought no more about Pop's ideas and inventions than he did about his daughter."


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