MARGOT and PETER FLOWER

MARGOT ASQUITH January 1 1921

MARGOT and PETER FLOWER

MARGOT ASQUITH January 1 1921

MARGOT and PETER FLOWER

MARGOT ASQUIITH

WIFE 0F THE fORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER

Above: A portrait study of Mrs. Asquith. Centre: Her two winsome children, Anthony and Elizabeth. Below: Her famous and gallant step-son, Brig.-Gen. Herbert A. Asquith, D.8.O., etc.

THE first time I met Peter Flower was at Ranelagh, where he had taken my sister, Charty, to watch the polo. He dressed better than any man I have ever seen. I do not know who could have worn his clothes when they

were new but certainly he did not. I notice men’s clothes as much as women’s, and I never remember seeing him in a new coat. After his clothes what 1 was most struck by was

his peculiar almostanimal grace, powerful sloping shoulders and superh urn a n vitality. On looking back along the gallery of my acquaintance I can discover not more than three or four people as tenacious of life as he was; Lady Desborough, Lady Cunard, my only son Anthony and myself. There are various kinds of high spirits; some so crude and rough-tongued that they vitiate what they touch and estrange every one of sensib i 1 i t y, and some so restless and hectic that they devour other people’s vitality; Laurence Oliphant once said to me:

“I divide the world into life-givers and life-takers.” \ But Peter Flower’s vitality always revived and \ restored everybody with whom he came in contact. ^ In the winter of the same year I went with the Ribblesdales to stay with his brother. Lord Battersea, and have a hunt. I took with me the best of hats and habits, but two leggy and faded hirelings, hoping to pick up a mount: Charty having twisted her knee the day after we arrived en abled me to ride the horse which Peter was to have mounted her on; and full of spirits we all went off to the meet of the Bicester hounds. I had hardly spoken three words to my benefactor, but Ribblesd ale had rather unwisely told him that I was the best rider to hounds in England. At the meet I scanned my mount while the man was lengthening my stirrup. “Havoc,” as -be was called, was a dark chestnut, 16.1, with a coat like the back of a violin. lie had an enormous bit on, and I was glad to see a leather strap under the curb-chain. When I was mounted Pe ter kept close to my side and “You're on a topper! Take him where you like, but ride your own line—” Margot: “Why? Does he rush? I had thought of following you —” Peter: “Not at all, but he may pull you a bit, so keep away from people; the fence isn’t made that he can’t jump—as for water, he’s a swallow!—I wash i could say the same of mine! We’ve got a brook in these parts with rotten banks, it will catch the best! But, if we are near each other, you must come alongside and go first, and mine will very likely follow. I don’t want to spend the night in that beastly brook—” It was a good scenting day and we did not take long to find. I stuck to Peter while the Bicester hounds raced across the heavy grass towards an ugly-looking hairy double. In spite of the ironmonger’s shop in Havoc’s mouth, I had not the faintest control, so I said to Peter: “You know, Mr. Flower, I can’t stop your horse!” Peter: “But why should you? Hounds are running!” Margot: “But I can’t turn him!” Peter: “It doesn’t matter! They are running straight— Look out! Look out for Hydy!” We were going great guns! I saw a man in front of me slowing up to the double, so shouted at him: “Get out of my way!”

I was certain that he would take a heavy fall and I would be on the top of him. While in the act of turning round to see who it was that was shouting, his willing

it was that was shouting, willing horse paused I shot past, taking away his spur in my habit skirt. I heard a volley of oaths as I jumped into the jungle. Havoc, however, did not like the brambles, and steadying as he landed, arched himself with the activity of a cat over a stiff rail on the other side of the double: I turned round and saw Peter’s horse close behind me hit the rail and peck upon landing, at which Peter gave him one down the shoulder and looked furious. Peter Gets a Bit Wet T HAD no illusions! I was on a horse 1 that nothing could stop. Seeing a line of willows in front of me, I shouted to Peter to come along, as I thought the brook was ahead of us, and I could not possibly keep close to him going at tjjat pace. To my surprise and delight, as we approached the willows Peter passed me, and the brook widened out in front of us; I saw by his set face that it was neck or nothing with him. Havoc

was going well within himself, but his stablecompanion was getting precipitate and flurried, and before I knew what had happened Peter as in the i d d 1 e of the

brook and I was jumping over his head. On landing I made a large circle round the field away from the hounds, trying to pull up, and found myself facing the brook again, with Peter dripping on the bank nearest me. Havoc pricked his ears, passed him like a flash, and jumped the brook again; the bank on landing was boggy and, while we were floundering, I got a pull at him by putting the curbrein under my pommel and jabbing him violently in the mouth. Exhausted and distressed, I jumped off and

Peter burst out laughing: “We seem to be separated for life,” he said. “Look at my damned horse!” I looked down the water, and saw the animal standing knee-deep nibbling grass and mud off

standing grass the bank with perfect composure. Margot: “I believe Havoc would jump this beastly brook again and then I should be by your side. What luck! You aren’t very wet. Hadn’t I better look out for the second horses? Hounds by now will be at the sea and I confess I can't ride your horse: does he always pull like this?” Peter: “Yes, he catches hold a bit, but you rode him beautifully. Hyloo! What is that spur doing in your skirt!” Margot: “I took it off the man that you call ‘Hydy,’ who was going so sticky at the double when we started.” Peter: “Poor old Clarendon! I advise you to keep his spur, he’ll never guess who took it, and if I know anything about him there will be no love lost between j JU even if you return it!” I was longing for another horse, as I could not bear the idea of going home. At that moment a long single file of second horsemen came in sight and Peter’s well-trained man on a thoroughbred gray came up to us. Peter lit a cigar and, pointing to the brook, said to his man: “Go off and get a rope to hang that brute with or to haul him out; ánd give me my lunch.” I was on my feet with Havoc at my side. We were miles away from a house. I felt depressed, and wondered what I ought to do. I said : “I had better ride home with your man, hadn’t I?” Peter: “Home! What for?” Margot: “Havoc is p’raps tired?” Peter: “I wish to Gqd he wras! But I daresay this infernal Bicester grass, which is heavier than anything I saw in Yorkshire, has steadied him a bit; you’ll see he'll go far better with you this afternoon. I’m awfully scrry, and would put you on my second horse, but it is’nt mine and I’m told it’s got a bit of a temper: if ycu go tfcrcugh that gate I’ll join you and we’ll have our lurch. Have a cigarette?” I smiled at him and shook my head—my meuth was as dry as a Japanese toy and I felt shattered with fatigue. The ground where I was standing was e’eep and I was afraid of walking in case I should leave my boots in it, so I tapped the back of Havoc’s fetlocks till I got him stretched, and then with great skill mounted myself off a hummock. This filled Peter with admiration ; he lifted his hat and said: “Well! You are the very first woman I ever saw mount herself without two men and a boy hanging on to her , horse’s head.”

I rode towards the gate and Peter joined me a few minutes later on his ’second horse. We lunched and smoked our cigarettes together, he praised my riding and premised he would mount me any day if I cculd. only get someone to ask me down to Brackley where he kept his horses; he said the Grafton was the country to hunt in, and that though Tcm Firr, the huntsman of the Quorn, was the greatest man in England, Frank Beers was hard to beat. I felt pleased at his admiration for my riding, but I knew Havoc had not turned a hair and that if I went on hunting I should either kill him, myself or someone else. Margot: “Aren’t you nervous when you see a helpless woman riding one of your horses?” Peter: “I am only afraid she’ll hurt my horse! I take her off pretty quick, I can tell you, if I think she’s going to spoil my sale, but I never mount a woman. Your sister is a magnificent rider or I wculd never have put her on that horse. With any luck this afternoon you will be alone writh hounds and Havoc will be knocked down at Tattersall’s for five hundred guineas.” Margot: “You are sure you want me to go on?” Peter: “You think I want ycu to go home? Very well, if you go', I go!” I longed to have the courage to say, “Let us both go home,” but I knew he would think I was afraid, and it was early in the day. He looked at me steadily and said: “l wall do exactly what you like.”

At that moment the hounds came in sight and my chance was gone. We shogged along to the next cover, Havoc as mild as milk. I was amazed at Peter’s nerve. If any horse of mine had taken complete charge of its rider I would have been in a state of anguish till I had separated them, but he was in the highest of spirits, riding along in front of me. This lack of sensitiveness irritated me and my heart sank. Before reaching the cover Peter came up to me and suggested changing Havoc’s bit. I then perceived he was not quite so happy as I thought: this determined me to stick it out. I thanked him demurely and added with a slightly smiling shrug: “I fear no bit can save me to-day.” Peter: “Oh! For God’s sake don’t let us go on then ! If you hate my horse I vote we go no further!” "What a cross man!” I said to myself, seeing him flushed and snappy. I reassured him, and a ringing halloa brought our deliberations to an abrupt end. Havoc and I shot down the road, passing the blustering field; and hopping over a gap we found ourselves close to the hounds who were running hell-for-leather towards a handsome country seat perched upon a hill. A park is what I hate most out hunting, hounds invariably lose the line, the field loses its way, and I lose my temper. I looked round to see if my benefactor was near me but he was nowhere to be seen. Eight or ten hard-riding men and one woman were behind me; they shouted: “Turn to your left!” We were approaching an open wood with grass rides in it; I saw a fancy gate of yellow polished oak at the end of one of the rides and what looked like lawns beyond. I was unable to turn to the left with my companions, but plunged into the wood where the hounds paused —not so Havoc, who, in spite of the deep ground, was still going great guns. The lady behind me, guessing what had happened, left her companions and managed somehow to pass me in the trees and as I approached the yellow gate she was holding it open. I shouted my thanks to her and she shouted “Get off when you stop!”

This was my fixed determination as I had observed Havoc’s tongue was over his bit and .knew he was not aware that I was on his back. I have no doubt he would have jumped the yellow gate with ease. After leaving my saviour I was joined by my former companions; the hounds had picked up again and we had left the gate, the wood, and the country seat behind us. Still going very strong we all turned into a field with a kind of chalk road sunk between two high banks leading down to a ford. I kept on the top of the bank for fear of knocking people down or splashing them in the water. Two men were standing by a gap in the fence which separated me from what appeared to be a river and I knew there must be a considerable drop in front of me. I gave myself up for lost. The men held their hands up to stop me, and I took my foot out of the stirrup and dropped my reins. To my surprise Havoc slowed up, but we were going too fast to stop or turn—he tried his best when we came to the fence, but I saw the water twinkling below me, the field splashing through the shallow ford and I knew no When I came to, I found Peter Flower and the lady at my feet and I was lying in a box-bed in a hot cottage; I heard the lady say indignantly: “I think you’re mad to put anyone on that horse! You know how often it has changed hands, and you yourself can hardly ride it.” Peter was ice-white and in an agony of fear, but as a matter of fact I was only severely bruised and soaked to the skin. Havoc, seeing the water below him, had tried to scramble down the bank, which luckily for me had not been immediately under the fence, but it could not be done, so we took a somersault into the brook most alarming for the people in the ford to see, but as the water was deep where I landed I was not hurt but had fainted from fear and exhaustion. Peter’s misery was profound, he was warming my feet with great tenderness in both his hands; I watched him quietly and felt my spirits revive. I was taken home in a brougham by my kind friend, who turned out to be Mrs. Bunbury, the finest rider to hounds in England, a sister of John Watson, the Master of the Meath Hounds, and daughter of Mr. Watson, Master of the Carlow. This was how Peter and I first came to know each other; and after that it was only a question of time when our friendship would develop' Into a serious love-affair. I stayed with Mrs. Bunbury in the Grafton country that

winter for two months and was mounted by everyone. As Peter was a kind of hero in the hunting field and had never been known to mount a woman I was the object of much jealousy. The first scene in my life occurred at Brackley, where he and an older man friend of his called Hatfield Harter shared a hunting box together. There was a lady of charm and beauty, who lived near them; she went by the name of Mrs. Bo. They said she had gone well to hounds in her youth but I had never observed her jump a twig. She often joined me when Peter and I were changing horses, and once or twice she had ridden home with us. Peter did not appear to like her much, but I was too busy to notice her one way or the other. I said to him I thought he was rather snubby to her: “After all she must have been a very pretty woman when she was young, and I don’t think it's nice of you to show such irritation when she joins us.” Peter: “Do you call her old?” Margot:“ Well—oldish I should say, she must be over thirty, isn’t she?” Peter: "Do you call that old?” Margot: “How old are you, Peter?” Peter: “I shan’t tell you.” One day I rode back from hunting wet to thes kin. As a matter of fact I

was going to have tea with Peter, who was laid up in bed with a chill. I had left the Bunbury brougham in his stables but I did not like to go back in wet clothes, so after seeing my horse comfortably gruelled I walked up to the charming lady’s house to borrow dry clothes. She was out, but her maid gave me a coat and skirt which—though much too big—served my purpose. After having tea with Peter I drove up to thank the lady for my clothes. I found her in a white boudoir which smelt of violets. She was lying on a long, heavily pillowed couch smoking a cigarette and greeted me coldly. I was just going away when she threw her cigarette into the fire and suddenly sitting erect said: “Wait! I have something to say to you.” I saw by the expression of her face, that I had no chance of getting away though I was tired, and felt at a strange disadvantage in my flowing skirts. Mrs. Bo: “Does it not strike you that going to tea with a man who is in bed is a thing no one can do?” Margot: “Going to see a man who is ill? No! Certainly not!” Mrs. Bo: “Well, then, let me tell you for your own information how it will strike everyone else. I am a much older woman than you, and I warn you you can't go on doing this. Why should you come down here among all of us who are friends and make mischief and create talk?” I felt chilled to the bone and got up, saying: “I think I had better leave you now as I am tired and you are angry.”

Mrs. Bo (getting up also and coming very close tí) me - : “Do you not know I would nurse Peter Flower through yellow fever? Bui though I have lived next door to him these last three years I would never do what you have done to-day.” The expression on her face was so intense that I felt sorry for her, so I said quite gently: “I do not see why you shouldn’t. Especially if you are all such friends down here as you say you are—everyone has a different idea of what is right and wrong. I must go I was determined not to stay a moment longer and walked to the door, but she had lost her head and said in a hard, rather bitter voice: “You say everyone has a different idea of right and wrong, but I should say you have none!” Peter and His Love Letters AT THIS I left the room. When I told Mrs. Bunbury this incident all she said was: “Cat! She’s jealous! Before you came down here Peter Flower was in love with her.” This was a great shock to me and I determined I would leave the Grafton country, as I had already been away too long from my people; so I wrote to Peter saying I was sorry not to say good-bye to him but that I had to go home. The next day was Sunday. I got my usual loveletters from Peter, who wrote every day—whether I saw him or not—telling me his temperature had gone up, and that he would give me his two best horses on Monday as at present he was not allowed to leave his room. After we had finished lunch Peter turned up looking ill and furious. Mrs. Bunbury greeted him sweetly and said: “You ought to be in bed, you know, but since you are here I’ll leave Margot to look after you while Jack and I go* round the stables.” Left to ourselves, Peter, looking at me, said: “Well! I’ve got your letter—what is all this about? Don’t you, know there are two horses coming over from Ireland this week which I want you particularly to ride for me?” I told him I had been away too long and that I was going home; I saw that he was thoroughly upset. “Have your people written to you?” he Margot: “They always write—” Peter (seeing the evasion): “What’s wrong?”

Margot: “What do you mean?" Peter: “You know quite well that no one has asked you to go home—something has happened; some one has said something to you. You’ve been put out. After all it was only yesterday that we were discussing every meet—and you promised to give me a lurcher. What has happened since to change you?” Margot: “What does it matter? I can always come down here again later on.” Peter: “How wanting in candour you are! You are not a bit like what I thought you Margot (sweetly): “No? . . ” Peter: “Not a bit! You are a regular woman. I thought differently of you someMargot: “You thought I was a dogfancier or a rough-rider, did you? with a good thick skin, I suppose.” Peter: “I fail to understand you! Are you alluding to the manners of my horses?” Margot: “No—to your friends.” Peter: “Ah—ah! nous-sommes! How can you be so childish! What did Mrs. Bo say to you?” Margot: “Oh! Spare me going into your friends’affairs!” Peter (flushed with temper but trying to control himself): “What does it matter what an old woman says whose nose has been put out of joint in the hunting field?” Margot: “You told me she was young.” Peter: “What an awful lie! You said she was pretty and I disagreed with you”—silence—“what did she say to you? I tell you she is jealous of you in the hunting field.” Margot: “No she’s not, she's jealous of me in your bedroom, and says I don’t know right from wrong Peter (startled at first and then bursting out laughing': “There’s nothing very original about that!” Margot (indignantly): “Do you mean to say that it's a platitude and that I don’t know what’s right from wrong?” Peter (taking my hands and kissing them with a sigh of relief): “I wonder!” Margot (getting up): “Well, after that nothing will induce me to stay down here or ride any of your horses c again! No regiment of soldiers will keep me!

Peter: "Really, darling, how can you so^ Who would ever think it wrong to go and see ip

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111 in bed! You had to ride my horse back to its stable, and it was your duty to come and ask after me and thank me for all the good horses I’ve put you on!”

Margot: “Evidently in this country I am not wanted—Mrs. Bo said so; and you ought to have warned me you were in love with her. You said I was not the woman you thought I was, well, I can say the same of you!”

Margot and Peter have a “Scene” AT THIS Peter got up and all his laughter disappeared:

“Do you mean what you say? Is this the impression you got from talking to Mrs. Bo?”

Margot: “Yes.”

Peter: “In that case I will go and see her and ask her which of the two of you is lying! If it’s you—you needn’t bother yourself to leave this country, for I shall sell my horses. I wish to God I had never met you!”

I felt very uncomfortable and unhappy, as in my heart I knew that Mrs. Bo had never said Peter was in love with her— she had not alluded to his feelings for her at all. I got up to stop him leaving the room and put myself in front of the door.

Margot: “Really, why make a scene! There is nothing so tiring, and you know quite well you are ill and ought to go to bed. Is there any object in going round the country discussing me?”

Peter: “Just go away, will you? I’m ill and want to get off.”

I did not move; I saw he was white with rage. The idea of going round the country talking about me was more than he could bear. I said, trying to mollify him :

“If you want to discuss me I am always willing to listen—there is nothing I enjoy 80 much as talking about myself.”

It was too late, all he said to me was: _ “Do you mind leaving that door, you tire me and it’s getting dark.”

Margot: “I will let you go, but promise me you won’t go to Mrs. Bo to-day, or if you do, tell me what you are going to say to her first.”

Peter: “You’ve never told me yet what she said to you except that I was in love with her, so why should I tell you what I propose saying to her? For once you cannot have it all your own way. You are BO spoilt since you’ve been down here that

I flung the dóór wide open and before he could finish his sentence ran up to my

Peter was curiously upsetting to the feminine sense, he wanted to conceal it and to expoàe it at the same time, under the impression it might arouse my jealousy. He was especially angry with me for dancing with King Edward, then the

Prince of Wales. I told him that if he would learn to waltz instead of prance I would dance with him more, but till he did I should choose my own partners. Over this we had a great row and after sitting out two dances with the Prince, I put on my cloak and walked to 40 Grosvenor Square without saying good-night to him. I was in my dressing-room, with my hair—my one claim to beauty—standing out all round my head, when I heard a j noise on the street and, looking down, I saw Peter standing on the wall of our porch looking across an angle of the area into the open window of the library, contemplating I presumed, jumping into it; I raced downstairs to stop this dangerous folly, but I was too late—as I opened the library door he had given a cat-like spring, knocking a flower-pot down into the area, and was by my side. I lit two candles on the writingtable and sat scolding him for his recklessness. He told me he had made a great deal of money by jumping from a stand on ! to tables and things, and once he had won I 500 pounds by jumping on to a mantel| piece when the fire was burning. As we ¡ were talking I heard voices in the area, j Peter with the instinct of a burglar inj stantly lay flat on the ground close behind I the sofa, his head under the valance of 1 the chintz, and I remained at the writingj table smoking my cigarette; this was done j in one second. The door opened, I looked round and was blinded .by the blaze of a bull’s-eye lantern. When it was removed from my face, I saw two policemen, an inspector, and my father’s servant. I got up slowly and with my head in the air sat upon the arm of the sofa, blocking the only possibility of.Peter’s full length being

Margot (with great dignity): “Is this a practical joke?”

Inspector (coolly): “Notat all, madam, but it is only right to tell you a hansom cabman informed as that, as he was passing this house a few minutes ago, he saw a man jumping into that window.”

Peter Remains Under the Conch T TREMBLED as he walked to the •l window and, holding his lantern over the area, peered down and saw the broken flower-pot. I knew lying was more than useless, and as the truth had always served me well I said, giving my father’s servant, who looked sleepy, a heavy kick on the instep:

“That is quite true, a friend of mine did jump in at that window, about a quarter of an hour ago, but” (with a sweet and modest smile) “he was not a burglar

Henry Hill (my father’s servant): “How often I’ve told you, miss, that, as long as

Master Edward loses his latch-keys, there is nothing to be done, and something is bound to happen! One day he will not only lose the latch-key but lose his life.” Inspector: "I’m sorry to have frightened you, madam. I will now take down your names—” Margot (anxiously): “Oh, I see, you have to report it in the police news, have you? Has the cabman given you his name? He ought to be rewarded, he might have saved us all!” I felt that I could have strangled the cabman, but, collecting myself, took a candle off the writing table, blowing the other out, and led the way to the library door and saying slowly: “Margaret. . Damn. . Alice Tennant. Do I have to add my occupation?” Inspector (busily writing in small notebook): “No, thank you.” (TurningAto Hill): “Your name, please.” My father’s servant was thoroughly roused, and I regretted my kick when in a voice of thunder he said: "Henry—Hastings—Appleby Hill.” I felt quite sure that my father would appear over the top of the stair and then all would be over, but fortune favored the brave: perfect silence reigned in the house. I walked away, while Hill led the three policemen into the front hall. When the door had been barred and bolted, I ran down the back stairs and said, smiling brightly:

“I shall tell my father about this! You did very well: good-night, Hill. . . ” When the coast was clear, I returned to the library with my heart beating and shut the door. I told Peter I was done for, that my name would be ringing in the police news next day, and that I was quite sure by the inspector’s face that he knew exactly what had happened; that all this came from his infernal temper, idiotic jealousy, and complete want of selfcontrol. Agitated and eloquent, I was good for another ten minutes’ abuse, but he interrupted me by saying, in his most caressing manner:

“The inspector is all right, he is a friend of mine—I wouldn’t have missed this for the whole world; you were magnificent! Which shall we reward, the policeman, the cabman, or Hill?”

Margot: “Don’t be ridiculous! What do you propose doing?”

Peter (trying to kiss my hands, which I had purposely put behind my back): “I propose having a chat with Inspector Wood and then with Hastings Appleby.” Margot: “How do you know Inspector Wood, as you call him?”

Peter: “He did a friend of mine a very good turn once.” Margot: “What sort of turn?” Peter: “Sugar Candy insulted me at the Turf and I was knocking him into a jelly in Brick Street, when Wood intervened and saved his life. I can assure you he would do anything for me—I will give him a handsome present.” Margot: “How vulgar, having a brawl in Brick Street! That is in the East End I suppose. . . ?” Peter: “East End! Why it’s next to Down Street out of Piccadilly.” Margot: “It’s very wrong to bribe the police!” Peter: “I’mTnot going to bribe him, governess! I’m going to give him my Airedale terrier.” Margot: “That brute that killed_the lady’s lap-dog?” Peter: “The very same.” Margot: “Poor Wood!” Whistling Under Window at Midnight PETER was so elated with this shattering escapade that a week after—on the occasion of another row, in which I pointed out he was the most selfish man in the world—I heard him whistling under my bed-room window at midnight. Afraid lest he should wake my parents, I ran down in my dressing-gown to open the frontdoor, but nothing would induce the chain to move. It had been put on for the first time, as far as I could remember, since Hill had barred out the police. Being particularly weak in my fingers, I gave it up and went to the open window in the library. I begged him to go away as nothing would induce me to forgive him, and told him that my papa had only just gone to bed. Peter, unmoved, ordered me to take away the flower-pot, or he would make a horrible noise, which would wake the house. After I had refused to do this, he said he would very likely break his neck when he jumped, as clearing the flower-pot would mean hitting his head against the window

frame. Fearing an explosion of 'temper, I weakly removed the flower-pot and watched his acrobatic feat with delight.

We had not been talking on the sofa five minutes before I heard a shuffling step outside the library door. I put out the two candles on the writing-table and sat noiselessly on the sofa beside Peter in black darkness. The door opened and my father holding a bed-room candle in his hand walked slowly round the pictures. The sofa on which we' were sitting was in the window and had nothing behind it. He held his bright candle close to every

picture in turn, and, putting his head forward, scanned them lovingly. I saw Peter’s idiotic hat and stick on a chair under the Gainsborough and could not resist nudging him as “The Ladies Erne and Dillon” were slowly approached. « A candle held near one’s face is the most blinding of all things, and, after inspecting the sloping shoulders and anaemic faces of the Gainsborough ladies, my father happily returned to his bed.

Mrs. Asquith’s “Reminiscences” will be concluded in the January 15 issue. She will tell more about her flirtation with “Peter Flower,” and tell MacLean’s readers how it ended.