bout?" wondered Mrs. De Peyster, and following the voice toward its source she stepped into her reception-room. Instantly there sprang up and stood before her a young man with the bland, smiling, excessively polite manner of a gentleman-brigand. And around her crowded five or six other figures.
Matilda, pressing through them, glared at these invaders in helpless wrath, then at her mistress in guilty terror.
"I--I did my best, ma'am. But they wouldn't go." And before punishment could fall she discreetly fled.
"Pardon this seeming intrusion, Mrs. De Peyster," the foremost young man said rapidly, smoothly, appeasingly. "But we could not go, as you requested. The sailing of Mrs. De Peyster, under the attendant circumstances, is a piece of news of first importance; in fact, almost a national event. We simply had to see you. I trust you perceive and appreciate our professional predicament."
Mrs. De Peyster was glaring at him with devastating majesty.
"This--this is an outrage!"
"Perhaps it may see
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