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Page 127

CHAPTER X

" Alec sat next to her the other night at dinner," said Lady Bridget, " and said she was a nice little thing."
" Of course, Alec has simple tastes. Like all guardees."
" Oh shut up, Peter ; don't be superior."
" I am ... to guardees."
" Well, here we are boys," said Lord Periton. By Jove, what a crowd. Andrews, you'd better be here by six with the car." He gave his grey topper a rakish twist and took his wife's arm.
There was a big crush by the entrance gates of Lord's. Men were hawking trays of celluloid babies in bows of dark and light blue ribbon. Newsboys shouted the racing editions of the evening papers. People were still surging into the ground. Inside the gates, the asphalt walks were a mass of toppers and nodding picture hats. Denis had a glimpse between two shoulders of a yellow green distance and small figures in white, doing nothing in particular in its centre. The crowds buzzed and hummed. A wicket must have fallen.
A smiling, harassed face greeted them at the coach.
" Lady Florence, this is Denis Bailey, who is staying with us," said Lady Periton. " Miss Annette and Miss Jean Wreath." Everybody shook hands. Jean Wreath's hands . were moist and clinging, thought Denis, but she was beautifully dressed.
" How's the London season, Annette ?" said Peter. " Having a success ? "
Annette laughed. " We'll take a top seat. Denis, Come on, Jean and Annette, up you come."
" Be careful, girls," said Lady Florence.
" Make room for father," said Lord Periton. " By Jove, four Harrow wickets down for thirty-three."
" Eighty-one for one wicket," said Peter. " Last man thirty-three. Number four batting. Even I can do that, though I'm supposed to be a wetbob."
" Never mind," said Lord Periton. " Once we start tumbling them out, eh, Jean ?"
" Yes, Lord Periton. Ow ! "

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