"He certainly told us plainly enough that he would do it," said Miss Vance testily.
"Oh, you don't understand him! You have had so little to do with young men. They are all liable to attacks like that--as to measles and scarlet fever. But they pass off. Now, George is not as susceptible as most of them. But," lowering her voice, "he was madly in love with the butcher's Kate when he was ten, and five years afterward offered to marry the widow Potts. I thought he had outgrown the disease. There has been nothing of the kind since, until this fancy. It is passing off. Of course it is mortifying enough to think that such a poor creature as that could attract him for an hour."
"I was to blame," Miss Vance said, with an effort. "I brought her in his way. But how was I to know that she was such a cat, and he such---- If he should marry her----"
Mrs. Waldeaux laughed angrily. "You are too absurd, Clara. A flirtation with such a woman was degrading enough, but George is not quite mad. He has not even spoken of her for days. Oh, here he comes! That is his step on the stairs." She ran to the door. "He found that I was out and has followed me. He is the most ridiculous mother's boy! Well, George, here I am! Have you thought of some thing new for me to see?" She glanced at Miss Vance, well pleased that she should see the lad's foolish fondness for her.
George forced a smile. He looked worn and jaded. Miss Vance noticed that his usually neat cravat was awry and his hands were gloveless. "Yes," he said. "It is a lit- tle church. The oldest in London. I want to show it to you."
Miss Vance tied on Mrs. Waldeaux's bonnet, smoothing her hair affectionately. "There are too many gray hairs here for your age, Frances," she said. "George, you should keep your mother from worry and work. Don't let her hair grow gray so soon."
George bowed. "I hope I shall do my duty," he said, with dignity. "Come, mother."
As they drove down Piccadilly Mrs. Waldeaux chattered eagerly to her son. She could not pour out her teeming fancies about this new world to any body else, but she could not talk fast enough to him. Had they not both been waiting for a lifetime to see this London?