Affairs of State

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: E CHAPTER III SMsttnflutabcO arrivals at VEN at this unaccustomed hour of the morning, the beach was black with people. It was not to bathe that they had come, for a chill north wind was blowing; nor was it to promenade, for they were not promenading; indeed, it was the fashionable hour for neither of these things, and no one ever dreamed of doing them at any hour other than the fashionable one. It was rather the fashionable hour to turn painfully over in one's bed, and ring the bell, and signify that coffee and rolls would be acceptable. This morning there had been scant time for such refreshment, or for that preliminary stretching which is so grateful to bodies wearied by late hours and too-rapid living. Instead, nearly all the sojourners at Weet-sur-Mer had arisen aching from their beds, had hurried forth to the beach, and stood there now, facing unanimously seawards, staring toward the dim horizon, only moving convulsively from time to time in the effort to keep warm. Those who had glasses used them; those who had none, strained nature's binoculars to the limit of vision. From all of which it will be seen that the notary had done his work well, and that neither had Monsieur Pelletan been backward in spreading the great news of the unparalleled occurrence which was about to happen. "He iss to arrive between t'e hours of seven unt eight," he had announced. "Hiss Highness, pe it understood, Lord Vernon, t'e great Englishman. He comes in a special vessel— a sheep-of-t'e-war," he added with a triumphant flourish. "He could pring mit' him t'e whole nafy of England, if he wish'!" Ah, what an honour for Weet-sur-Mer! Andwhat a blow for the Grand Hotel Splendide across the way! Yet Monsieur Pelletan did not in the least understand how it had come to pass; he suspe...
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