"Time thou wilt have to take, Dad," she said, with an arch grin, showing two rows of gleaming pearls. "This gentleman is my Lord Twemlow's chaplain, whom he sends to exhort you, requesting you to have the civility to hear him."
"Exhort be damned, and Twemlow be damned too!" cried Sir Jeoffry, who had a great quarrel with his lordship and hated him bitterly. "What does the canting fool mean?"
"Sir," faltered the poor message-bearer, "his lordship hath--hath been concerned--having heard--"
The handsome creature balanced against the table took the tankard from her lips and laughed.
"Having heard thy daughter rides to field in breeches, and is an unseemly-behaving wench," she cried, "his lordship sends his chaplain to deliver a discourse thereon--not choosing to come himself. Is not that thy errand, reverend sir?"
The chaplain, poor man, turned pale, having caught, as she spoke, a glimpse of Sir Jeoffry's reddening visage.
"Madam," he faltered, bowing--"Madam, I ask pardon of you most humbly! If it were your pleasure to deign to--to--allow me--"
She set the tankard on the table with a rollicking smack, and thrust her hands in her breeches-pockets, swaying with laughter; and, indeed, 'twas ringing music, her rich great laugh, which, when she grew of riper years, was much lauded and written verses on by her numerous swains.