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The Blotting Book by E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
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The Blotting Book

By E. F. BENSON

1908




CHAPTER I


Mrs. Assheton's house in Sussex Square, Brighton, was appointed with that
finish of smooth stateliness which robs stateliness of its formality, and
conceals the amount of trouble and personal attention which has,
originally in any case, been spent on the production of the smoothness.
Everything moved with the regularity of the solar system, and, superior
to that wild rush of heavy bodies through infinite ether, there was never
the slightest fear of comets streaking their unconjectured way across the
sky, or meteorites falling on unsuspicious picnicers. In Mrs. Assheton's
house, supreme over climatic conditions, nobody ever felt that rooms
were either too hot or too cold, a pleasantly fresh yet comfortably warm
atmosphere pervaded the place, meals were always punctual and her
admirable Scotch cook never served up a dish which, whether plain or
ornate, was not, in its way, perfectly prepared. A couple of deft and
noiseless parlour-maids attended to and anticipated the wants of her
guests, from the moment they entered her hospitable doors till when, on
their leaving them, their coats were held for them in the most convenient
possible manner for the easy insertion of the human arm, and the tails of
their dinner-coats cunningly and unerringly tweaked from behind. In every