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THE LITTLE DRUMMER.CHAPTER VI
For some time the character of Paul had become more and more gloomy and menacing; his mind was filled with the darkest suspicions, even to the extent of believing that the Empress and his children were conspiring against his life; which was all the more terrible for the Empress Marie, as they had for many years, as long as the Empress Catherine lived, been very happy together, and in spite of everything she still remained deeply attached to him.
"Can you suppose I should have insulted you by coming here without asking you some favour?""Yes, there we are all agreed. Mr. Crowther had the good taste to find a charming site, and the bad taste to erect an architectural monstrosity, a chimera in red brick. There was a grange once in the heart of that wood, and the Crowthers have the advantage of acorns and chestnuts that sowed themselves while the sleepy old monks were telling their beads. How do you like Miss Crowther?"
"There is no occasion. My wife has no secrets from me."