The cut of the Paget hat was an
heirloom for the next generation or two, and the gallant
Marquis' boots and tightly-strapped trousers were patterns of
polish and precision.
The limp was perceptible; but of which
leg, was, in spite of careful investigation, beyond my
diagnosis. His presence provoked my curiosity, till one fine
day it became too strong for resistance. While he was busily
engaged in conversation with my mother, I, watching for the
chance, sidled up to his chair, and as soon as he looked
away, rammed my heel on to his toes. They were his toes.
And considering the jump and the oath which instantly
responded to my test, I am persuaded they were abnormally
tender ones. They might have been made of corns, certainly
not of cork.
Another discovery I made about this period was, for me at
least, a 'record': it happened at Quidenham - my grandfather
the 4th Lord Albemarle's place.
Some excursion was afoot, which needed an early breakfast.
When this was half over, one married couple were missing. My
grandfather called me to him (I was playing with another
small boy in one of the window bays). 'Go and tell Lady
Maria, with my love,' said he, 'that we shall start in half
an hour. Stop, stop a minute. Be sure you knock at the
door.' I obeyed orders - I knocked at the door, but failed
to wait for an answer. I entered without it.
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