"HOW WELL YOU KNEW!"
Too Long; Didn't ReadIt was necessary also that some communication should be made to Phineas, so that he might not come across Madame Goesler unawares. Lady Chiltern was more alive to that necessity than she had been to the other, and felt that the gentleman, if not warned of what was to take place, would be much more likely than the lady to be awkward at the trying moment. Madame Goesler would in any circumstances be sure to recover her self-possession very quickly, even were she to lose it for a moment; but so much could hardly be said for the social powers of Phineas Finn. Lady Chiltern therefore contrived to see him alone for a moment on his arrival. "Who do you think is here?"
"Lady Laura has not come!"
"Indeed, no; I wish she had. An old friend, but not so old as Laura!"
"I cannot guess;—not Lord Fawn?"
"Lord Fawn! What would Lord Fawn do here? Don't you know that Lord Fawn goes nowhere since his last matrimonial trouble? It's a friend of yours, not of mine."
"Madame Goesler?" whispered Phineas.
"How well you knew when I said it was a friend of yours. Madame Goesler is here,—not altered in the least."
"Does it annoy you?"
"Oh, no. Why should it annoy me?"
"You never quarrelled with her?"
"There is no reason why you should not meet her?"
"None at all;—only I was surprised. Did she know that I was coming?"
"I told her yesterday. I hope that I have not done wrong or made things unpleasant. I knew that you used to be friends."