The Lesson of the Master by Henry James
He had been told the ladies were at church, but this was corrected
by what he saw from the top of the steps - they descended from a
great height in two arms, with a circular sweep of the most
charming effect - at the threshold of the door which, from the long
bright gallery, overlooked the immense lawn. Three gentlemen, on
the grass, at a distance, sat under the great trees, while the
fourth figure showed a crimson dress that told as a "bit of colour"
amid the fresh rich green. The servant had so far accompanied Paul
Overt as to introduce him to this view, after asking him if he
wished first to go to his room. The young man declined that
privilege, conscious of no disrepair from so short and easy a
journey and always liking to take at once a general perceptive
possession of a new scene. He stood there a little with his eyes
on the group and on the admirable picture, the wide grounds of an
old country-house near London - that only made it better - on a
splendid Sunday in June. "But that lady, who's SHE?" he said to
the servant before the man left him.
"I think she's Mrs. St. George, sir."
"Mrs. St. George, the wife of the distinguished - " Then Paul
Overt checked himself, doubting if a footman would know.