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He adored Patience Hancock for no perceptible earthly reason except that he had known her in short frocks, and besides this weak-minded adoration he regarded her as part and parcel of the business, and regarded her commands as equivalent to the commands of her brother.Some months ago she had met Bevan on board Sir Charles Napier’s yacht; they had spent a fortnight cruising about the Balearic Islands and the Riff coast of Morocco, had been sea-sick together, and bored together, and finally had, one moonlight night, become engaged. It was a cold-blooded affair despite the moonlight, and they harboured no illusions one of the other, and no doubts.”I believe in being good, and I believe in father, and I believe one ought always to make every one as happy as possible and be kind to animals. I believe people who ill-treat animals go to hell—at least, I hope they do.””Nothing; only I might have called and seen Mrs Harmer. She has such a pretty daughter, and I’d have liked you to have seen her, for she’s the image of Fanny Lambert.” She stared full at Mr Bevan as she said this, and there was a something in her tone and a something in her manner, and a something in her glance that made Charles Bevan lose control of his facial capillaries and blush.Mr Bevan, since his visit to Highgate, dreamed often at nights of monstrous asparagus beds, and his friends and acquaintances noticed that he seemed distrait.”Then open the door, I wish to see her.”

“P.S.—I’m in such good spirits. F. L.” Women’s Canada Goose Expedition Parka Mid Grey “Oh, I’m as old as the hills,” cried Fanny in the voice of a blasé woman of the world, making a grab at a passing moth and then flinging her hat after it, “as old as the—mercy! what’s that?” “I have been going to write for the last few days, but have been so busy. I could go on the picnic to-day if it would suit you[Pg 114] I’ll call at the studio at one o’clock. If you can’t come, send me a wire. Oh, I forgot to say Mr Hancock came home the other day with me and had a long talk with father, and Mr Bevan called to-day and was awfully jolly, and I’ll tell you all about it when we meet. Give my love to Mr Verneede.”Fanny!” cried Leavesley, as he stood before her in the drawing-room of “The Laurels” (she had just entered the room, having returned from posting her letter).”I mean I ought to be perfectly miserable,” said Miss Lambert with a charming smile, “but somehow I’m not. Do you know, I never am what I ought to be. When I ought to be happy I’m miserable, and when I ought to be miserable I’m happy. Father says I was addled at birth, and that I ought to have been put out of doors on a red-hot shovel as they used to do long ago in Ireland with the omadlunns, or was it the changelings—no matter. I wanted to talk to you about father—no, please don’t go,” to Verneede, who had[Pg 13] made a little movement as if to say “Am I de trop?” “You are both so clever I’m sure you will be able to give me good advice. He’s worrying so.”Pamela looked pleased.”A what?” Women’s Canada Goose Expedition Parka Mid Grey The old gentleman grew suddenly so crimson that his nephew shut the door and bolted. He little guessed how àpropos that question was.PART II CHAPTER I A REVELATION Women’s Canada Goose Expedition Parka Mid Grey “No,” said Fanny, “but they’re going to catch it whatever they are, for I heard father say so—Oh, what a moon! I am sure the fairies must be out to-night.”Fanny nestled closer to him as if to make up, and went on:”Well, if you ask me,” said Charles Bevan, as if he were giving his opinion on some object[Pg 79] of vértu, “I’d say they were more like—the other things.””Why can you not let it?” Women’s Canada Goose Expedition Parka Mid Grey “One of the few living artists who can paint light. I may say that he paints light with a delicacy and an elegance all his own. Fiat Lux”—the shelf came down with a crash and a cloud of dust—”as the poet says—pray don’t move, I will restore the débris—as the poet says. Now the gem of my young friend Leavesley’s collection, in my mind, is the John the Baptist.””A week,” said Fanny, “but it seems a year.””Oh, you poor child,” thought Charles, “how much you must have suffered at the hands of that pig-headed fool of a father of yours—to think of a good estate coming to this!””No, indeed.””Bad isn’t the word,” replied Miss Lambert, plucking the petals from the daisy one by one. “He loves me—he loves me not—he loves me—he loves me not—he loves me.””Why not the black ones?””Not I—at least, how can I? If she won’t answer that letter there’s no use in writing any more.” Women’s Canada Goose Expedition Parka Mid Grey “Oh, you idiot!”From somewhere in the distance came the sound of Susannah singing and cleaning a window, a song like a fetish song interrupted by the sound of the window being closed to see if it was clean enough, and flung up again with a jerk, that spoke of dissatisfaction. These sounds of a sudden ceased.”Certainly, I’ll be delighted,” said Charles, rising.

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“Well, you ought to wonder at her,” said Charles in a hectoring voice, blowing a cloud of smoke at a bumble-bee that had alighted on Fanny’s dress, and was rubbing its hands together as if in satisfaction at the prosperous times and the plenty of flowers.CHAPTER III THE RESULT—(continued)Mr Bevan patronised “Brooks'” and the “Reform.”Much marvelling, the artist followed. He saw Hancock hail a passing four-wheeler, and open the door. Fanny got in, her companion gave some directions to the driver,[Pg 26] got in after the girl, closed the door, and the cab drove off.As the boar sharpens its tusks against a tree preparatory to using them to carve human flesh, so had Miss Hancock sharpened the tusks of her temper upon Belinda.

“Exactly,” said Verneede, “common-sense; if this Mr—er—the uncle of my friend Leavesley, is endowed with common-sense and a sense of justice—yes, justice and a feeling for beauty——” Women’s Canada Goose Goose Dawson Parka Black “Yes; I leave you in charge.”The night before, after the other members of the household had retired, James had taken it into his head to sit up in the library over the remains of the fire left by Fanny. The room, as a consequence, reeked of stale tobacco, a tumbler stood on the table convenient to the armchair. Needless to say, the tumbler was empty. Women’s Canada Goose Goose Dawson Parka Black “Miss Fanny Lambert called some time ago on Mr James. She called in distress about the action. Mr James interviewed her,[Pg 157] and discovered that her father was in a very bad way, financially speaking. He took pity on them——””That there wasn’t a man there?””God bless my soul!” said Mr Verneede.”There are poor and poor. To give beer to a tramp is in my opinion a distinctly wicked act; it is simply feeding the flames of drunkenness, as Mr Bulders says. You have heard of Mr Bulders?”PART IV CHAPTER I “THE ROOST””Good morning, uncle.””Fanny,” said Leavesley, ignoring the saccharine possibilities of Mr Verneede—”may I call you Fanny?””But what I can’t make out,” said Leavesley—”This fellow Bevan, you said he was a beast, and now you seem quite gone on him.”[Pg 263] Women’s Canada Goose Goose Dawson Parka Black At Liverpool Street, having seen Miss Lambert into an omnibus (she refused to be seen home, knowing full well the distance from Highgate to Chelsea), Leavesley, filled[Pg 140] with a great depression of spirits, went with Verneede and sat in pubs, and smoked clay pipes, and drank beer.”Yes,” said Charles tentatively, wondering who “James, you know” might be.”Yes, I suppose it is,” said Fanny, suddenly abandoning her argumentative tone for one of reverie. “It’s the people in the world that make it so horrid and so nice.” Women’s Canada Goose Goose Dawson Parka Black “I don’t——””Oh, d——n!” said Leavesley. Women’s Canada Goose Goose Dawson Parka Black He saw an elephant advancing towards him swinging its trunk like a pendulum; to avoid it he took a path that led to the Fish House. His one desire now was to get out of the gardens and get home. He recognised now that he had made a serious mistake in entering the gardens at all. To have returned at once to Miss Hancock with the information that her brother had simply taken Miss Lambert to the Zoo would have been[Pg 174] the proper and sensible course to have pursued.[Pg 248]”I wouldn’t. What’s the good of going to these foreign places? stay here.””Hullo,” he said to Verneede, “what did you call that thing for?” “The Laurels, Highgate.”You mean, James, that you have written a letter of proposal—that you intend, in short, to marry Miss Lambert?”

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“Yes, she knows that, but she says she can’t help herself.”[Pg 92]”Pounds.””Why, I was staying in the same house with him down in Sussex for a day.””I brought them from the cellar, Miss,” said the maid with a side glance at Charles—she was a good-natured-looking girl when not defending the hall door, but her under jaw seemed like the avenue gate, half off its hinges, and her intellect to be always oozing away through her half-open mouth. “They were the best I could find.”

“But,” roared Hancock, whose face had been slowly crimsoning, or purpling rather, since the mention of his sister’s name, “how[Pg 180] the blazes did she know I was going anywhere?””Oh!” Canada Goose Montebello Parka Blue Topaz Women’s Bridgewater was silent.But Mr Bevan was gone, strutting out like an enraged turkey-cock through the outer office.”Here’s five shillings; will that be enough?”Ere he had reached the middle of the avenue he heard a voice calling, “Cousin Charley!””To be married?””Yes; why?””I just dropped in to say good-night. Am I disturbing you?””What about him?” Canada Goose Montebello Parka Blue Topaz Women’s “He said we weren’t to tell.””I beg your pardon?” said Mr Bevan.”Ah! I had connected him with the idea of red roses. Why is it that in thinking of roses one always figures them red?””All the good luck seems coming together,” said Fanny with a happy sigh, as Charles went to the window and looked out at the moon, rising in a cloudless sky over the forsaken garden and ruined tennis ground. “Not that it matters much if we get those jewels whether the old mines go up or down; still, no matter how rich one becomes, more money is always useful.””Younger brothers are nobodies. I say I have a younger brother, he writes most excellent verse—reams of it. Some years ago he would have been pursued by publishers. Well, only the other day he copied out some of his most cherished productions and approached a London publisher with them. He entered the office at five o’clock, and some few minutes later the people in Piccadilly were asking of each other, ‘What’s all that row in Vigo Street?’ No, a publisher of to-day would as soon see a burglar in his office as a poet.””I don’t think you’d call it music,” said Miss Lambert, “if you heard me at the dentist’s when he’s working that drill thing—ugh! Come.” “Charley.””You don’t mean to say he’s——”The Highgate Frenchwoman was dangling something gaudy and flimsy before Fanny’s[Pg 98] eyes, and the girl had her purse in her hand. Canada Goose Montebello Parka Blue Topaz Women’s He followed her, much wondering, and they passed down a shady path till they lost sight of the house. Canada Goose Montebello Parka Blue Topaz Women’s Canada Goose Montebello Parka Blue Topaz Women’s “Yes, but Pamela told me last night the Lamberts are simply stone-broke. Mr Lambert told her all his affairs, his estates are all encumbered. She says he’s just like a child, and wants protecting; so he is, and so’s Fanny; they’re both a pair of children, and you are just the man to keep Fanny straight, and make her life happy and buy her beautiful clothes and diamonds. Why, she’ll be the rage of London, Fanny will, if she’s only properly staged—and she’s a dear and a good woman, and would make any man happy. My!””Hancock lent you the money to pay your bills?” cried Charles, feeling like a person in a dream.Pamela Pursehouse at this stage of her career was verging on thirty, the only daughter of the late John Pursehouse of Birmingham, and an orphan. She was exceedingly rich.

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“Is there any chance, do you think?” asked Leavesley brightening. He knew something of stock exchange jargon. The Captain was great on stock exchange matters, when he was not occupied in pawning his clothes and sending wild messages to his friends for assistance. Women’s Canada Goose Camrose Parka White Charles Bevan rose from his chair and went to the window.”You’ve said that before—what lady, and what about her?” The recollection of Leavesley’s words shot up in her brain.”How very unfortunate!” said Mr Verneede. “How very unfortunate!” Women’s Canada Goose Camrose Parka White

Women’s Canada Goose Camrose Parka White Pamela was silent, and the inspiriting dialogue ceased.”I am afraid—I am afraid, Miss Patience, there is—well—not to put too fine a point upon it—a lady.””What?””We have his ticket, too,” said Leavesley. “He’s very likely gone back to the station; if we don’t find him there I’ll leave his ticket with the station-master.””I will see,” said Mr Bevan. “I frankly confess that Miss Lambert—of course, this is between you and me—that Miss Lambert has made me think a good deal about her, but these things are not done in a moment.””Any name?” asked the clerk.”That’s no use, might as well live in the moon. No matter, you’ll do, an excellent substitute like What’s-his-name’s marmalade.””Sure you won’t take this easy-chair?””What sort of people?””I can’t,” said Mr Hancock, “I am waiting for a lady—my sister, she has just gone into that shop. I’ll tell you, I will see you, any time you like, to-morrow.””Aunt!””What did you talk about?””Go on.” Women’s Canada Goose Camrose Parka White “Fire away,” cut in Leavesley. Women’s Canada Goose Camrose Parka White Now at any moment he might find himself confronted with the two people he dreaded to meet. What should he say suppose he met them? What could he say? The anguish of this thought drove him from the Fish House, where he had taken temporary refuge. He took a path which ended in an elephant; it was the same elephant he had seen before, but he did not know it. A side path, which he pursued hastily, brought him to the polar bear. Here he asked his way to the nearest gate of a young man and maiden who were gazing at the bear. The young man promptly pointed out a path; he took it, and found himself at the Monkey House.”Oh yes,” replied Fanny, suddenly remembering that her connection with the matter ought to be kept dark. “Put Hancock.” “Fanny Lambert.She went to the table and blew out the candles.”The butcher’s bill, and Stokes the baker’s bill, and the milk bill, and some others.”This ash-cat took the piece of pasteboard, and made a pretence of reading it, invited Charles to enter, and then closing the door, and barring it this time as if to keep him in, should he try to escape, led the way across a rather empty hall to a library.She stopped suddenly.

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[Pg 80]”I’ve only got one pound four.””How old are you? Sixty-three? (stab), that’s what you say, but you know very well you were born sixty-five years and six months ago. Wake up (stab, stab), you must not go to sleep. Sixty-five—five years more and you will be seventy; fifteen years more and you’ll be eighty, and you are in love (stab, stab, stab). I’ll teach you to eat sweet cakes and ice creams; I’ll (stab) teach you to drink Burgundy. And you dared to call me Arthritic Rheumatism the other night, you (stab) dared! Now, go to sleep (stab, stab) … wake up again, I want to speak to you,” etc., etc., etc.Mr Hancock noted the watch and the name and number of the shop, and they passed on.”Was your father at home?”

“Sonning-on-Thames.””How awfully funny! Did he tell you?” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Black Women’s For Sale “Pull up,” cried Bridgewater, poking his umbrella through the trap.”What?””Yessir.” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Black Women’s For Sale “We have several people staying with us, did I tell you?” said Pamela as she led the way. “Hamilton-Cox, the man who wrote the ‘Pillar of Salt,’ and Wilson—Professor Wilson of Oxford, and—but come on, and I’ll introduce you.””You have had no word from Mr Charles Bevan, sir, since he called the other day?””Oh, they are so lonely and so poky, and landladies rob one so.””Look here, Verneede, you were all right when you got there, I hope?””Mr Frank!””I wanted to go to Paris, and father said I should, but he would have to think first about the money. Then he went into the library, and took me on his knee, and smoked a pipe.[Pg 61] He always gets money when he sits and has what he calls a ‘good think’ and smokes a pipe. So he got the money and we went to Paris. We had a lovely time!””What?””Thanks awfully,” said Fanny; “it’s awfully good of you to take the trouble. Please excuse the untidiness; we are in a great upset for—the painters are coming in. Won’t you come into the breakfast-room? There’s a fire there; it’s not cold, I know, but I always think a fire is so bright.””Awfully.””He sent most impertinent letters,” said Fanny, “and I told father not to mind them, then James came.””I must, I must—Oh dear, I wish I were dead. I will always be your friend—I will always be a sister to you.””Dear me, dear me! I wish I hadn’t spoken now. I’m sure it’s nothing wrong. I think, very possibly, I have been mistaken.””Most, most—most clear and comprehensive,” concurred Mr Verneede.She led the way to the breakfast-room, her visitor following, anxious to see as much as she could of the inner working of the Lambert household.”Thank you——” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Black Women’s For Sale And this is the last.'”Oh, nonsense! you meant it. Well, I think I am the best judge of my own propriety, and I see nothing improper in the transaction. My aunt is here, Lulu Morgan is here, you are here, Professor Wilson is here, there’s a poet coming to-morrow—I suppose that’s improper too. I do wish you would be[Pg 233] sensible; besides, Mr Lambert is not a married man, he is a widower.””Blowing out the lights; it’s so much nicer sitting in the moonlight. Fill your glass and sit down beside me.” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Black Women’s For Sale Fanny said nothing, but went on with her chain.”I’d be delighted to do anything,” said Leavesley. “What is this man Bevan like?” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Black Women’s For Sale

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Miss Hancock looked around her at the books, at the carpet, at the general litter. She came to the mantelpiece and touched it, looked at the tip of her gloved finger to assay the quantity of dust to the square millimetre, said, “Pah!” and sat down in the armchair. A Pink Un of George Lambert’s lay invitingly near her on the table; she picked it up, glanced at the title, read a joke, turned purple, and dropped the raciest of all racing papers just as Fanny, fresh and charming, but somewhat bewildered-looking, entered the room.”You mean it’s improper for me to have Mr Lambert staying here as a guest?” “Improper was not the word I used.””James, you need not be vulgar,” said his sister.”Did you never see the mushrooms growing in rings? Well, how could they grow like that if they were not planted, and who’d be bothered planting umbrella mushrooms in rings but the fairies?”

Much marvelling, the artist followed. He saw Hancock hail a passing four-wheeler, and open the door. Fanny got in, her companion gave some directions to the driver,[Pg 26] got in after the girl, closed the door, and the cab drove off. Womens Montebello Parka Steel Canada Goose clearance “Ah!” said Mr Verneede, with the air of a physician at a consultation. He was in his element, he saw a prospect of unburthening himself of some of his superfluous advice.Verneede scratched his head.Fanny glanced in Leavesley’s direction, and then she and her companion walked away down Southampton Row, Hancock walking with his long stride; Fanny trotting beside him, neither, apparently, speaking one to the other.”I wasn’t thinking of the office—give me that writing-case over there; I must write a letter.”Mr Hancock leisurely helped himself to one of the largest and sweetest-looking of the specimens of “Italian confectionery” before[Pg 169] him; Fanny helped herself to its twin, and there was silence for a moment.”What are you?”He did not hesitate a moment in doing the worst thing possible; as an animal enters a trap, he entered the Monkey House. He[Pg 175] would have shut and bolted the door behind him had such a proceeding been feasible.Leavesley laughed. Womens Montebello Parka Steel Canada Goose clearance “To Miss Pamela Pursehouse,Leavesley sighed.CHAPTER II THE RESULT”No thanks, I only drink water, wine flies to my head; I am like James. I am going to have a peach—have one.””What’s the time?” asked Miss Lambert, putting on her gloves. Leavesley looked at his watch. Womens Montebello Parka Steel Canada Goose clearance As we have indicated, his emotions were mixed. Fanny’s face, her “sweetly pretty face,” appealed to him; that she had fascinated Mr James, he felt sure; that he ought instantly to inform Miss Hancock he felt certain; that he had a lot of important letters to write and business to transact with Mr Purvis and Mr[Pg 152] Isaacs were facts. Between these facts and these fancies the old man sat scratching his head with the stump of his pen, staring at the letters before him, and pretending to be busy. Born in the age of valentines and sentiment, he had carried along with him through life a “feeling” for the other sex; to be frank, the feeling was compounded mainly of shyness, but not altogether. I doubt if there lives a man in whose life’s history there exists not a woman in some form or other, either living and active in the present, or dead and a memory—a leaf in amber.”It’s like going to the dentist; I always take father with me to the dentist’s as far as the door, for fear I’d run away. Once I’m in I don’t care a bit; it’s the going in is the dreadful part.””But what I can’t understand is this,” he said. “Who told you about Fanny—I mean Miss Lambert?” Womens Montebello Parka Steel Canada Goose clearance “I want to take a girl up the river, for one thing,” answered his nephew, who could no more tell him a lie about the matter, than he could steal a note from that plethoric note-case.”Hot, isn’t it?” said Charles, tilting his hat over his eyes, and envying Strutt in the cool shelter of the omnibus.when every one laughed, and he sat down—on another man’s hat. That’s the sort of poetry I like, something to make you laugh. Gracious! what’s the good of manufacturing misery and letting it loose in little poems to[Pg 226] buzz round and torment people? isn’t there enough misery ready made? Hood’s Song of the Shirt always makes me cry.” Womens Montebello Parka Steel Canada Goose clearance “Bridgewater.”It was a four-wheeler with pretensions in the form of maroon velveteen cushions and rubber tyres, a would-be imitation brougham, but the old growler blood came out in its voice, every window rattled. Driving in it, one could hear oneself speak, but conversation with a companion to be intelligible had to be conducted in a mild shout.”And we could go for picnics,” said Fanny.”Does your father believe in them?””To drive in,” replied Fanny, whilst Verneede opened the door. “Get in, I’m in a horrible fright.””America, I mean—America, of course—America.””Miss Morgan, that American girl, told me something about him.” Mr Bevan stood silent[Pg 310] for a moment, and then went on: “Look here, Fanny, just think this matter over and tell me your mind. I’ll put my case before you. You like me, I think?””Why not have a new pane put in?””Mr Bevan,” suddenly interposed the lawyer, “Miss Fanny Lambert is a most charming lady for whom I have a deep respect—I may say a very deep respect—the suggestion came from her informally. I doubt indeed if Mr George Lambert would listen to any proposals for an amicable settlement, he declares you have treated him, to use his expression—er—not as one gentleman should treat another.”She stopped suddenly.

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“What do you mean?”He never forgot that half-crown.”The person I suspect, Miss Patience, though indeed my suspicions may be wrong, is a Miss Lambert.”Mr Verneede first made straight for his lodgings. He inhabited a top-floor back in Maple Street, a little street leading out of the King’s Road.

“I sent Susannah in with wine, and Mr Hancock stayed to supper. After supper they had cigars and punch, and I played to them on the piano, and father sang Irish songs, and Mr Hancock told us awfully funny stories all about the law, and said he was a bachelor and envied father because he had a daughter like me.”Do you believe in heaven?” asked Mr Bevan in a pained voice. Canada Goose Palliser Coat Berry Women’s Jackets “I don’t know. And to-day, this morning, she called again.”CHAPTER III A COUNCIL OF THREE”Who with?””What has he been doing?””Yes—’The Laurels,’ John’s Road. Have you any money?””Oh, that’s quite enough. If you’ve met Fanny Lambert once, you have met her for ever. Does she like you?—I don’t ask you do you like her, for, of course, you do.” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Berry Women’s Jackets The expression on Bridgewater’s face was so wonderfully funny that Hancock would have[Pg 184] laughed had he not been in such a serious mood.”Not a word, not a word.””Mr Leavesley is an artist you say?”[Pg 261]He turned towards the Monkey House, and Bridgewater followed him, so mazed in his intellect that it would be hard to tell whether monkeys, men, Fanny Lambert, Patience Hancock, or elephants, were uppermost in his brain.”Oh, rubbish! she’s as safe here as if she were with her grandfather—what I mean to say is this, she’s so innocent of the world that she does things quite innocently that—that conventional people don’t do, don’t you know. She has no mother.””Frank Leavesley, a lie is bad enough, but a silly lie is much worse. Miss Lambert herself told me it was the Zoological Gardens; perhaps she has been to Epping Forest as[Pg 262] well; perhaps next it will be a visit to Paris. I wash my hands of the affair.””Oh, do they?” said Charles Bevan.”At Miss Pursehouse’s?”She held three books in her hand—the butcher’s, the baker’s, and the greengrocer’s. She felt in a cheerful mood, as her programme included and commenced with an attack on the butcher—Casus Belli—an overcharge made on the last leg of mutton but one. Having defeated the butcher, and tackled the other unfortunates and paid them, she paused near Mudie’s Library as if in thought. Then she made direct for Southampton Row and the office of her brother, where, as she entered the outer office, Bridgewater was emerging from the sanctum of his master, holding clutched to his breast an armful of books and papers.As he looked about him, he heard the youthful servant’s voice raised now to its highest pitch, and calling “Miss Fanny, Miss[Pg 52] Fanny, Miss F-a-a-anny” and dying away as if in back passages.”Well, all that lies with me. You will be civil and kind to her, Patience?” Canada Goose Palliser Coat Berry Women’s Jackets “Oh, nonsense! you meant it. Well, I think I am the best judge of my own propriety, and I see nothing improper in the transaction. My aunt is here, Lulu Morgan is here, you are here, Professor Wilson is here, there’s a poet coming to-morrow—I suppose that’s improper too. I do wish you would be[Pg 233] sensible; besides, Mr Lambert is not a married man, he is a widower.””Ample.”During tea several things occupied his mind very much. The vision of Fanny Lambert was constantly before him, so was the person of her father. He could not but acknowledge that Lambert was a most attractive personage—attractive to men, to[Pg 208] women, to children, to dogs, cats—anything that could see and feel, in fact. Everything seemed to brighten in his presence. Hamilton-Cox’s dictum that if Lambert could be bottled he would make the most excellent Burgundy, was not far wrong. Canada Goose Palliser Coat Berry Women’s Jackets Canada Goose Palliser Coat Berry Women’s Jackets Mr Hancock put on his glasses again.He had posted this and waited for a reply, but none had come. He little knew that his letter and a bill for potatoes were behind a plate on the kitchen dresser at “The Laurels,” stuffed there by Susannah in a fit of abstraction, also the outcome of the troubles of love.”That will do,” said Miss Hancock in a magisterial voice, when the last consignment of rubbish had been removed. “Now, you can go.””Bridgewater!”The governess cart having climbed a long, long hill, the hog-maned pony took to himself wings, and presently, in a cloud of dust, halted.”Not once, Mr James.”

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To the profound philosopher who indites these lines it seems that between men and women in the mass there is very little difference. They act pretty much the same, except, perhaps, in the presence of mice. Bevan did very much what a woman would have done in his position: seeing his true love flirting with some one else, he flirted with some one else. Lulu Morgan was nearest to him, so he used her.”Tell me all about it, and how you came to know him so intimately, and how he paid your bills,” commanded Mr Bevan.”Take the note,” said Hancock testily, “and don’t keep me holding it out all day;[Pg 269] you don’t know what may happen in the course of a week. Take the note.””Is that so? I’m sure I don’t know, I never trouble myself about law business or money matters. I leave all that to father.”

Mr Bevan laid down his knife and fork.Miss Hancock administered the dose, and retired downstairs, when she sent a message to Dr Carter and ordered the lilac parasol of Miss Lambert to be wrapped in paper. Then she sent a message to the livery stables to order the hired brougham, which she employed several times a week, to be in attendance at 9.30 the following morning, to drive her to Highgate.”No thanks, I don’t want any tea,” she said, replying to Leavesley’s invitation. “I’ve come to ask you for an explanation.””At present he resides I believe, at his town house ‘The Laurels,’ Highgate——. Why! Mr Bevan——””Yes.””I don’t want to hear anything against my father,” said Leavesley tartly. “Yes, he was penniless and a painter, and she married him, and I’m glad she did. She loved him, that was quite enough.” Canada Goose Whistler Parka Berry For Women Canada Goose Whistler Parka Berry For Women “What sort of people?” Canada Goose Whistler Parka Berry For Women “I can’t,” said Mr Hancock, “I am waiting for a lady—my sister, she has just gone into that shop. I’ll tell you, I will see you, any time you like, to-morrow.””Out this morning?” echoed Bridgewater in a tentative tone.”I have written a letter to-day to Miss Lambert.””It’s Fanny Lambert.”On the lawn, under the starlit night after dinner, Bevan had his fiancée for a moment alone. They sat in creaky basket-work chairs a good yard apart from each other. The moon was rising over the hills and deep, dark woods of Sussex, the air was warm and perfumed: it was an ideal night for love-making.”How good you are!” she murmured. “You remind me of father.””He does, but he’s from home.””Well, promise me one thing: you won’t marry any one just yet.”CHAPTER IX “WHAT TALES ARE THESE?”[Pg 34][Pg 105]”These are his pictures,” answered the old gentleman, “works of art—very much so, the highest art inspired by the truest genius.”[Pg 15]Lambert woke up from a reverie he had fallen into with a start.”Oh, till I have a chance, till I strike oil, till I begin to make a fortune!” Canada Goose Whistler Parka Berry For Women Canada Goose Whistler Parka Berry For Women “Why, certainly; at least I conclude so.””Half-past six.”

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The door opened, and his aunt stood before him.”That must have been a loss to literature.””Oh, go to the devil!” Mens Canada Goose Resolute Parka Black Mr Hancock sighed. “Say an old man’s watch, Fanny—may I call you Fanny?”

“——and he went to try and drown the recollection of them. It is so stupid of him, he knows how drink flies to his head; you would never imagine if you could see him now that he has only had two glasses of beer.””What for?” Mens Canada Goose Resolute Parka Black Mens Canada Goose Resolute Parka Black [Pg 14] Mens Canada Goose Resolute Parka Black “We met her in Paris, Fanny—that’s my daughter—and me met her in Paris. Fanny doesn’t care for her much, and wouldn’t come with me; but there’s never a woman in the world that really cares for another woman, unless the other woman is as ugly as sin and a hundred. There’s a melon house for you, but you should see my melon houses in Highgate, the one’s I am going to have built by Arthur Lawrence of Cockspur Street; he’s made a speciality of glass, but he charges cruel. It’s the passion of my life, a garden.””Hush, hush!—don’t talk so loud,” said Hancock, rather alarmed at the old man’s hysterical manner. “No, you are the last person to do such a thing, but tell me, all the same, why you followed me.””I didn’t—I fancy she had a weakness; but maybe it’s only a fancy.”He put his hand in his breast-pocket and took out a note-case that seemed simply bursting with bank-notes. “To Lambert, Secretary to Neurapath’s Home for”What?””You are very young, and, of course, it is[Pg 292] no affair of mine, but I think in housekeeping—having first of all regard to waste—one ought to consider how many poor people are starving. I send all my scraps to the St Mark’s Refuge Home, an excellent institution.”This sorry pastime occupied them till 12.30, when they took leave of each other in the King’s Road, Leavesley miserable, and Verneede maudlin.It ran:— Mens Canada Goose Resolute Parka Black “Oh, I scarcely ever wear a hat in the garden. If you come this way we can go out through the side door.”The door opened and Susannah appeared with the punch things. “Susannah, guess what’s happened—never mind, you’ll know soon. Have you got the lemon and the sugar? That is right.””Oh, bother the gout!” said the old gentleman, who hated to be reminded of his infirmity. “It isn’t gout—Garrod says it’s Rheumatoid Arthritis.”[Pg 218]Having inspected the pattern of the visitor’s trousers, and seeming therewith content Boy-Boy—such was his name—flung himself on the floor and into sleep beside his mistress.”We met them in Paris; and I don’t know which is sweeter, Fanny or her father. She was to have come down here with him, but she didn’t. My, but she is pretty. And don’t the men run after her! there were three men in Paris raving about her; she’d only known them two days, and they were near proposing to her. Don’t wonder at it, I’d propose to her myself, if I was a man. But she’s a little flirt all the same, and I told her so.””Is Miss—Miss Lambert rich?””Did you go to Highgate?””Aren’t they! Oh, but, Cousin Charles—I mean Mr——”

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Mr Hancock, asking Fanny to wait for him for a short time, took Bridgewater by the arm and led him outside.Leavesley went to a little jug on the mantel and turned the contents of it into his hand.The most beautiful day that ever dawned, the most beautiful girl in the world, a chance[Pg 115] of taking her up the river, and seven and six to do it on!They had paused to consider the Dog-faced Ape, when Fanny, whose eyes were wandering about the place, gave a little start and plucked her companion by the sleeve. “Look,” she said, “there’s old Mr Bridgewater!””That’s enough,” said Hancock, “don’t count. Now tell me, when did she first begin to take you into her confidence—twenty years ago?””I do.”

“And George Lambert slapped Mr Bevan’s face, and serve him right, too.”The expression on Bridgewater’s face was so wonderfully funny that Hancock would have[Pg 184] laughed had he not been in such a serious mood.”What?””Isn’t it nice of him?” she said without evincing any surprise; “he told me he would when he called.””Didn’t he! Mrs Sawyer told me afterwards that the Major had never been spoken to so before since he left school, and that it had done him a world of good—poor old thing!” Canada Goose Westmount Parka Graphite For Men Canada Goose Westmount Parka Graphite For Men Canada Goose Westmount Parka Graphite For Men The only two men in London who could possibly help him with a loan were, to use a Boyle-Rochism, in Paris. Mrs Tugwell, his landlady, was at Margate, and he was in the middle of his tri-monthly squabble with his uncle. He called up the ghost of his aunt Patience Hancock, and communed with her just for the sake of self-torture, and the contemplation of the hopeless.Charles moved uneasily in his chair.”I’m going to lend you five pounds,” he said. “It will serve for present expenses, and I expect you to pay me it back before the end of the week.” He held out the note.”Drinking!” cried Bridgewater, with what your melodramatist would call a hollow laugh. “Drinking!—oh yes—drinking? No! No!—don’t mind me, Mr James. Drinking! One blessed glass of sherry, and not a bite[Pg 177] have I had—waiting two hours and more—following you in a cab—three shillings the fare was—nearly torn in pieces by an ape—following you and hiding in all sorts of places, and then told I’ve been drinking. Do I look as if I had been drinking, Mr James? Am I given to drinking, Mr James? Have you known me for forty years, Mr James, and have you ever seen me do such a thing? Answer me that, Mr James——””Mr Hancock?”Leavesley had scarcely the slightest hope of financial assistance from this quarter. Patience had given him half-a-crown for a birthday present once when he was a little boy, and then worried it back from him and popped it into a missionary box for the Wallibooboo Islanders.”For God’s sake, Mr James, don’t talk so loud!” said Bridgewater; “the people are turning round to look at us. I didn’t leave the office of my own accord; it was Miss Patience, who said to me, she said, ‘Bridgewater, I trust you for your master’s sake to let me know if you see him with a lady, for,’ she said, ‘there is a woman who has designs on him.'””Oh, don’t talk nonsense! When a man arrives at his age, he is too old to be made into a husband, but he is not too old to be made into a fool. Now tell me all you know about this affair. First of all, what is the—person’s name?””You know it all?” Canada Goose Westmount Parka Graphite For Men “I shall carefully abstain.””Oh, we buy our potatoes and cabbages and things,” said Fanny; “they are cheap.””Don’t mind me,” said Charles. “Anything will do for me; I am used—I mean——””I was thinking just the same.””Oh, I don’t mean really to buy you something, I only mean make belief—window-shopping, you know. I often go out by myself and buy heaps of things like that, watches and carriages, and all sorts of things. I enjoy it just as much as if I were buying them really; more, I think, for I don’t get tired of them. Do you know that when I want a thing and get it I don’t want it any more? I often get married like that.””It’s about a little matter, Miss Patience.””That you love me?”[Pg 108] Canada Goose Westmount Parka Graphite For Men “What were you only thinking?”She treated her brother as though she were twenty years his senior, and she had prevented him from marrying by subtle arts of her own, exercised unconsciously, perhaps, but none the less potently. His affair with Miss Wilkinson, eldest daughter of Alderman[Pg 29] Wilkinson, an affair which occurred twenty years ago, had been withered, or blasted, if you like the expression better, by Patience Hancock. She had caused no bitter feelings towards herself in the breast of either of the parties concerned in this old-time love affair, but all the same she had parted them.She stopped suddenly.