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calling me out ? " the Major said, still with perfect coolness.
“You have described my intentions with perfect accuracy, Meejor Pendennis," answered the Captain, as he pulled his ragged whiskers over his chin.
“Well, well; these shall be the subjects of future arrangements, but before we come to powder and ball, my good sir,do have the kindness to think with yourself in what earthly way I have injured you? I have told you that my nephew is dependent upon his mother, who has scarcely more than five hundred a-year.”
“I have my own opinion of the correctness of that assertion," said the Captain.
“Will you go to my sister's lawyers, Messrs. Tatham here, and satisfy yourself ?”
“I decline to meet those gentlemen," said the Captain, with rather a disturbed air. “If it be as you say, I have been athrociously deceived by some one, and on that person I'll be revenged.”
“Is it my nephew ?” cried the Major, starting up and putting on his hat. “Did he ever tell you that his property was two thousand a-year ? If he did, I'm mistaken in the boy. To tell lies has not been a habit in our family, Mr. Costigan, and I don't think my brother's son has learned it as yet. Try and consider whether you have not deceived yourself; or adopted extravagant reports from hearsay. As for me, sir, you are at liberty to understand that I am not afraid of all the Costigans in Ireland, and know quite well how to defend myself against any threats from any quarter. I come here as the boy's guardian to protest against a marriage, most absurd and unequal, that cannot but bring poverty and misery with it: and in preventing it I conceive I am quite as much your daughter's friend (who I have no doubt is an honourable young lady), as the friend of my own family, and prevent the marriage I will, sir, by every means in my power. There, I have said my say, sir.”
“But I have not said mine, Major Pendennis-and ye shall hear more from me,” Mr. Costigan said, with a look of tremendous severity.
“ 'Sdeath, sir, what do you mean?" the Major asked, turning round on the threshold of the door, and looking the intrepid Costigan in the face.
“Ye said, in the course of conversation, that ye were at the George Hotel, I think,” Mr. Costigan said in a stately manner. “A friend shall wait upon ye there before ye leave town, sir."
“Let him make haste, Mr. Costigan," cried out the Major, almost beside himself with rage. “I wish you a good morning, sir.” And Captain Costigan bowed a magnificent bow of defiance to Major Pendennis over the landing-place as the latter retreated down the stairs.
IN WHICH A SHOOTING MATCH IS PROPOSED.
ARLY mention has been made in this history of Mr. Garbetts, Principal Tragedian, a promising and athletic
habits and irregular inclinations between whom and Mr. Costigan there was a considerable intimacy. They were the chief ornaments of the convivial club held at the Mag
each other in various bill transactions in which they had been engaged, with the mutual loan of each
other's valuable signatures. They were friends, in fine; and Mr. Garbetts was called in by Captain Costigan immediately after Major Pendennis had quitted the house, as a friend proper to be consulted at the actual juncture. He was a large man, with a loud voice and fierce aspect, who had the finest legs of the
his stalwart arm.
“Run, Tommy," said Mr. Costigan to the little messenger, “and fetch Mr. Garbetts from his lodgings over the tripeshop, ye know, and tell 'em to send two glasses of whisky-andwater, hot, from the Grapes." So Tommy went his way; and presently Mr. Garbetts and the whisky came.
Captain Costigan did not disclose to him the whole of the previous events, of which the reader is in possession ; but, with the aid of the spirits-and-water, he composed a letter of a threatening nature to Major Pendennis's address, in which he called upon that gentleman to offer no hindrance to the marriage projected between Mr. Arthur Pendennis and his daughter, Miss Fotheringay, and to fix an early day for its celebration : or, in any other case, to give him the satisfaction which was usual between gentlemen of honour. And should Major Pendennis be disinclined to this alternative, the Captain hinted, that he would force him to accept it by the use of a horsewhip, which he should employ upon the Major's person. The precise terms of this letter we cannot give, for reasons which shall be specified presently ; but it was, no doubt, couched in the Captain's finest style, and sealed elaborately with the great silver seal of the Costigans—the only bit of the family plate which the Captain possessed.
Garbetts was despatched, then, with this message and letter ; and bidding Heaven bless ’um, the General squeezed his ambassador's hand, and saw him depart. Then he took down his venerable and murderous duelling-pistols, with flint locks, that had done the business of many a pretty fellow in Dublin : and having examined these, and seen that they were in a satisfactory condition, he brought from the drawer all Pen's letters and poems which he kept there, and which he always read before he permitted his Emily to enjoy their perusal.
In a score of minutes Garbetts came back with an anxious and crest-fallen countenance.'
“Ye've seen 'um ?" the Captain said.
“And when is it for ?" asked Costigan, trying the lock of one of the ancient pistols, and bringing it to a level with his oi—as he called that blood-shot orb.
“When is what for ?" asked Mr. Garbetts.
“You don't mean to say you mean mortal combat, Captain ?” Garbetts said, aghast.
“What the devil else do I mean, Garbetts ?—I want to shoot that man that has trajuiced me honour, or meself dthrop a victim on the sod.”
“D- if I carry challenges,” Mr. Garbetts replied. “I'm a family man, Captain, and will have nothing to do with pistols—take back your letter ;” and, to the surprise and indignation of Captain Costigan, his emissary flung the letter down, with its great sprawling superscription and blotched seal.
“Ye don't mean to say ye saw 'um and didn't give 'um the letter ?” cried out the Captain, in a fury.
“I saw him, but I could not have speech with him, Captain," said Mr. Garbetts.
“And why the devil not?" asked the other.
“There was one there I cared not to meet, nor would you,” the tragedian answered in a sepulchral voice. “The minion Tatham was there, Captain."
“The cowardly scoundthrel !” roared Costigan. “He's frightened, and already going to swear the peace against me.”
“I'll have nothing to do with the fighting, mark that,” the tragedian doggedly said, “and I wish I'd not seen Tatham neither, nor that bit of — "
“Hold your tongue! Bob Acres. It's my belief ye're no better than a coward,” said Captain Costigan, quoting Sir Lucius O'Trigger, which character he had performed with credit, both off and on the stage, and after some more parley between the couple they separated in not very good humour.
Their colloquy has been here condensed, as the reader knows the main point upon which it turned. But the latter will now see how it is impossible to give a correct account of the letter which the Captain wrote to Major Pendennis, as it was never opened at all by that gentleman.
When Miss Costigan came home from rehearsal, which she did in the company of the faithful Mr. Bows, she found