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as hers, the young surgeon held the girl in his arms—swore that she was an angel, and that he was a jealous brute; owned that he was unworthy of her, and that he had no right to hate Pendennis; and asked her, implored her, to say once
more that she
That she what?—The end of the question and Fanny's answer were pronounced by lips that were so near each other, that no bystander could hear the words. Mrs. Bolton only said, "Come, come, Mr. H.—no nonsense, if you please; and I think you've acted like a wicked wretch, and been most uncommon cruel to Fanny, that I do."
When Arthur left No. 2002, he went to pay his respects to the carriage to which, and to the side of her mamma, the dove-coloured author of "Mes Larmes" had by this time returned. Indefatigable old Major Pendennis was in waiting upon Lady Clavering, and had occupied the back seat in her carriage; the box being in possession of young Hopeful, under the care of Captain Strong.
A number of dandies, and men of a certain fashion—of military bucks, of young rakes of the public offices, of those who may be styled men's men rather than ladies'—had come about the carriage during its station on the hill—and had exchanged a word or two with Lady Clavering, and a little talk (a little "chaff" some of the most elegant of the men styled their conversation) with Miss Amory. They had offered her sportive bets, and exchanged with her all sorts of free-talk and knowing innuendoes. They pointed out to her who was on the course: and the "who" was not always the person a young lady should know.
When Pen came up to Lady Clavering's carriage, he had to push his way through a crowd of these young bucks who were paying their court to Miss Amory, in order to arrive near that young lady, who beckoned him by many pretty signals to her side.
"Je l'ai vue," she said; "elle a de bien beaux yeux; vous etes un monstre!"
"Why monster?" said Pen, with a laugh; "Honi soit qui mal y pense. My young friend, yonder, is as well protected as any young lady in Christendom. She has her mamma on one side, her pretendu on the other. Could any harm happen to a girl between those two?"
"One does not know what may or may not arrive," said Miss Blanche, in French, "when a girl has the mind, and when she is pursued by a wicked monster like you. Figure to yourself, Major, that I come to find Monsieur, your nephew, near to a cab, by two ladies, and a man, oh, such a man! and who ate lobsters, and who laughed, who laughed!"
"It did not strike me that the man laughed," Pen said. *' And as for lobsters, I thought he would have liked to eat me after the lobsters. He shook hands with me, and griped me so, that he bruised my glove black and blue. He is a young surgeon. He comes from Clavering. Don't you remember the gilt pestle and mortar in High Street?"
"If he attends you when you are sick," continued Miss Amory, "he will kill you. He will serve you right; for you are a monster."
The perpetual recurrence to the word "monster" jarred npon Pen. "She speaks about these matters a great deal too lightly," he thought. "If I had been a monster, as she calls it, she would have received me just the same. This is not the way in which an English lady should speak or think. Laura would not speak in that way, thank God; " and as he thought so, his own countenance fell.
"Of what are you thinking? Are you going to bonder me at present?" Blanche asked. "Major, scold your mechant nephew. He does not amuse me at all. He is as bete as Captain Crackenbury."
"What are you saying about me, Miss Amory?" said the guardsman, with a grin. "If it's anything good, say it in English, for I don't understand French when it's spoke so devilish quick."
"It ain't anything good, Crack," said Crackenbury's fellow, Captain Clinker. "Let's come away, and don't spoil sport. They say Pendennis is sweet upon her."
"I'm told he's a devilish clever fellow," sighed Crackenbury. "Lady Violet Lebas says he's a devilish clever fellow. He wrote a work, or a poem, or something; and he writes those devilish clever things in the—in the papers, you know. Dammy, I wish / was a clever fellow, Clinker."
"That's past wishing for, Crack, my boy," the other said. "I can't write a good book, but I think I can make a pretty good one on the Derby. What a flat Clavering is! And the Begum! I like that old Begum. She's worth ten of her daughter. How pleased the old girl was at winning the lottery!"
"Clavering's safe to pay up, ain't he?" asked Captain Crackenbury.
"I hope so," said his friend; and they disappeared, to enjoy themselves among the Sticks.
Before the end of the day's amusements, many more gentlemen of Lady Clavering's acquaintance came up to her carriage, and chatted with the party which it contained. The worthy lady was in high spirits and good-humour, laughing and talking according to her wont, and offering refreshments to all her friends, until her ample baskets and bottles were emptied, and her servants and postilions were in such a royal state of excitement as servants and postilions commonly are upon the Derby Day.
The Major remarked that some of the visitors to the carriage appeared to look with rather queer and meaning glances towards its owner. "How easily she takes it!" one man whispered to another. "The Begum's made of money," the friend replied. "How easily she takes what?" thought old Pendennis. "Has anybody lost any money?" Lady Clavering said she was happy in the morning because Sir Francis had promised her not to bet.
Mr. Welbore, the country neighbour of the Claverings, was passing the carriage, when he was called back by the Begum, who rallied him for wishing to cut her. "Why didn't he come before? Why didn't he come to lunch?" Her Ladyship was in great delight, she told him—she told everybody, that she had won five pounds in a lottery. As she conveyed this piece of intelligence to him, Mr. Welbore looked so particularly knowing, and withal melancholy, that a dismal apprehension seized upon Major Pendennis. "He would go and look after the horses and those rascals of postilions, who