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and what a pretty girl was Miss Brown, and what a dem fine woman Mrs. Jones was. It was in vain that Pen recalled to his own mind how stupid Foker used to be at school—how he could scarcely read, how he was not cleanly in his person, and notorious for his blunders and dullness. Mr. Foker was not much more refined now than in his school days : and yet Pen felt a secret pride in strutting down High Street with a young fellow who owned tandems, talked to officers, and ordered turtle ) and champagne for dinner. He listened, and with respect too, to Mr. Foker’s accounts of what the men did at the University of which Mr. F. was an ornament, and encountered a long series of stories about boat-racing, bumping, College grassplats, and milk-punch—and began to wish to go up himself to College to a place where there were such manly pleasures and enjoyments. Farmer Gurnett, who lives close by Fairoaks, riding by at this minute and touching his hat to Pen, the latter stopped him, and sent a message to his mother to say that he had met with an old schoolfellow, and should dine in Chatteris.
The two young gentlemen continued their walk, and were passing round the Cathedral Yard, where they could hear the music of the afternoon service (a music which always exceedingly affected Pen), but whither Mr. Foker came for the purpose of inspecting the nursery maids who frequent the Elms Walk there, and here they strolled until with a final burst of music the small congregation was played out.
Old Doctor Portman was one of the few who came from the venerable gate. Spying Pen, he came and shook him by the hand, and eyed with wonder Pen’s friend, from whose mouth and cigar clouds of fragrance issued, which curled round the Doctor’s honest face and shovel hat.
“An old schoolfellow of mine, Mr. Foker,” said Pen. The Doctor said “H’m : ” and scowled at the cigar. He did not mind a pipe in his study, but the cigar was an abomination to the worthy gentleman.
“ I came up on Bishop’s business,” the Doctor said. “We’ll ride home, Arthur, if you like ? ”
“ I—I’m engaged to my friend here,” Pen answered.
“ You had better come home with me,” said the Doctor.