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Chapter III

For his second meeting with Purdy, in which he had planned to be very cautious and to throw out wily feelers, was a failure. On getting to the hotel he found that Purdy could spare him but a few moments, himself having an urgent appointment to keep. They did not sit down, and their talk was scampered through at lightning speed. However, Purdy supplied him with a list of people for whom this man Wilding had acted well-known names they were too! and himself undertook to put in a word on Mahonys behalf. In the meantime it would be as well for him to write and summon Wilding to town. Write? Yes; for now it turned out that Wildings business was carried on, not in Melbourne but in Ballarat. Purdy vowed he had mentioned this fact the day before; but if so, Mahony had failed to hear him. Not that it mattered much, seeing that he himself was about to leave Melbourne. It might even, he agreed, the majority of his investments being in Ballarat mines, prove a benefit to have an agent who was on the spot.

With the onset of November it was the turn of Buddlecombe Hall to reopen. And now a wave of new life seemed to run through the sluggish little town. The Saxeby-Corbetts, returning, as it were took possession of the place; and they had this advantage over the Trehernes a childless couple that they counted a bakers dozen in family all told. Their arrival was after the fashion of crowned heads. First came dragloads of servants, male and female, and of varying ages from the silver-headed butler down to young scullery and laundry-maids after which the windows of the great house were flung up, the chimneys belched smoke, hammerings and beatings resounded; while various elderly women in the town tied on rusty black and went off to give obsequious aid. Footmen in livery lounged about the inns; grooms rode swathed horses out to exercise. The tradespeople wellnigh lost their wits with excitement. One heard of nothing, now, on entering a shop, but the family, its needs and preferences.

Good God, Mary! ones dead self would confront one at every turn. Here one did this, there that. You dont stock-take, my dear, when youre going on living in a place; but a break and even a brief one forces you to it . . . in murderous fashion. I should thank you for the constant reminder how life is flying, and how little one has made of it, and what a fool one was in the past, and yet how full of hopes and aspirations. With cobwebby stuff such as this, there was no coming to grips.

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2021-06-13 23:15:52 [阿里地区网友]

2021-06-13 23:15:52 [锡林郭勒盟网友]

2021-06-13 23:15:52 [枣庄市网友]

Mahony, too, was offended by the atmosphere of his room: though not so much by the drugs, to which his nose was seasoned, as by the all-pervading reek of stale tobacco. This hung about and persisted though a carpenter speedily prised open the hermetically sealed window and only became bearable when a good fire burned and the room was thoroughly warm. Cooled off, it had a cold, flat, stagnant smell that turned you sick. His old forerunner must have kept his pipe going like a furnace; have wadded it, too, with the rankest of weeds. Even had the practice been shaping satisfactorily this smell might have ended by driving him from the room; which would also have meant from the house. As things stood, however, it was not worth his while to think of moving. Before a month was up he suspected what two months showed, and three made plain as the nose on his face: the whole affair had been of the nature of a gross take-in.

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2021-06-13 23:15:52 [廊坊市网友]

He was right. Her discomfiture showed in the way she now flared up. Fill the house? . . . with only one person here at a time, and never more than two? But since you put it that way, Richard I think its rather a good thing I do. If we are ever to see anyone at all!

2021-06-13 23:15:52 [烟台市网友]

One comfort: there was no more talk on his part of going home with his fortune. The old foolish idea that he would be happier in England had been knocked on the head. At considerable expense, and much worry and trouble, poor old Richard! Still, if he WOULD buy his experience in this costly fashion. . . . Here, however, her musings were cut short by the entrance of Mrs. Devine in shawl and bonnet, and struggling to button a magenta kid glove across a palm not built for such a covering: it bulged through the opening, creased and rolled with fat. The good lady was keyed up to a high pitch with domestic disasters a chipped wineglass, a scrap of flue found under a bed Liars and deceivers every one, dearie! But the great red face beamed with goodwill. No malice was in it; only the delights of the chase; so that the onlooker was reluctantly driven to conclude that Mrs. Devine heartily enjoyed her slave-driving.

2021-06-13 23:15:52 [湘西州网友]

About this surgery hung a disagreeable, penetrating smell a kind of blend of the countless drugs that had been housed and mixed there for over half a century and, air as you might, it was not to be got rid of. It gave even Mary, who was not sensitive to smells, the headache. Otherwise, during Richards absences she might have used this room, which held a comfortable armchair. As it was, she found herself fairly crowded out. The passage was so narrow that two people were a tight fit in it; and, were more than two in waiting, they had to be furnished with seats in the little parlour to the back, pokier, this, than even the surgery, and very dark Richard called it the Black Hole giving as it did on a walled-in yard no bigger than a roofless prison cell. Altogether, the accommodation was so cramped that it was like living in a mouse-trap. Still, it would have been folly in the beginning to separate house from practice, when the two had hung together for so long. Time enough later on to make changes. Marys own idea was to turn the first-floor bedroom into a drawing-room. Richard talked of moving; of knocking two houses into one; even of building for himself. In the meantime he had taken the house on a short lease, preferring to pay a higher rent for a few years than to bind himself for the mystic seven. And so it was mainly in the bedroom that Mary spent her first winter; sewing, sheerly to kill time, garments she did not need, or which she might just as well have given out. Sitting bent over her needle in the half daylight, she could sometimes almost have smiled did she think of the sacrifices they had made all for this. But for the most part she felt troubled and anxious. Richard had tied himself down for three years; but not a month had passed before her constant, nagging worry was: how long will he hold out?

2021-06-13 23:15:52 [鹤壁市网友]

There was a moments pause, then the French window was noiselessly opened, and she disappeared inside the room.