A series of vigorous little kicks were being applied to Mrs Cogsby by her pet son, while her anxious female friends were employing all sorts of unheard of restoratives on the other. Miss Primmins, with a handful of burnt feathers in one hand, and a bottle of hartshorn in the other was the most conspicuous among them. Mr. Cogsby had disappeared at the first moment of alarm: he now reappeared with a smile of satisfaction on his face, and before anyone could interpose to prevent him, soused his wife with the whole contents of a very large bucket of water. All symptoms of fainting vanished in an instant, and Mrs Cogsby with wrath and revenge in her flashing eye, rose up from her recumbent position, seized her terrified husband by the ear, and led him from the room; the miserable Guggy whom no-one compassionated, was left in a crushed and wafer-like condition on the sofa, where he was found by the maid-servant, hours afterwards, howling frantically.

Shrieks and blows resounded from the next room, and the female visitors, stopping their ears, rushed out of the house, leaving the unhappy Mr Cogsby to his fate. The gentlemen were only too glad to follow them, and no-one was left, save and except one deaf old gentleman, who hadn't the smallest notion of what had been going on, and now remained sitting in the corner, with his legs crossed, and a calm and placid smile settled on his face.

What followed in Mr Cogsby's house, it is not for us to say: Miss Primmins, on arriving at home was seized by violent hysterics.


THE deepest antipathy and most violent disgust may be got over in the slow course of time, and though for the next 6 months she was injured innocence personified, though she expressed the most utter abhorrence of the Cogsby conduct, and made solemn vows not to enter the Cogsby residence, yet when Mrs Cogsby issued her invitations to her annual ball, on New-years-day there was no-one who obeyed the summons with greater alacrity, or arrived more punctually to the time than Miss Primmins. Clad in a low satin dress of the deepest Prussian blue, with a tiara of jewels on her head, her auburn ringlets gracefully falling over her shoulders, (honestly her's, for she had payed for them) and her fair complexion (likewise honestly her's) blooming in all the fresh ruddiness of youth, no-one who saw her then would have imagined her to be the ordinary every-day Miss Primmins, with her sallow face, known to be the most malicious and spiteful gossip in the town, any more than he would have imagined her to be the Emperor of Russia. And Mr Augustus Bymm was there too, contrite for all past offences, and forgiven by Mrs Cogsby, and of course the charming Guggy was introduced in the drawing room, who after treading on three gentlemen's toes, pushing a plate of cake into a lady's lap, and deluging the table with coffee, was finally sent to bed roaring for upsetting the lamp over Miss Primmins. All hands were immediately at work to `put out' Miss Primmins, who, enwrapped in flames, was at last enveloped by Mr Augustus Bymm in a hearthrug, and finally extinguished. This was hardly done when a more horrifying event took place. Mr Cogsby's feet were seen for a moment balancing on the sill of the open window, the next he had vanished.


ALL rushed to the window; the ill-fated Mr Cogsby was seen stuck in one of the flower-beds in an inverted position, quivering like an aspen tree: it appeared that the unhappy gentleman had been gradually backing from the scene of conflagration, overcome with horror at the accident which had befallen Miss Primmins, until he had at length backed out of the room in the manner described in the former chapter. Mr Augustus Bymm was on the spot in a moment, uprooted the half suffocated Mr Cogsby, and bore him in his arms into the house, where he consigned him to the maternal solicitude of his wife, (he did not venture to call it grand-maternal on this occasion) and returned in a high state of self-gratulation to the smouldering Miss Primmins, who, overcome by her feelings, took off her (false) diamond necklace on the spot, and begged to present it to him with her compliments as a token of her heartfelt gratitude.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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