the advantage in point of weight; and if anything of a British nature is to come off between us, it may be as well to be in training.
Therefore he rang the bell, and tossing himself negligently on a sofa, ordered Some dinner at six with a beefsteak in it, and got through the intervening time as well as he could. That was not particularly well; for he remained in the greatest perplexity, and, as the hours went on, and no kind of explanation offered itself, his perplexity augmented at compound interest.
However, he took affairs as coolly as it was in human nature to do, and entertained himself with the facetious idea of the training more than once. It wouldnt be bad, he yawned at one time, to give the waiter five shillings, and throw him. At another time it occurred to him, Or a fellow of about thirteen or fourteen stone might be hired by the hour. But these jests did not tell materially on the afternoon, or his suspense; and, sooth to say, they both lagged fearfully.
It was impossible, even before dinner, to avoid often walking about in the pattern of the carpet, looking out of the window, listening at the door for footsteps, and occasionally becoming rather hot when any steps approached that room. But, after dinner, when the day turned to twilight, and the twilight turned to night, and still no communication was made to him, it began to be as he expressed it, like the Holy Office and slow torture. However, still true to his conviction that indifference was the genuine high-breeding (the only conviction he had), he seized this crisis as the opportunity for ordering candles and a newspaper.
He had been trying in vain, for half an hour, to read this newspaper, when the waiter appeared and said, at once mysteriously and apologetically:
Beg your pardon, sir. You are wanted, sir, if you please.
A general recollection that this was the kind of thing the Police said to the swell mob, caused Mr Harthouse to ask the waiter in return, with bristling indignation, what the Devil he meant by wanted?
Beg your pardon, sir. Young lady outside, sir, wishes to see you.
Outside this door, sir.
Giving the waiter to the personage before mentioned, as a blockhead duly qualified for that consignment, Mr Harthouse hurried into the gallery. A young woman whom he had never seen stood there. Plainly dressed, very quiet, very pretty. As he conducted her into the room and placed a chair for her, he observed, by the light of the candles, that she was even prettier than he had at first believed. Her face was innocent and youthful, and its expression remarkably pleasant. She was not afraid of him, or in any way disconcerted; she seemed to have her mind entirely preoccupied with the occasion of her visit, and to have substituted that consideration for herself.
I speak to Mr Harthouse? she said, when they were alone.
To Mr Harthouse. He added in his mind, And you speak to him with the most confiding eyes I ever saw, and the most earnest voice (though so quiet) I ever heard.
If I do not understand and I do not, sir said Sissy, what your honour as a gentleman binds you to, in other matters: the blood really rose in his face as she began in these words: I am sure I may rely upon it to keep my visit secret, and to keep secret what I am going to say. I will rely upon it, if you will tell me I may so far trust
You may, I assure you.
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