How she caressed the dog, and how the dog knew her! How expressive that heightened colour in her face, that fluttered manner, her downcast eyes, her irresolute happiness! When had Clennam seen her look like this? Not that there was any reason why he might, could, would, or should have ever seen her look like this, or that he had ever hoped for himself to see her look like this; but stillwhen had he ever known her do it!
He stood at a little distance from them. This Gowan when he had talked about a Paradise, had gone up to her and taken her hand. The dog had put his great paws on her arm and laid his head against her dear bosom. She had laughed and welcomed them, and made far too much of the dog, far, far, too muchthat is to say, supposing there had been any third person looking on who loved her.
She disengaged herself now, and came to Clennam, and put her hand in his and wished him good morning, and gracefully made as if she would take his arm and be escorted into the house. To this Gowan had no objection. No, he knew he was too safe.
There was a passing cloud on Mr Meagless good-humoured face when they all three (four, counting the dog, and he was the most objectionable but one of the party) came in to breakfast. Neither it, nor the touch of uneasiness on Mrs Meagles as she directed her eyes towards it, was unobserved by Clennam.
Well, Gowan, said Mr Meagles, even suppressing a sigh; how goes the world with you this morning?
Much as usual, sir. Lion and I being determined not to waste anything of our weekly visit, turned out early, and came over from Kingston, my present headquarters, where I am making a sketch or two. Then he told how he had met Mr Clennam at the ferry, and they had come over together.
Mrs Gowan is well, Henry? said Mrs Meagles. (Clennam became attentive.)
My mother is quite well, thank you. (Clennam became inattentive.) I have taken the liberty of making an addition to your family dinner-party to-day, which I hope will not be inconvenient to you or to Mr Meagles. I couldnt very well get out of it, he explained, turning to the latter. The young fellow wrote to propose himself to me; and as he is well connected, I thought you would not object to my transferring him here.
Who is the young fellow? asked Mr Meagles with peculiar complacency.
He is one of the Barnacles. Tite Barnacles son, Clarence Barnacle, who is in his fathers Department. I can at least guarantee that the river shall not suffer from his visit. He wont set it on fire.
Aye, aye? said Meagles. A Barnacle is he? We know something of that family, eh, Dan? By George, they are at the top of the tree, though! Let me see. What relation will this young fellow be to Lord Decimus now? His Lordship married, in seventeen ninety-seven, Lady Jemima Bilberry, who was the second daughter by the third marriageno! There I am wrong! That was Lady SeraphinaLady Jemima was the first daughter by the second marriage of the fifteenth Earl of Stiltstalking with the Honourable Clementina Toozellem. Very well. Now this young fellows father married a Stiltstalking and his father married his cousin who was a Barnacle.
The father of that father who married a Barnacle, married a Joddleby.I am getting a little too far back, Gowan; I want to make out what relation this young fellow is to Lord Decimus.
Thats easily stated. His father is nephew to Lord Decimus.
NephewtoLordDecimus, Mr Meagles luxuriously repeated with his eyes shut, that he might have nothing to distract him from the full flavour of the genealogical tree. By George, you are right, Gowan. So he is.
Consequently, Lord Decimus is his great uncle.
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