`Eight guineas!' said Morel. `More fool him! If he'd gen me some on't, it 'ud ha' looked better on 'im.'
`Given you some of it!' cried Mrs Morel. `Why give you some of it!'
She remembered he had bought no engagement ring at all, and she preferred William, who was not mean, if he were foolish. But now the young man talked only of the dances to which he went with his betrothed, and the different resplendent clothes she wore; or he told his mother with glee how they went to the theatre like great swells.
He wanted to bring the girl home. Mrs Morel said she should come at the Christmas. This time William arrived with a lady, but with no presents. Mrs Morel had prepared supper. Hearing footsteps, she rose and went to the door. William entered.
`Hello, mother!' He kissed her hastily, then stood aside to present a tall, handsome girl, who was wearing a costume of fine black-and-white check, and furs.
Miss Western held out her hand and showed her teeth in a small smile.
`Oh, how do you do, Mrs Morel!' she exclaimed.
`I am afraid you will be hungry,' said Mrs Morel.
`Oh no, we had dinner in the train. Have you got my gloves, Chubby?'
William Morel, big and raw-boned, looked at her quickly.
`How should I?' he said.
`Then I've lost them. Don't be cross with me.'
A frown went over his face, but he said nothing. She glanced round the kitchen. It was small and curious to her, with its glittering kissing-bunch, its evergreens behind the pictures, its wooden chairs and little deal table. At that moment Morel came in.
`Hello, my son! Tha's let on me!'
The two shook hands, and William presented the lady. She gave the same smile that showed her teeth.
`How do you do, Mr Morel?'
Morel bowed obsequiously.
`I'm very well, and I hope so are you. You must make yourself very welcome.'
`Oh, thank you,' she replied, rather amused.
`You will like to go upstairs,' said Mrs Morel.
`If you don't mind; but not if it is any trouble to you.'
`It is no trouble. Annie will take you. Walter, carry up this box.'
`And don't be an hour dressing yourself up,' said William to his betrothed.
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