Nonsuch House Again

The gallant inmates of Nonsuch House had resolved themselves into a committee of speculation, as to whether Mr Sponge was coming or not; indeed, they had been betting upon it, the odds at first being, a hundred to one that he came, though they had fallen a point or two on the arrival of the post without an answer.

‘Well, I say Mr What-dy’e-call-him -- Sponge -- doesn’t come!’ exclaimed Captain Seedeybuck, as he lay full length, with his shaggy greasy head on the fine rose-coloured satin sofa, and his legs cocked over the cushion.

‘Why not?’ asked Miss Glitters, who was beguiling the twilight half-hour before candles with knitting.

‘Don’t know,’ replied Seedeybuck, twirling his moustache, ‘don’t know -- have a presentiment he won’t.’

Sure to come!’ exclaimed Captain Bouncey, knocking the ashes off his cigar on to the fine Tournay carpet, ‘I’ll lay ten to one -- ten fifties to one -- he does -- a thousand to ten if you like.’ If all the purses in the house had been clubbed together, we don’t believe they would have raised fifty pounds.

‘What sort of a looking man is he?’ asked Miss Glitters, now counting her loops.

‘Oh -- whoy -- ha -- hem -- haw -- he’s just an ordinary sort of lookin’ man -- nothin’ ’tickler anyway,’ drawled Captain Seedeybuck, now wetting and twirling his moustache.

‘Two legs, a head, a back, and so on, I presume,’ observed the lady.

‘Just so,’ assented Captain Seedeybuck.

‘He’s a horsey lookin’ sort o’ man, I should say,’ observed Captain Bouncey, ‘walks as if he ought to be ridin’ -- wears vinegar tops.’

‘Hate vinegar tops,’ growled Seedeybuck.

Just then, in came Lady Scattercash, attended by Mr Orlando Bugles, the ladies’ attractions having caused that distinguished performer to forfeit his engagement at the Surrey Theatre. Captain Cutitfat, Bob Spangles, and Sir Harry quickly followed, and the Sponge question was presently renewed.

‘Who says old brown boots comes?’ exclaimed Seedeybuck from the sofa.

‘Who’s that with his nasty nob on my fine satin sofa?’ asked the lady.

‘Bob Spangles,’ replied Seedeybuck.

‘Nothing of the sort,’ rejoined the lady; ‘and I’ll trouble you to get off.’

‘Can’t -- I’ve got a bone in my leg,’ rejoined the captain.

‘I’ll soon make you,’ replied her ladyship, seizing the squab, and pulling it on to the floor.

As the captain was scrambling up, in came Peter -- one of the wageless footmen -- with candles, which having distributed equitably about the room, he approached Lady Scattercash, and asked, in an independent sort of way, what room Mr Soapsuds was to have?

‘Soapsuds! -- Soapsuds! -- that’s not his name,’ exclaimed her ladyship.

Sponge, you fool! Soapey Sponge,’ exclaimed Cutitfat, who had ferreted out Sponge’s nomme de Londres.

‘He’s not come, has he?’ asked Miss Glitters, eagerly.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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