between Miss Moss’s own finger and thumb. Many a sheet had that dark-eyed damsel brought in; many a poor fellow had scrawled and blotted hurried lines of entreaty and paced up and down that awful room until his messenger brought back the reply. Poor men always use messengers instead of the post. Who has not had their letters, with the wafers wet, and the announcement that a person is waiting in the hall?

Now on the score of his application, Rawdon had not many misgivings.

DEAR BECKY, (Rawdon wrote)

I hope you slept well. Don’t be frightened if I don’t bring you in your coffy. Last night as I was coming home smoaking, I met with an accadent. I was nabbed by Moss of Cursitor Street—from whose gilt and splendid parler I write this—the same that had me this time two years. Miss Moss brought in my tea—she is grown very fat, and, as usual, had her stockens down at heal.

It’s Nathan’s business—a hundred-and-fifty—with costs, hundred-and-seventy. Please send me my desk and some cloths—I’m in pumps and a white tye (something like Miss M’s stockings)—I’ve seventy in it. And as soon as you get this, Drive to Nathan’s—offer him seventy-five down, and ask him to renew—say I’ll take wine—we may as well have some dinner sherry; but not picturs, they’re too dear.

If he won’t stand it. Take my ticker and such of your things as you can spare, and send them to Balls—we must, of coarse, have the sum to-night. It won’t do to let it stand over, as to-morrow’s Sunday; the beds here are not very clean, and there may be other things out against me—I’m glad it an’t Rawdon’s Saturday for coming home. God bless you.

Yours in haste,

R. C.

P.S. Make haste and come.

This letter, sealed with a wafer, was dispatched by one of the messengers who are always hanging about Mr. Moss’s establishment, and Rawdon, having seen him depart, went out in the court-yard and smoked his cigar with a tolerably easy mind—in spite of the bars overhead—for Mr. Moss’s court-yard is railed in like a cage, lest the gentlemen who are boarding with him should take a fancy to escape from his hospitality.

Three hours, he calculated, would be the utmost time required, before Becky should arrive and open his prison doors, and he passed these pretty cheerfully in smoking, in reading the paper, and in the coffee-room with an acquaintance, Captain Walker, who happened to be there, and with whom he cut for sixpences for some hours, with pretty equal luck on either side.

But the day passed away and no messenger returned— no Becky. Mr. Moss’s tably-dy-hoty was served at the appointed hour of half-past five, when such of the gentlemen lodging in the house as could afford to pay for the banquet came and partook of it in the splendid front parlour before described, and with which Mr. Crawley’s temporary lodging communicated, when Miss M. (Miss Hem, as her papa called her) appeared without the curl- papers of the morning, and Mrs. Hem did the honours of a prime boiled leg of mutton and turnips, of which the Colonel ate with a very faint appetite. Asked whether he would “stand” a bottle of champagne for the company, he consented, and the ladies drank to his ’ealth, and Mr. Moss, in the most polite manner, “looked towards him.”

In the midst of this repast, however, the doorbell was heard—young Moss of the ruddy hair rose up with the keys and answered the summons, and coming back, told the Colonel that the messenger had returned with a bag, a desk and a letter, which he gave him. “No ceramony, Colonel, I beg,” said Mrs. Moss with a wave of her hand, and he opened the letter rather tremulously. It was a beautiful letter, highly scented, on a pink paper, and with a light green seal.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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