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J. Meade Falkner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about Moonfleet.
no tavern-loungers in her house, but that if I liked the Why Not? so well, I could go back there again for her.  I had been for begging her pardon for playing truant; but when I heard such scurvy words, felt the devil rise in my heart, and only laughed, though bitter tears were in my eyes.  So I turned my back upon the only home that I had ever known, and sauntered off down the village, feeling very lone, and am not sure I was not crying before I came again to the Why Not?

Then Elzevir saw that my face was downcast, and asked what ailed me, and so I told him how my aunt had turned me away, and that I had no home to go to.  But he seemed pleased rather than sorry, and said that I must come now and live with him, for he had plenty for both; and that since chance had led him to save my life, I should be to him a son in David’s place.  So I went to keep house with him at the Why Not? and my aunt sent down my bag of clothes, and would have made over to Elzevir the pittance that my father left for my keep, but he said it was not needful, and he would have none of it.

CHAPTER 6

AN ASSAULT

Surely after all,
The noblest answer unto such
Is perfect stillness when they brawl—­Tennyson

I have more than once brought up the name of Mr. Maskew; and as I shall have other things to tell of him later on, I may as well relate here what manner of man he was.  His stature was but medium, not exceeding five feet four inches, I think; and to make the most of it, he flung his head far back, and gave himself a little strut in walking.  He had a thin face with a sharp nose that looked as if it would peck you, and grey eyes that could pierce a millstone if there was a guinea on the far side of it.  His hair, for he wore his own, had been red, though it was now grizzled; and the colour of it was set down in Moonfleet to his being a Scotchman, for we thought all Scotchmen were red-headed.  He was a lawyer by profession, and having made money in Edinburgh, had gone so far south as Moonfleet to get quit, as was said, of the memories of rascally deeds.  It was about four years since he bought a parcel of the Mohune Estate, which had been breaking up and selling piecemeal for a generation; and on his land stood the Manor House, or so much of it as was left.  Of the mansion I have spoken before.  It was a very long house of two storeys, with a projecting gable and doorway in the middle, and at each end gabled wings running out crosswise.  The Maskews lived in one of these wings, and that was the only habitable portion of the place; for as to the rest, the glass was out of the windows, and in some places the roofs had fallen in.  Mr. Maskew made no attempt to repair house or grounds, and the bough of the great cedar which the snows had brought down in ’49 still blocked the drive.  The entrance to the house was through the porchway in the middle, but more than one tumble-down corridor had to be threaded before

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