To take an additional man-servant was by no means such a great proposal as it would be in most houses at present. Men swarmed in much larger proportion than maids in all families of condition, and the Doctor was wealthy enough for one—more or less—to make little difference, but the question was asked as to what wages Hans should receive.
The knight laughed. “Wages, poor lad, what should he do with them? He is but a slave, I tell you. Meat, clothes, and fire, that is all he needs, and I will so deal with him that he will serve you in all faithfulness and obedience. He can speak English enough to know what you bid him do, but not enough for chatter with the servants.”
So the agreement was made, and poor Hans was to be sent down by the Portsmouth coach together with Peregrine’s luggage.
CHAPTER X: THE MENAGERIE
“The head remains unchanged within,
Nor altered much the face,
It still retains its native grin,
And all its old grimace.
“Men with contempt the brute surveyed,
Nor would a name bestow,
But women liked the motley beast,
And called the thing a beau.”
The Monkies, MERRICK.
The Woodford family did not long remain at Winchester. Anne declared the cold to be harming her mother, and became very anxious to bring her to the milder sea breezes of Portchester, and though Mrs. Woodford had little expectation that any place would make much difference to her, she was willing to return to the quiet and repose of her home under the castle walls beside the tranquil sea.
Thus they travelled back, as soon as the Doctor’s Residence was ended, plodding through the heavy chalk roads as well as the big horses could drag the cumbrous coach up and down the hills, only halting for much needed rest at Sir Philip Archfield’s red house, round three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth with a low wall backed by a row of poplar trees, looking out on the alternate mud and sluggish waters of Fareham creek, but with a beautiful garden behind the house.
The welcome was hearty. Lady Archfield at once conducted Mrs. Woodford to her own bedroom, where she was to rest and be served apart, and Anne disrobed her of her wraps, covered her upon the bed, and at her hostess’s desire was explaining what refreshment would best suit her, when there was a shrill voice at the door: “I want Mistress Anne! I want to show her my clothes and jewels.”
“Coming, child, she is coming when she has attended to her mother,” responded the lady. “White wine, or red, did you say, Anne, and a little ginger?”