“My sister feared that we should have considerable trouble in the removal, but I have convinced her that such will not be the case, as we are by no means overburdened with cumbrous property.”
“Cumbrous property,” said the admiral, “why, what do you mean? I beg leave to say, that when I took the house, I took the table and chairs with it. D—n it, what good do you suppose an empty house is to me?”
“The tables and chairs!”
“Yes. I took the house just as it stands. Don’t try and bamboozle me out of it. I tell you, you’ve nothing to move but yourselves and immediate personal effects.”
“I was not aware, admiral, that that was your plan.”
“Well, then, now you are, listen to me. I’ve circumvented the enemy too often not to know how to get up a plot. Jack and I have managed it all. To-morrow evening, after dark, and before the moon’s got high enough to throw any light, you and your brother, and Miss Flora and your mother, will come out of the house, and Jack and I will lead you where you’re to go to. There’s plenty of furniture where you’re a-going, and so you will get off free, without anybody knowing anything about it.”
“Well, admiral, I’ve said it before, and it is the unanimous opinion of us all, that everything should be left to you. You have proved yourself too good a friend to us for us to hesitate at all in obeying your commands. Arrange everything, I pray you, according to your wishes and feelings, and you will find there shall be no cavilling on our parts.”
“That’s right; there’s nothing like giving a command to some one person. There’s no good done without. Now I’ll manage it all. Mind you, seven o’clock to-morrow evening everything is to be ready, and you will all be prepared to leave the Hall.”
“It shall be so.”
“Who’s that giving such a thundering ring at the gate?”
“Nay, I know not. We have few visitors and no servants, so I must e’en be my own gate porter.”
Henry walked to the gate, and having opened it, a servant in a handsome livery stepped a pace or two into the garden.
“Well,” said Henry.
“Is Mr. Henry Bannerworth within, or Admiral Bell?”
“Both,” cried the admiral. “I’m Admiral Bell, and this is Mr. Henry Bannerworth. What do you want with us, you d——d gingerbread-looking flunkey?”
“Sir, my master desires his compliments—his very best compliments—and he wants to know how you are after your flurry.”
“After your—a—a—flurry and excitement.”
“Who is your master?” said Henry.
“Sir Francis Varney.”
“The devil!” said the admiral; “if that don’t beat all the impudence I ever came near. Our flurry! Ah! I like that fellow. Just go and tell him—”
“No, no,” said Henry, interposing, “send back no message. Say to your master, fellow, that Mr. Henry Bannerworth feels that not only has he no claim to Sir Francis Varney’s courtesy, but that he would rather be without it.”