Verner's Pride eBook

Ellen Wood (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,003 pages of information about Verner's Pride.

The seed, scattered broadcast by Brother Jarrum, had had time to fructify.  He had left the glowing promises of all that awaited them, did they decide to voyage out to New Jerusalem, to take root in the imaginations of his listeners, and absented himself for a time from Deerham.  This may have been crafty policy on Brother Jarrum’s part; or may have resulted from necessity.  It was hardly likely that so talented and enlightened an apostle as Brother Jarrum should confine his labours to the limited sphere of Deerham:  in all probability, they had to be put in requisition elsewhere.  However it may have been, for several weeks towards the end of spring, Brother Jarrum was away from Deerham.  Mr. Bitterworth, and one or two more influential people, of whom Lionel was one, had very strongly objected to Brother Jarrum’s presence in it at all; and, again, this may have been the reason of his quitting it.  However it was, he did quit it; though not without establishing a secret understanding with the more faithful of his converts.  With the exception of these converts, Deerham thought he had left it for good; that it was, as they not at all politely expressed it, “shut of him.”  In this Deerham was mistaken.

On the very day of Lionel Verner’s marriage, Brother Jarrum reappeared in the place.  He took up his abode, as before, in Mrs. Peckaby’s spare room.  Peckaby, this time, held out against it.  However welcome the four shillings rent, weekly, was from Brother Jarrum, Peckaby assumed a lordly indifference to it, and protested he’d rather starve, nor have pison like him in the house.  Peckaby, however, possessed a wife, who, on occasion, wore, metaphorically speaking, his nether garments, and it was her will and pleasure to countenance the expected guest.  Brother Jarrum, therefore, was received and welcomed.

He did not hold forth this time in Peckaby’s shop.  He did not in public urge the delights of New Jerusalem, or the expediency of departure for it.  He kept himself quiet and retired, receiving visits in the privacy of his chamber.  After dark, especially, friends would drop in; admitted without noise or bustle by Mrs. Peckaby; parties of ones, of twos, of threes, until there would be quite an assembly collected upstairs; why should not Brother Jarrum hold his levees as well as his betters?

That something unusual was in the wind, was very evident; some scheme, or project, which it appeared expedient to keep a secret.  Had Peckaby been a little less fond Of the seductions of the Plough and Harrow, his suspicions must have been aroused.  Unfortunately, Peckaby yielded unremittingly to that renowned inn’s temptations, and spent every evening there, leaving full sway to his wife and Brother Jarrum.

About a month thus passed on, and Lionel Verner and his wife were expected home, when Deerham woke up one morning to a commotion.  A flitting had taken place from it in the night.  Brother Jarrum had departed, conveying with him a train of followers.

Project Gutenberg
Verner's Pride from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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