Oddsfish! eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 486 pages of information about Oddsfish!.

We sat and talked a good while; and Mr. Grove brought chocolate up for the ladies.  But for myself, I had such a variety of thoughts, as I talked with them all, knowing what I did, and they knowing nothing, that I could scarce command my voice and manner sometimes.  For here were these innocent folk—­with Mr. Grove smiling upon them with the chocolate—­talking of the play and what-not, and of which of the actors pleased them and which did not—­and I noticed that the ladies, as always, were very severe upon the women—­and the good fathers, too, pleased that they were pleased, and rallying them upon their gaiety—­(for it appeared that these ladies did not go often into company); and here sat I, with my secret upon my heart, knowing—­or guessing at least—­that a plot was afoot to ruin them all and turn their merriment into mourning.

But I think that I acquitted myself pretty well; and that none guessed that anything was amiss with me; for I spoke of the plays I had seen in Rome, before that I was a novice, and of the singers that I heard there; and I listened, too, to their own speeches, gathering this and that, of what they did and where they went, if by chance I might gather something to their own advantage thereafter.

It was pretty to see, too, how courteous and gallant Mr. Ireland was with his mother and sister; and how he put their cloaks about them at the door, and feigned that he was a constable to carry them off to prison—­(at which my heart failed me again)—­for frequenting the company of suspected persons; and how he gave an arm to each of them, as they set off into the dark.

* * * * *

That night too, as I lay abed, I thought much of all this again.  I had established a great friendliness with the Fathers by now, telling them I was come up again to London, as Mr. Whitbread had recommended me, until the Court should go again to Windsor, and that perhaps I should go with it thither.  They had told me at that, that one of their Fathers was there, named Mr. Bedingfeld (who was of the Oxburgh family, I think), and that he was confessor to the Duke of York, and that they would recommend me to him if I should go.  But all through my anxiety I comforted myself with the assurance the King had given to me, that, whatever else might ensue, not a hair of their heads should be touched, for I had great confidence in His Majesty’s word, given so solemnly.

CHAPTER VI

Now begins in earnest that chapter of horrors that will be with me till I die; and the learning of that lesson that I might have learned long before from one that was himself a Prince, and knew what he was talking of—­I mean King David, who bids us in his psalm to “put no trust in princes nor in any child of man.”

For several days all passed peacefully enough.  I waited upon Mr. Chiffinch, and asked whether the King had spoken of me again, and was told he had not; so I went about my business, which was to haunt the taverns and to frequent the company of the Jesuits.

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Oddsfish! from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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