The Astonishing History of Troy Town eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Astonishing History of Troy Town.

“To be sure, sir; what elst?—­a female woman, an’ so baptised.”

There was a moment’s silence; then Caleb resumed—­

“But contrari-wise, sir, the army cap’n was a man.”

“Ah! yes, of course; let us be just—­the army captain was a man.  Caleb,” said Mr. Fogo, with a sudden change from his pensive manner, “has it ever occurred to you to guess why I—­not yet an old man, Caleb—­am living in this solitude?”

“Beggin’ your pard’n, sir, an’ makin’ so free as to guess, but were it a woman by any chance?”

“Yes,” said his master, rising hurriedly and lighting his candle, “it was a woman, Caleb—­it was a woman.  You won’t forget that Notice to-morrow morning, will you?—­the first thing, if you please, Caleb.”

   Footnotes, Chapter XI
   [1] A cart-load.
   [2] Dust.
   [3] Playing truant.
   [4] Sloe.
   [5] Heather-coloured.
   [6] Two-faced.  Qy. from Janus?
   [7] Prying, looking about.
   [8] Nonsense.
   [9] Crockery.  Drinking in Troy is euphemistically called “emptyin’
       cloam.”
   [10] Boldness, forwardness.
   [11] A fairy.
   [12] Farm-yard.
   [13] Noise, tumult.
   [14] Demented, imbecile.
   [15] Died.

CHAPTER XII.

OF DETERIORATION; AND A WHEELBARROW THAT CONTAINED UNEXPECTED THINGS.

Great events meanwhile were happening in Troy.  On the eighth morning of his eclipse Admiral Buzza was startled by a brisk step upon the stairs; the devil’s tattoo was neatly struck upon his bed-room door, and the head of Mr. Goodwyn-Sandys looked in.

“Ah!  Admiral, here you are; like What’s-his-name in the ruins of Thingummy.  You’ll pardon me coming up, but my wife is downstairs with Mrs. Buzza, and I was told I should find you here.  Don’t rise—­ ‘no dress,’ as they say.  May I smoke?  Thanks.  And how are you by this time?  I heard something of your mishap, but not the rights of it.  I’ll sit down, and you can tell me all about it.”

Here was affability indeed.  The Admiral conquered his first impulse of diving beneath the bed-clothes, and, lying back, recounted his misadventure at some length.  The Honourable Frederic listened and smoked with perfect gravity.  At the close he said—­

“Very dirty treatment, ’pon my word; though I’m not sure I don’t sympathise with the fellow in warning off the women.  But why stay in bed?”

“There are feelings,”—­began the Admiral.

“Ah! to be sure—­injured feelings—­ungrateful country—­blow, blow, thou winter wind, &c.  So you take to bed, like the Roman gentleman who went too; forget the place.  Gets rid of the women, too; nuisance—­women—­when you’re upset; nonsense, that about pain and anguish playing the deuce, and a ministering angel thou—­tommy-rot, I call it.  Can’t be bothered, now, in bed—­turn round and snore; wife has hysterics—­snore louder.  Capital!  I’ve a mind to try the same plan when Geraldine is fussing and fuming.  These infernal women—­”

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The Astonishing History of Troy Town from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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