Elsie Venner eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about Elsie Venner.
To think of seeing her barouching about Rockland behind a pair of long-tailed bays and a coachman with a band on his hat, while she, Blanche Creamer, was driving herself about in a one-horse “carriage”!  Recovering her spirits by degrees, she began playing her surfaces off at the two old Doctors, just by way of practice.  First she heaved up a glaring white shoulder, the right one, so that the Reverend Doctor should be stunned by it, if such a thing might be.  The Reverend Doctor was human, as the Apostle was not ashamed to confess himself.  Half-devoutly and half-mischievously he repeated inwardly, “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”  As the Reverend Doctor did not show any lively susceptibility, she thought she would try the left shoulder on old Dr. Kittredge.  That worthy and experienced student of science was not at all displeased with the manoeuvre, and lifted his head so as to command the exhibition through his glasses.  “Blanche is good for half a dozen years or so, if she is careful,” the Doctor said to himself, “and then she must take to her prayer-book.”  After this spasmodic failure of Mrs. Blanche Creamer’s to stir up the old Doctors, she returned again to the pleasing task of watching the Widow in her evident discomfiture.  But dark as the Widow looked in her half-concealed pet, she was but as a pale shadow, compared to Elsie in her silent concentration of shame and anger.

“Well, there is one good thing,” said Mrs. Blanche Creamer; “Dick doesn’t get much out of that cousin of his this evening!  Does n’t he look handsome, though?”

So Mrs. Blanche, being now a good deal taken up with her observations of those friends of hers and ours, began to be rather careless of her two old Doctors, who naturally enough fell into conversation with each other across the white surfaces of that lady, perhaps not very politely, but, under the, circumstances, almost as a matter of necessity.

When a minister and a doctor get talking together, they always have a great deal to say; and so it happened that the company left the table just as the two Doctors were beginning to get at each other’s ideas about various interesting matters.  If we follow them into the other parlor, we can, perhaps, pick up something of their conversation.

CHAPTER XXII.

Why doctors differ.

The company rearranged itself with some changes after leaving the tea-table.  Dudley Veneer was very polite to the Widow; but that lady having been called off for a few moments for some domestic arrangement, he slid back to the side of Helen Darley, his daughter’s faithful teacher.  Elsie had got away by herself, and was taken up in studying the stereoscopic Laocoon.  Dick, being thus set free, had been seized upon by Mrs. Blanche Creamer, who had diffused herself over three-quarters of a sofa and beckoned him to the remaining fourth.  Mr. Bernard and Miss Letty were having a snug fete-’a-fete in the recess of a bay-window.  The two Doctors had taken two arm-chairs and sat squared off against each other.  Their conversation is perhaps as well worth reporting as that of the rest of the company, and, as it was carried on in a louder tone, was of course more easy to gather and put on record.

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Elsie Venner from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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