‘What the devil are you doing here?’ said Dobbs Broughton to his friend the artist. ’You’re always here. You’re here a doosed sight more than I like.’ Husbands when they have been drinking are very apt to make mistakes as to the purport of the game.
‘Why Dobbs,’ said the painter, ‘there’s something wrong with you.’
’No, there ain’t. There’s nothing wrong; and if there was, what’s that to you? I shan’t ask you to pay anything for me, I suppose?’
‘Well;—I hope not.’
’I won’t have you here, and let that be an end of it. It’s all very well when I choose to have a few friends to dinner, but my wife can do very well without your fal-lalling here all day. Will you remember that, if you please?’
Conway Dalrymple, knowing that he had better not argue any question with a drunken man, took himself out of the house, shrugging his shoulders as he thought of the misery of which his poor dear playfellow would now be called on to endure.
A HERO AT HOME
On the morning after his visit to Miss Demolines, John Eames found himself at the Paddington Station asking for a ticket for Guestwick, and as he picked up his change another gentleman also demanded a ticket for the same place. Had Guestwick been as Liverpool or Manchester, Eames would have thought nothing about it. It is a matter of course that men should always be going from London to Liverpool and Manchester; but it seemed odd to him that two men should want first-class tickets for so small a place as Guestwick at the same moment. And when, afterwards, he was placed by the guard in the same carriage with this other traveller, he could not but feel some little curiosity. The man was four or five years Johnny’s senior, a good-looking fellow, with a pleasant face, and the outward appurtenances of a gentleman. The intelligent reader will no doubt be aware that the stranger was Major Grantly; but the intelligent reader has in this respect had much advantage over John Eames, who up to this time had never even heard of his cousin Grace Crawley’s lover. ’I think you were asking for a ticket to Guestwick,’ said Johnny; —whereupon the major owned that such was the case. ’I lived in Guestwick for the greater part of my life,’ said Johnny, ’and it’s the dullest, dearest little town in all England.’ ’I never was there before,’ said the major, ’and indeed I can hardly say I am going there now. I shall only pass through it.’ Then he got out his newspaper, and Johnny also got his out, and for a time there was no conversation between them. John remembered how holy was the errand upon which he was intent, and gathered his thoughts together, resolving that having so great a matter on his mind he would think about nothing else and speak about nothing at all. He was going down to Allington to ask Lily Dale for the last time whether she would be his wife; to ascertain whether he was to be successful