The Last Chronicle of Barset eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,014 pages of information about The Last Chronicle of Barset.

After that there was a pause, and Mr Toogood pushed about the old port, and made some very stinging remark as to the claret-drinking propensities of the age.  ‘Gladstone claret the most of it is, I fancy,’ said Mr Toogood.  ’I find that port wine which my father bought in the wood five-and-twenty years ago is good enough for me.’  Mr Walker said that it was quite good enough for him, almost too good, and that he thought that he had had enough of it.  The host threatened another bottle, and was up to draw the cork—­rather to the satisfaction of John Eames, who liked his uncle’s port—­but Mr Walker stopped him.  ’Not a drop more for me,’ he said.  ‘You are quite sure?’ ‘Quite sure.’  And Mr Walker moved towards the door.

‘It’s a great pity, Mr Walker,’ said Toogood, going back to that old subject, ‘that the dean and his wife should be away.’

‘I understand that they both will be home before the trial,’ said Mr Walker.

’Yes—­but you know how very important it is to learn beforehand exactly what your witnesses can prove and what they can’t prove.  And moreover, though neither the dean nor his wife might perhaps be able to tell us anything themselves, they might help to put us on the proper scent.  I think I’ll send somebody after them.  I think I will.’

‘It would be a heavy expense, Mr Toogood.’

‘Yes,’ said Toogood mournfully, thinking of his twelve children; ’it would be a heavy expense.  But I never like to stick at a thing when it ought to be done.  I think I shall send a fellow after them.’

‘I’ll go,’ said Johnny.

‘How can you go?’

‘I’ll make old Snuffle give me leave.’

‘But will that lessen the expense?’ said Mr Walker.

‘Well, yes, I think it will,’ said John, modestly.

‘My nephew is a rich man, Mr Walker,’ said Mr Toogood.

‘That alters the case,’ said Mr Walker.  And thus, before they left the dining-room, it was settled that John Eames should be taught his lesson and should seek both Mrs Arabin and Dr Arabin on their travels.

CHAPTER XLI

GRACE CRAWLEY AT HOME

On the morning after his return from London, Mr Crawley showed symptoms of great fatigue, and his wife implored him to remain in bed.  But this he would not do.  He would get up, and go out down to the brickfields.  He has specially bound himself, he said, to see that the duties of the parish should not suffer by being left in his hands.  The bishop had endeavoured to place them in other hands, but he had persisted in retaining them.  As had done so he could allow no weariness of his own to interfere—­and especially no weariness induced by labours undertaken on his own behalf.  The day in the week had come round on which it was his wont to visit the brickmakers, and he would visit them.  So he dragged himself out of his bed and went forth amidst the cold storm

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The Last Chronicle of Barset from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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