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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Cranford.
A part of the tea was sent in presents to the Cranford ladies; and some of it was distributed among the old people who remembered Mr Peter in the days of his frolicsome youth.  The Indian muslin gown was reserved for darling Flora Gordon (Miss Jessie Brown’s daughter).  The Gordons had been on the Continent for the last few years, but were now expected to return very soon; and Miss Matty, in her sisterly pride, anticipated great delight in the joy of showing them Mr Peter.  The pearl necklace disappeared; and about that time many handsome and useful presents made their appearance in the households of Miss Pole and Mrs Forrester; and some rare and delicate Indian ornaments graced the drawing-rooms of Mrs Jamieson and Mrs Fitz-Adam.  I myself was not forgotten.  Among other things, I had the handsomest-bound and best edition of Dr Johnson’s works that could be procured; and dear Miss Matty, with tears in her eyes, begged me to consider it as a present from her sister as well as herself.  In short, no one was forgotten; and, what was more, every one, however insignificant, who had shown kindness to Miss Matty at any time, was sure of Mr Peter’s cordial regard.

CHAPTER XVI—­PEACE TO CRANFORD

It was not surprising that Mr Peter became such a favourite at Cranford.  The ladies vied with each other who should admire him most; and no wonder, for their quiet lives were astonishingly stirred up by the arrival from India—­especially as the person arrived told more wonderful stories than Sindbad the Sailor; and, as Miss Pole said, was quite as good as an Arabian Night any evening.  For my own part, I had vibrated all my life between Drumble and Cranford, and I thought it was quite possible that all Mr Peter’s stories might be true, although wonderful; but when I found that, if we swallowed an anecdote of tolerable magnitude one week, we had the dose considerably increased the next, I began to have my doubts; especially as I noticed that when his sister was present the accounts of Indian life were comparatively tame; not that she knew more than we did, perhaps less.  I noticed also that when the rector came to call, Mr Peter talked in a different way about the countries he had been in.  But I don’t think the ladies in Cranford would have considered him such a wonderful traveller if they had only heard him talk in the quiet way he did to him.  They liked him the better, indeed, for being what they called “so very Oriental.”

One day, at a select party in his honour, which Miss Pole gave, and from which, as Mrs Jamieson honoured it with her presence, and had even offered to send Mr Mulliner to wait, Mr and Mrs Hoggins and Mrs Fitz-Adam were necessarily—­excluded one day at Miss Pole’s, Mr Peter said he was tired of sitting upright against the hard-backed uneasy chairs, and asked if he might not indulge himself in sitting cross-legged.  Miss Pole’s consent was eagerly given, and down

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