Sir Purcell smiled at the simplicity of her pleading look.
“Now, I want to know where to find Mr. Pericles,” she pursued. “And if you will come to him with me! He is sure to be very angry—I thought you might protect me from that. But when he hears that I am really going at last—at once!—he can laugh sometimes! you will see him rub his hands.”
“I must enquire where his chambers are to be found,” said Sir Purcell.
“Oh! anybody in the City must know him, because he is so rich.” Emilia coughed. “This fog kills me. Pray make haste. Dear friend, I trouble you very much, but I want to get away from this. I can hardly breathe. I shall have no heart for my task, if I don’t see him soon.”
“Wait for me, then,” said Sir Purcell; “you cannot wait in a better place. And I must entreat you to be careful.” He half alluded to the adjustment of her shawl, and to anything else, as far as she might choose to apprehend him. Her dexterity in tossing him the letter, unseen by Madame Marini, might have frightened him and given him a dread, that albeit woman, there was germ of wickedness in her.
This pained him acutely, for he never forgot that she had been the means of his introduction to Cornelia, from whom he could not wholly dissociate her: and the idea that any prospective shred of impurity hung about one who had even looked on his beloved, was utter anguish to the keen sentimentalist. “Be very careful,” he would have repeated, but that he had a warning sense of the ludicrous, and Emilia’s large eyes when they fixed calmly on a face were not of a flighty east She stood, too, with the “dignity of sadness,” as he was pleased to phrase it.
“She must be safe here,” he said to himself. And yet, upon reflection, he decided not to leave her, peremptorily informing her to that effect. Emilia took his arm, and as they were passing through the hall of entrance they met the same gentleman who had directed them to the spot of quiet. Both she and Sir Purcell heard him say to a companion: “There she is.” A deep glow covered Emilia’s face. “Do they know you?” asked Sir Purcell. “No,” she said: and then he turned, but the couple had gone on.
“That deserves chastisement,” he muttered. Briefly telling her to wait, he pursued them. Emilia was standing in the gateway, not at all comprehending why she was alone. “Sandra Belloni!” struck her ear. Looking forward she perceived a hand and a head gesticulating from a cab-window. She sprang out into the street, and instantly the hand clenched and the head glared savagely. It was Mr. Pericles himself, in travelling costume.
“I am your fool?” he began, overbearing Emilia’s most irritating “How are you?” and “Are you quite well?
“I am your fool? hein? You send me to Paris! to Geneve! I go over Lago Maggiore, and aha! it is your joke, meess! I juste return. Oh capital! At Milano I wait—I enquire—till a letter from old Belloni, and I learn I am your fool—of you all! Jomp in.”