The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 809 pages of information about The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete.
but awkward.  She was a bold, plump girl, fond of male society.  Heriot enraptured her.  I believed at the time she would have appointed a year to marry him in, had he put the question.  But too many women were in love with Heriot.  He and I met Kiomi on the road to the race-course on the Southdowns; the prettiest racecourse in England, shut against gipsies.  A bare-footed swarthy girl ran beside our carriage and tossed us flowers.  He and a friend of his, young Lord Destrier, son of the Marquis of Edbury, who knew my father well, talked and laughed with her, and thought her so very handsome that I likewise began to stare, and I suddenly called ‘Kiomi!’ She bounded back into the hedge.  This was our second meeting.  It would have been a pleasant one had not Heriot and Destrier pretended all sorts of things about our previous acquaintance.  Neither of us, they said, had made a bad choice, but why had we separated?  She snatched her hand out of mine with a grin of anger like puss in a fury.  We had wonderful fun with her.  They took her to a great house near the race-course, and there, assisted by one of the young ladies, dressed her in flowing silks, and so passed her through the gate of the enclosure interdicted to bare feet.  There they led her to groups of fashionable ladies, and got themselves into pretty scrapes.  They said she was an Indian.  Heriot lost his wagers and called her a witch.  She replied, ‘You’ll find I’m one, young man,’ and that was the only true thing she spoke of the days to come.  Owing to the hubbub around the two who were guilty of this unmeasured joke upon consequential ladies, I had to conduct her to the gate.  Instantly, and without a good-bye, she scrambled up her skirts and ran at strides across the road and through the wood, out of sight.  She won her dress and a piece of jewelry.

With Heriot I went on a sad expedition, the same I had set out upon with Temple.  This time I saw my father behind those high red walls, once so mysterious and terrible to me.  Heriot made light of prisons for debt.  He insisted, for my consolation, that they had but a temporary dishonourable signification; very estimable gentlemen, as well as scamps, inhabited them, he said.  The impression produced by my visit—­the feasting among ruined men who believed in good luck the more the lower they fell from it, and their fearful admiration of my imprisoned father—­was as if I had drunk a stupefying liquor.  I was unable clearly to reflect on it.  Daily afterwards, until I released him, I made journeys to usurers to get a loan on the faith of the reversion of my mother’s estate.  Heriot, like the real friend he was, helped me with his name to the bond.  When my father stood free, I had the proudest heart alive; and as soon as we had parted, the most amazed.  For a long while, for years, the thought of him was haunted by racketballs and bearded men in their shirtsleeves; a scene sickening to one’s pride.  Yet it had grown impossible for me to think of him without

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The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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