Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.
a while.  Suddenly, however, like one who has formed a resolution, I clenched my right hand, flinging my hat somewhat on one side, and, turning back with haste to the door before which I had stopped, I sprang up the steps, and gave a loud rap, ringing at the same time the bell of the area.  After the lapse of a minute the door was opened by a maid-servant of no very cleanly or prepossessing appearance, of whom I demanded, in a tone of some hauteur, whether the master of the house was at home.  Glancing for a moment at the white paper bundle beneath my arm, the handmaid made no reply in words, but, with a kind of toss of her head, flung the door open, standing on one side as if to let me enter.  I did enter; and the hand-maid, having opened another door on the right hand, went in, and said something which I could not hear:  after a considerable pause, however, I heard the voice of a man say, ‘Let him come in’; whereupon the handmaid, coming out, motioned me to enter, and, on my obeying, instantly closed the door behind me.

CHAPTER XXX

The sinister glance—­Excellent correspondent—­Quite original—­My system—­A losing trade—­Merit—­Starting a Review—­What have you got?—­Stop!—­Dairyman’s Daughter—­Oxford principles—­More conversation—­How is this?

There were two individuals in the room in which I now found myself; it was a small study, surrounded with bookcases, the window looking out upon the square.  Of these individuals he who appeared to be the principal stood with his back to the fireplace.  He was a tall stout man, about sixty, dressed in a loose morning gown.  The expression of his countenance would have been bluff but for a certain sinister glance, and his complexion might have been called rubicund but for a considerable tinge of bilious yellow.  He eyed me askance as I entered.  The other, a pale, shrivelled-looking person, sat at a table apparently engaged with an account-book; he took no manner of notice of me, never once lifting his eyes from the page before him.

‘Well, sir, what is your pleasure?’ said the big man, in a rough tone, as I stood there, looking at him wistfully—­as well I might—­for upon that man, at the time of which I am speaking, my principal, I may say my only, hopes rested.

‘Sir,’ said I, ’my name is so-and-so, and I am the bearer of a letter to you from Mr. so-and-so, an old friend and correspondent of yours.’

The countenance of the big man instantly lost the suspicious and lowering expression which it had hitherto exhibited; he strode forward, and, seizing me by the hand, gave me a violent squeeze.

‘My dear sir,’ said he, ’I am rejoiced to see you in London.  I have been long anxious for the pleasure—­we are old friends, though we have never before met.  Taggart,’ said he to the man who sat at the desk, ’this is our excellent correspondent, the friend and pupil of our other excellent correspondent.’

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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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