And they were never idle, these legs: there was no sitting cross-legged in a chair for St. George: he was not constructed along those lines. Hardly a week had passed before he had them across Spitfire’s mate; had ridden to hounds; danced a minuet with Harry and Kate; walked half-way to Kennedy Square and back—they thought he was going to walk all the way and headed him off just in time; and best of all—(and this is worthy of special mention)—had slipped them into the lower section of a suit of clothes—and these his own, although he had not yet paid for them—the colonel having liquidated their cost. These trousers, it is just as well to state, had arrived months before from Poole, along with a suit of Rutter’s and the colonel had forwarded a draft for the whole amount without examining the contents, until Alec had called his attention to the absurd width of the legs—and the ridiculous spread of the seat. My Lord of Moorlands, after the scene in the Temple Mansion, dared not send them in to St. George, and they had accordingly lain ever since on top of his wardrobe with Alec as chief of the Moth Department. St. George, on his arrival, found them folded carefully and placed on a chair—Todd chief valet. Whereupon there had been a good-natured row when our man of fashion appeared at breakfast rigged out in all his finery, everybody clapping their hands and saying how handsome he looked —St. George in reply denouncing Talbot as a brigand of a Brummel who had stolen his clothes, tried to wear them, and then when out of fashion thrown them back on his hands.
All these, and a thousand other delightful things, it would, I say, be eminently worth while to dilate upon—(including a series of whoops and hand-springs which Todd threw against the rear wall of the big kitchen five seconds after Alec had told him of the discomfiture of “dat red-haided gemman,” and of Marse Harry’s good fortune)—were it not that certain mysterious happenings are taking place inside and out of the Temple house in Kennedy Square—happenings exciting universal comment, and of such transcendent importance that the Scribe is compelled, much against his will—for the present installment is entirely too short—to confine their telling to a special chapter.
For some time back, then be it said, various strollers unfamiliar with the neighbors or the neighborhood of Kennedy Square, poor benighted folk who knew nothing of the events set down in the preceding chapters, had nodded knowingly to each other or shaken their pates deprecatingly over the passing of “another old landmark.”
Some of these had gone so far as to say that the cause could be found in the fact that Lawyer Temple had run through what little money his father and grandmother had left him; additional wise-acres were of the opinion that some out-of-town folks had bought the place and were trying to prop it up so it wouldn’t tumble into the street, while one, more facetious than the others, had claimed that it was no wonder it was falling down, since the only new thing Temple had put upon it was a heavy mortgage.