A GENTLEMAN COMES TO NUNCOMBE PUTNEY
It soon became known to them all as they remained clustered in the hall that Mr Glascock was in the house. Mrs Stanbury came out to them and informed them that he had been at Nuncombe Putney for the last hours, and that he had asked for Mrs Trevelyan when he called. It became evident as the affairs of the evening went on, that Mrs Stanbury had for a few minutes been thrown into a terrible state of amazement, thinking that ‘the Colonel’ had appeared. The strange gentleman, however, having obtained admittance, explained who he was, saying that he was very desirous of seeing Mrs Trevelyan and Miss Rowley. It may be presumed that a glimmer of light did make its way into Mrs Stanbury’s mind on the subject; but up to the moment at which the three travellers arrived, she had been in doubt on the subject. Mr Glascock had declared that he would take a walk, and in the course of the afternoon had expressed high approval of Mrs Crocket’s culinary skill. When Mrs Crocket heard that she had entertained the son of a lord, she was very loud in her praise of the manner in which he had eaten two mutton chops and called for a third. He had thought it no disgrace to apply himself to the second half of an apple pie, and had professed himself to be an ardent admirer of Devonshire cream. ’It’s them counter-skippers as turns up their little noses at the victuals as is set before them,’ said Mrs Crocket.
After his dinner Mr Glascock had returned to the Clock House, and had been sitting there for an hour with Mrs Stanbury, not much to her delight or to his, when the carriage was driven up to the door.
‘He is to go back to Lessboro’ to-night,’ said Mrs Stanbury in a whisper.
‘Of course you must see him before he goes,’ said Mrs Trevelyan to her sister. There had, as was natural, been very much said between the two sisters about Mr Glascock. Nora had abstained from asserting in any decided way that she disliked the man, and had always absolutely refused to allow Hugh Stanbury’s name to be mixed up with the question. ’Whatever might be her own thoughts about Hugh Stanbury she had kept them even from her sister. ’When her sister had told her that she had refused Mr Glascock because of Hugh, she had shown herself to be indignant, and had since that said one or two fine things as to her capacity to refuse a brilliant offer simply because the man who made it was indifferent to her. Mrs Trevelyan had learned from her that her Suitor had declared his intention to persevere; and here was perseverance with a vengeance! ‘Of course you must see him at once,’ said Mrs Trevelyan. Nora for a few seconds had remained silent, and then had run up to her room. Her sister followed her instantly.
‘What is the meaning of it all?’ said Priscilla to her mother.
‘I suppose he is in love with Miss Rowley,’ said Mrs Stanbury.