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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,021 pages of information about He Knew He Was Right.

CHAPTER XXXII

THE ‘FULL MOON’ AT ST. DIDDULPH’S

The receipt of Mrs Trevelyan’s letter on that Monday morning was a great surprise both to Mr and Mrs Outhouse.  There was no time for any consideration, no opportunity for delaying their arrival till they should have again referred the matter to Mr Trevelyan.  Their two nieces were to be with them on that evening, and even the telegraph wires, if employed with such purpose, would not be quick enough to stop their coming.  The party, as they knew, would have left Nuncombe Putney before the arrival of the letter at the parsonage of St. Diddulph’s.  There would have been nothing in this to have caused vexation, had it not been decided between Trevelyan and Mr Outhouse that Mrs Trevelyan was not to find a home at the parsonage.  Mr Outhouse was greatly afraid of being so entangled in the matter as to be driven to take the part of the wife against the husband; and Mrs Outhouse, though she was full of indignation against Trevelyan, was at the same time not free from anger in regard to her own niece.  She more than once repeated that most unjust of all proverbs, which declares that there is never smoke without fire, and asserted broadly that she did not like to be with people who could not live at home, husbands with wives, and wives with husbands, in a decent, respectable manner.  Nevertheless the preparations went on busily, and when the party arrived at seven o’clock in the evening, two rooms had been prepared close to each other, one for the two sisters, and the other for the child and nurse, although poor Mr Outhouse himself was turned out of his own little chamber in order that the accommodation might be given.  They were all very hot, very tired, and very dusty, when the cab reached the parsonage.  There had been the preliminary drive from Nuncombe Putney to Lessboro’.  Then the railway journey from thence to the Waterloo Bridge Station had been long.  And it had seemed to them that the distance from the station to St. Diddulph’s had been endless.  When the cabman was told whither he was to go, he looked doubtingly at his poor old horse, and then at the luggage which he was required to pack on the top of his cab, and laid himself out for his work with a full understanding that it would not be accomplished without considerable difficulty.  The cabman made it twelve miles from Waterloo Bridge to St. Diddulph’s, and suggested that extra passengers and parcels would make the fare up to ten and six.  Had he named double as much Mrs Trevelyan would have assented.  So great was the fatigue, and so wretched the occasion, that there was sobbing and crying in the cab, and when at last the parsonage was reached, even the nurse was hardly able to turn her hand to anything.  The poor wanderers were made welcome on that evening without a word of discussion as to the cause of their coming.  ’I hope you are not angry with us, Uncle Oliphant,’

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