They were still in November, and he was thinking of postponing it till the summer! Camilla immediately perceived how necessary it was that she should be plain with him. ’We shall not have warm weather, as you call it, for a very long time, Thomas and I don’t think that it would be wise to wait for the weather at all. Indeed, I’ve begun to get my things for doing it in the winter. Mamma said that she was sure January would be the very latest. And it isn’t as though we had to get furniture or anything of that kind. Of course a lady shouldn’t be pressing.’ She smiled sweetly and leaned on his arm as she said this. ’But I hate all girlish nonsense and that kind of thing. It is such a bore to be kept waiting. I’m sure there’s nothing to prevent it coming off in February.’
The 31st of March was fixed before they reached Heavitree, and Camilla went into her mother’s house a happy woman. But Mr Gibson, as he went home, thought that he had been hardly used. Here was a girl who hadn’t a shilling of money, not a shilling till her mother died, and who already talked about his house, and his furniture, and his income as if it were all her own! Circumstanced as she was, what right had she to press for an early day? He was quite sure that Arabella would have been more discreet and less exacting. He was very angry with his dear Cammy as he went across the Close to his house.
SHEWING WHAT HAPPENED DURING MISS STANBURY’S ILLNESS
It was on Christmas-day that Sir Peter Mancrudy, the highest authority on such matters in the west of England, was sent for to see Miss Stanbury; and Sir Peter had acknowledged that things were very serious. He took Dorothy on one side, and told her that Mr Martin, the ordinary practitioner, had treated the case, no doubt, quite wisely throughout; that there was not a word to be said against Mr Martin, whose experience was great, and whose discretion was undeniable; but, nevertheless, at least it seemed to Dorothy, that this was the only meaning to be attributed to Sir Peter’s words: Mr Martin had in this case taken one line of treatment, when he ought to have taken another. The plan of action was undoubtedly changed, and Mr Martin became very fidgety, and ordered nothing without Sir Peter’s sanction. Miss Stanbury was suffering from bronchitis, and a complication of diseases about her throat and chest. Barty Burgess declared to more than one acquaintance in the little parlour behind the bank, that she would go on drinking four or five glasses of new port wine every day, in direct opposition to Martin’s request. Camilla French heard the report, and repeated it to her lover, and perhaps another person or two, with an expression of her assured conviction that it must be false at any rate, as regarded the fifth glass. Mrs MacHugh, who saw Martha daily, was much frightened. The peril of such a friend disturbed equally the repose