Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 3/Evan Harrington - Part 35
EVAN HARRINGTON; or, HE WOULD BE A GENTLEMAN.
BY GEORGE MEREDITH.
CHAPTER XLV.IN WHICH THE SHOP BECOMES A CENTRE OF ATTRACTION.
Under the first lustre of a May-night, Evan was galloping over the moon-shadowed downs towards Beckley. At the ridge commanding the woods, the park, and the stream, his horse stopped, as if from habit, snorted, and puffed its sides, while he gazed steadily across the long lighted vale. Soon he began to wind down the glaring chalk track, and reached grass levels. Here he broke into a round pace, till, gaining the first straggling cottages of the village, he knocked the head of his whip against the garden-gate of one, and a man came out, who saluted him, and held the reins.
"Animal does work, sir," said the man.
Evan gave directions for it to be looked to, and went on to the doorway, where he was met by a young woman. She uttered a respectful greeting, and begged him to enter.
The door closed, he flung himself into a chair, and said: "Well, Susan, how is the child?"
"Oh! he's always well, Mr. Harrington; he don't know the tricks o' trouble yet."
"Will Polly be here soon?"
"At a quarter after nine, she said, sir."
Evan bade her sit down. After examining her features quietly, he said:
"I'm glad to see you here, Susan. You don't regret that you followed my advice?"
"No, sir; now it's over, I don't. Mother's kind enough, and father doesn't mention anything. She's a-bed with bile—father's out."
"But what? There's something on your mind."
"I shall cry, if I begin, Mr. Harrington."
"See how far you can get without."
"Oh! sir, then," said Susan, on a sharp rise of her bosom, "it ain't my fault. I wouldn't cause trouble to Mr. Harry, or any friend of yours; but, sir, father have got hold of his letters to me, and Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/402 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/403 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/404