Mrs. Errington was inspecting the contents of a packing-case which had been sent from London by Lady Seely. It contained, as her ladyship said, “some odds and ends that would be useful to the young couple.” The only article of any value in the whole collection was a porcelain vase, which had long stood in obscurity on a side-table in Lord Seely’s study, and would not be missed thence. Lady Seely, at all events, would not miss it, as she seldom entered the room; and therefore she had generously added it to the odds and ends!

Mrs. Errington looked up, a little flushed with the exertion of stooping over the packing-case, and confronted Mr. Maxfield. Her 杭州百花坊官网round, red full-moon face contrasted in a lively manner with the old man’s grey, lank, harsh visage.杭州油压毛推 The years, as they passed, did not improve old Max’s appearance. And as soon as she beheld him, Mrs. Errington was convinced of the justice of Betty Grimshaw’s remark, that her brother-in-law seemed to have grown closer and crustier than ever of late.

“Why, Mr. Maxfield,” said the lady, condescendingly, “how do you do? I have been wanting to see you. Come, sit down, and let us talk matters over.”

Old Max stood in the doorway glaring at her. “I don’t know, ma’am, as there’s any matters I want to talk over with you,” he returned. “You had better understand that I mean what I say. You’ll find it more convenient to


believe me at once, and to act accordin’.”

“Do you mean to say that you intend to turn me out, Mr. Maxfield?”

“I have given you a legal notice to quit, ma’am. You needn’t call it turning you out, unless you like.”
He had begun to move away, when Mrs. Errington exclaimed, “But I really don’t comprehend this at all! What will Rhoda think of it?”

Maxfield stopped, hesitatingly, with his hand on the banisters at the top of the landing. “Rhoda?” said he gruffly. “Oh, Rhoda has nothing to say to it, one way or t’other.”

“But I want to have something to say to her! I assure you it was a great disappointment to me not to find Rhoda here on my return. I’m very fond of her; and shall continue to be so, as long as she merits it. It is not her fault, poor girl, if—other people forget themselves.”

Maxfield took his hand off the banisters and turned round. “Since you’re so fond of Rhoda,” he said, with a queer expression on his sour old face, “you’ll be glad to know where she is, and the company she’s in.”

“I know that she is at the seaside with 杭州用口的SPA my friends, Mrs. and Miss Bodkin.”

“She is at the seaside with her friends, Mrs. and Miss Bodkin. Miss Minnie is a real lady, and she understands how to treat Rhoda, and knows that the Lord has made a lady of Rhoda by natur’.”

Mrs. Errington stared in utter astonishment. The suspicion began to form and strengthen itself in her mind that the old man was positively out of his senses. If so, his insanity had taken an extremely unpleasant turn for her.

“I really was not prepared for being turned out of my lodgings after all these years,” she said, reverting to the point that most nearly touched herself.

“I’ve not been prepared for a many things as have happened after all these years. But I’m ready to meet ’em when they come.”

“Well, but now, Mr. Maxfield, let us see if we cannot make an arrangement. If you have any different 杭州萧山区夜网 views about the rent, I——”

“The rent! What do you think your bit of a rent matters to me? I want the rooms for the use of my daughter, Miss Maxfield, and there’s an end of it.”

“Oh, he certainly cannot be in his right senses to address me in this manner!” thought Mrs. Errington.

Maxfield went on, “I see you’ve got a box of rubbish there, littering about the place. I give you warning not to unpack any more here, for out everything ‘ll have to go on the twenty-seventh of this month, as sure as my name’s Jonathan Maxfield!”

“Mr. Maxfield! You are certainly forgetting yourself. Rubbish, indeed! These are a few—a very few—of the valuable wedding presents sent to my son and daughter by Lady Seely.”

Old Max made a grating sound which was intended for a laugh, although his bushy grey eyebrows were drawn together in a heavy frown 杭州足浴店 the while. Then he suddenly burst out in a kind of cold fury. “Pooh!” he cried. “Presents! Valuable presents! You don’t deceive anybody by that! Look here—if the old carpet or any of the furniture in this room would be of any assistance to you, you can take it! I’ll give it to you—a free gift! The place is going to be done up and new furnished for Miss Maxfield. Furnished handsome, fit for a young lady of property. Fit for a young lady that will have a sum o’ money on the day she marries—if I’m pleased with her choice—as ‘ll make some folks’ mouths water. It won’t be reckoned by twenties, nor yet by hundreds, won’t Miss Maxfield’s fortin’! You can take the old carpet, and mahogany table, and the high-backed chairs, and put ’em among your valuable presents. They’re too old-fashioned for Miss Maxfield’s drawing-room!” And with 杭州桑拿按摩女照片 a repetition of the grating laugh, old Max tramped heavily downstairs, and was heard to bang the door of his own parlour.

Mrs. Errington sat motionless for nearly a quarter of an hour, staring at the open door. “Mad!” she exclaimed at length, drawing a long breath. “Quite mad! But I wonder if there is any truth in what he says about Rhoda’s money? Dear me, why she’ll be quite a catch!”

Meanwhile Rhoda, at Duckwell Farm, supposed herself to be too unhappy to care much for anything. She did not have a fever, nor fall into a consumption, nor waste away visibly; but she passed hours crying alone in her own room, or sitting idle-handed, whilst her thoughts languidly retraced the past, or strove to picture what sort of a lady Algernon’s wife might be. Headaches, pallid cheeks, and red eyes resulted from these solitary 浙江杭州龙凤 hours. Mrs. Seth Maxfield wondered what had come to the girl, having no suspicion that young Errington’s marriage could be more to Rhoda than an interesting subject for gossip.

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