« AnteriorContinuar »
proved unsuccessful; nothing was to be seen of the carriage or of Babie.
“Where shall I drive now?" asked the coachman-as he found it necessary again to repair the harness, wishing, by his powers of conversation (which, on the stand, were considered “unkimmon great”), to conceal from Ellen this new accident and delay – “Have you seen enough of Regent Street, miss ? Wor you looking for any thing particular ?”
"Only for a lady in a carriage.”
“ Why, Lor’ bless you! why didn't you say that afore, I could have told you ; there's such a many of them, you might as well look for a needle in a bottle of hay.”
“ Now drive to Baker Street-to the waxwork.”
“I knows it; Madame Tusso'! I've been there to see the great Lord Chancellor Heldon; the lamented Malibran ; and the diabolical Fieschi, as the advertisement says."
Ellen smiled, as she remembered it, to think how constantly chance had associated those three people, who had so little in common, and who, advertised and exhibited thus in company after death, could never in life have dreamed of being named together. The harness being roughly knotted, Ellen was again jumbled off, and arrived, without any further delay, at the door of the Baker Street bazar. Here she beheld her uncle's carriage; several people were standing round, and staring at it; and the coachman, one side of his livery covered with mud, seemed to be explaining the cause of his catastrophe. On a nearer approach, Ellen perceived that some accident had certainly happened; for a panel of the carriage was shockingly bruised, and the arms quite defaced. The footman was no where to be seen.
“ Draw up close to that carriage, and call the coachman; I want to speak to him.”
“Yes, my lady,” said Jem Crump, now convinced that Ellen was reg'lar gentry, perhaps nobility.
“ What has happened, Webb ?” asked Ellen, when he approached.
“ I'm not to blame, miss, indeed,” said Webb, looking much alarmed. “I only done as the old lady told me; she said she wor mistress of the carriage, and of me too, for the time being.”
“And where is she? Is she hurt ?"
“Oh, Lor’, no, miss! - she's a-looking at the waxwork !”
“ And where is James ?”
“ We left him at the Saracen's Head, miss, to have his wound 'tended to."
“ Wound! what wound ? and what made you take him so far out of the way?"
“ It was close by, miss. That ere old lady, miss, ordered me to drive into the city, which, in course, I done. She would go very fast, and said I wasn't nothing of a coachman, which, in course, made me whip the 'osses. I ’pose they beant used to the whip, for they ran off full speed, and I couldn't stop 'em, so we come right agen a dray. I wor thrown off the box into the gutter, as you see here, miss. The carriage got a terrible bruise, and Jem's leg was squeezed horrible; but the surgeon says it wont be nothing. I begged the old
lady to let me call a coach off a stand to take her home, but she wouldn't hear of it. She said if James was left at the Saracen's Head, the carriage could take her where she wanted to go; and if I refused, she'd complain of my imperance to you, miss; so I druv her to the Tower, and the Monument, and a sight o' shops; and now she's in with the waxwork. I never seed such a wery passionate old lady.”
“Stay here,” said Ellen, to Jem Crump, “while I go into the exhibition. And you, Webb, await my further orders.”
Yes, my lady,” humbly exclaimed fighting Jem, with a low bow.
END OF VOL. I.
PRINTER TO H. R. H. PRINCE ALBERT.