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It was a
The little man's rage was painted in glowing colours on his countenance-even his nose seemed on fire.
“Madam-Miss Delassaux," said he, “ I assure you, Ma'am, I didn't come here upon your affairs-not, by na manner of means. regard for
own interest that led me hither!" " Aye, aye, little Goosequill,” muttered the Admiral between his teeth, making a momentary halt in the middle of his quarter-deck, and eyeing Hawkins askance over his left shoulder;
aye, aye-right there,—you seldom go anywhere, without that loadstone to attract you. I'll answer for it, you will follow it down, you know where, some of these days."
“ Admiral," grinned the little man of parchment, with a forced laugh,“ Sir Cable Oakenwold, you are pleased to be merry. One of your excellent jokes, Sir Cable.-Your jokes are always excellent.--Always cut two ways, like a double-bladed penknife.”
“Sir!" interrupted his mistress, in a louder tone;
“ I desire,—I insist, Mr Hawkins, that, whatever your business may be, you will postpone it until a more favourable opportunity.--I must,
and will be mistress of my own house. Leave the room, therefore, Sir, directly." 9. Madam!" answered the little man, with increased anger, which he had great difficulty in keeping within the bounds of decency, “ I cannot leave the room: My business is with Sir William Percival;---my affairs are too important to be delayed-I cannot leave the room." Iso"I protest, Sir," said the lady, rising from her chair, and ringing the bell, “ I will order my servants to turn you out, if no gentleman here will rid me of so impudent an intruder." 2. This hint was too evidently directed to Amherst to be mistaken, nor could his gallantry permit him to see any lady so beset.
“ Mr Hawkins," said he, advancing stemniy to the scrivener, “ Miss Delassaux must be obeyed. -I insist upon your quitting the room directly, or, by Heaven, Sir". “ Sir William Percival !" cried Hawkins, in great alarm, “ I demand your protection ; I demand your authority, Sir, to prevent a breach of the peace against a man in his own house.” sind " Your own house !" exclaimed one or two
voices, the loudest of which was that of his indignant mistress.
ago 1 “ Yes! my own house," replied he trembling, and gradually edging towards a large chair, which he very adroitly placed between him and Amherst ; " I say again, my own house. This la dy knows, that she some time ago made it over to me in consideration of certain monies lent; and, farther, the estates are mine ;--and yet, after all these securities, my fidelity and generosity have made me a severe loser by the vast sums I have advanced to save the credit of the family."
“ To save the credit of the family, you rascal,” cried the Admiral, in a fury," you have done your best to ruin them !-0! that I had you at the gangway!"
Softly, gentlemen !" cried the venerable Sir William, advancing between them and Hawkins, " allow me to speak to him ;" then addressing the steward, who had once been a poor boy in his kitchen, and who had afterwards been educated by him, and fitted to fill the situation of a clerk, “ Hawkins," said he in an authoritative tone, “I shall protect you from violence, but, at the same time, I must protect this company from inso
lence and intrusion. I ask you where you found such enormous sums of money, as could enable you to advance an equivalent for the magnificent domains, and extensive estates of Brokenhurstyou who, a very few years ago, had nothing." 1. Hawkins was appalled. He hesitatedhemmed, -and either was, or affected to be troubled with something in his throat, that choked his utterance.
“ Really Sir William,-in good truth, Sir,ahem !-why you know, Sir,—I have been an industrious pains-taking plodding man, Sir,—I have toiled late and early, Sir,-the pen has never been out of my hand, or from behind my ear
“Pshaw, Sir,” exclaimed Sir William,—such an explanation as this will never do : were there no stronger bar to your demands on the estates of Brokenhurst, I, for one, should insist upon a most scrupulous examination of the documents, and proceedings, on which you have founded this pretended claim. But to cut matters short, I have to inform you, that if you really have lent money to that lady, you can have no recourse upon this house, and these estates, since neither of them ever were her property."
The effect of this declaration it is impossible to describe. The astonishment it produced on the supposed mistress of Brokenhurst Hall, and her unworthy agent, was simultaneous, though we are condemned to describe its symptoms in each of them successively. The lady stared for a few moments at Sir William, as if she had not heard him properly.
“ What is it that you say, Sir ?" exclaimed she at length, utterly confounded, —" not my property !--this house not mine !-do I exist ?--for as soon should I expect to find my very existence doubted, as to hear my right to these my patrimonial estates brought into a moment's rational question ; the only child of Sir Marmaduke Delassaux, of Delassaux and Brokenhurst, the representative of blood as ancient, and as pure, as any this kingdom can boast !-Oh! ?tis some quibbling piece of merriment, and yet me thinks," added she, with considerable irritation,
.“ to a Lady of my birth and bearing, and in my own house, too, such boyish jests are more impertinent than amusing, and but ill befit the gravity of Sir William Percival.”
“ Miss Delassaux never the owner of Broken