The Unknown Ajax

Dashed if I don't think he's begun to get queer in his attic! Well, what I mean is, hubble-bubble! I don't set up as one of these clever coves, but I've got more sense in my knowledge-box than to say such an addle-brained thing as that! Seems to me it don't make a ha'porth of difference whether you keep the dashed mill, or whether you don't, because that's where all your gingerbread came from, whichever way you look at it. And don't you tell me it's repugnant to him to have you coming down with the derbies, because all I've got to say to that is, Gammon!

Does it ever occur to you, Mama, that my grandfather is a lunatic?

finding that she was determined to get to the bottom of what seemed to him a very trivial affair, extricated himself without hesitation or compunction by advising her to apply to Vincent for information, since he was the instigator of the quarrel. Before he could make good his retreat, however, he was incensed and appalled by a command to go immediately to Vincent's room, and to inform him that his mama desired to have speech with him before he went down to breakfast. Since it was the time-honoured practice of the brothers to sacrifice each other in such situations as now confronted Claud, it was not fear of Vincent's wrath at finding himself betrayed which prompted Claud to despatch Polyphant on the errand, but the knowledge that not even a messenger bearing gifts of great price would meet with anything but the rudest of receptions from Vincent at this hour of the morning.

he disclosed that he had been set upon by two Bedlamites, both of whom had jumped out from behind a bush, roaring at him like a couple of ferocious wild beasts ... The Sergeant cast a doubtful glance at Lieutenant Ottershaw, for, in his opinion, this had a false ring. His men, as he frequently informed them, put him forcibly in mind of many things, ranging from gape-seeds, hedge-birds, slush-buckets, and sheep-biters, to beetles, tailless dogs, and dead herrings, but none of them, least of all the two raw dragoons in question, had ever reminded him of a ferocious wild beast. Field-mice, yes, he thought, remembering the sad loss of steel in those posted to watch the Dower House; but if the young gentleman had detected any resemblance to ferocious wild beasts in his assailants, the Sergeant was prepared to take his Bible oath they had not been the baconbrained knock-in-the-cradles he had posted (much against his will) within the ground of Darracott place.
But Sergeant Hoole had never, until this disastrous evening, set eyes on Mr. Claud Darracott. Lieutenant Ottershaw had beheld that Pink of the Ton picking his delicate way across the cobbles in Rye, clad in astonishing but unquestionably modish raiment, and holding a quizzing-glass up to his eye with one fragile white hand, and it did not strike him as remarkable that this Bartholomew baby should liken two overzealous dragoons to wild beasts.

I don't ask you - fribble!' snapped his lordship, rounding on him, with the speed of a whiplash. 'You may keep your tongue between your teeth!'

"Yes, sir - happy to!' uttered Claud, dismayed. 'No wish to offend you! Thought you might like to be set right!'

'Thought I might like to be set right?'

'No, no! Spoke without thinking!' said Claud hastily. ' I know you don't!

If I were you, I'd put up that pistol, Mr. Ottershaw,' said Hugo. 'Were you meaning to challenge the ghost with it? You'd catch cold if you did, you know. It's no crime that I ever heard of to caper about rigged up as a boggard.

I'm not talking nonsense, lass. I'd give you the whole of the moon if I could, and throw in the stars for good measure,' he said, taking her hand, and kissing it. 'You couldn't be content with less?

I must own, too, that I can't be astonished at his being vexed to death over this business. It is excessively awkward! However, he doesn't lay the blame for that at my door: you mustn't think that!"
"I should think not indeed!" exclaimed Anthea between amusement and indignation. "How could he possibly do so?"
"No, very true, my love!" agreed Mrs Darracott. "I thought that myself, but it did put me on the fidgets when Richmond said he wanted to see me, because in general, you know, things I never even heard about turn out to be my fault.

It chances that I'd a letter myself by today's post, from Uncle Jonas Henry.' He chuckled. 'Seemingly he's as throng as he can be, and a trifle hackled with me for loitering here. I shall have to post off to Huddersfield next week, sir - and a bear-garden jaw I'll get when I arrive there, if I know Jonas Henry!

Just because I cut a lark with that stiff-rumped Exciseman you seem to think I'm as good as rope-ripe!

Miss Darracott, an intelligent girl, now perceived that in harboring for as much as an instant the notion of marrying a man who fell so lamentably short of the ideal lover she was an irreclaimable ninnyhammer. Ideal lovers might differ in certain respects, but in whatever mold they were cast, not one of them was so unhandsome as to make it extremely difficult for one not to giggle at their utterances. This hopelessly overgrown and unromantic idiot must be given a firm set-down.

Next you will say that you don’t intend to have more than one house in the country!’ ‘Nay, I shan’t say that! I want one in Leicestershire.’ ‘Oh, in that case there’s no more to be said, for I’ve set my heart on one in the moon!’ ‘You don’t mean that, love! Nay then, you can’t have thought!’ he expostulated. ‘It’s much too far from town!

One or two of the villagers have seen it, too, though not as clearly as he did. Old Buttermere said it was a white *thing*, that glided over the ground, and vanished into the shrubbery.'
'And a very good place for it to vanish, too,' said Hugo, wholly unimpressed. 'Give me a sheet, and a night without too much moonlight, and I'll engage to do the same!

Surely, cousin, you cannot mean to *jilt* her?' said Anthea, in accents of reprobation.
'Nay, it wouldn't be seemly,' he agreed. 'I'll just have to dispose of her, as you might say.'
'Good God! *Murder* her?'
'There's no need to be in a quake,' he said reassuringly. 'No one will ever know!'
'If only - oh, if only I could do to you what I *long* to do!' exclaimed Anthea. 'If you were but a *few* inches shorter -- !'
He said hopefully: 'Nay, don't let that fatch you, love! It'll be no trouble at all to lift you up: in fact, there's nothing I'd like better!'
Furiously blushing, she retorted: 'I didn't mean that I wished to *kiss* you!

That's what you think of me, is it, girl?" said his lordship, a glint in his eyes.

"Oh, no!" she responded, dropping him a curtsy. "It's what I say, sir! You must know that my featherheaded Mama has taught me to behave with all the propriety in the world! To tell you what I think of you would be to sink myself quite below reproach!

Well, have you a tongue in your head?’ ‘I have,’ responded Hugo, ‘but I was never one to give my head for washing.’ ‘You’re not such a fool as you look,’ commented his lordship.

You can't go about smelling of April and May, the pair of you, and then expect to gull people into thinking you don't mean to get riveted!