ir Jasper’s countenance upon the perusal and re-perusal of this artless missive. Now he gnashed his teeth; now snorts of withering scorn were blown down the channels of his fine aquiline nose; now smiles of the most deadly description curled and parted luridly his full lips.
“Ha, ha!” said Sir Jasper, “and perhaps the poor foolish individual may give you cause for something less than blessings, Master Carrots! And I think, madam, your beautyship may find at Devizes something harder to digest than that trifle of supper! Till then, patience!”
He folded the letter, placed it beside its fellow, and once more, with a sort of bellow, he 鏉窞娲楁荡涓績鎸夋懇 cried, “Patience!”
“Well, Lydia?” said Bellairs. She had but just finished her chocolate, and looked like a rose among her pillows.
“Well, madam,” said Lydia, still panting from her hurried quest, “’tis safe delivered. I gave it into Mistress Megrim’s own hands, and鈥斺€?
“And can you reckon,” said the lady, smiling at the amusing thought, “upon
her bringing it straight to Sir Jasper?”
“Ah, lud, ma’am, yes. I told the sour, ugly old cat, that if her master caught sight of it, Lady Standish would be ruined. You should have seen how she grabbed at 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎺ㄨ崘 it, ma’am!”
“Lydia,” said her mistress, looking at her admiringly, “I question whether I’d have risked it myself; you’re a bold girl! But there, if anything fail, you know that rose-coloured pelisse remains hanging in my closet.”
“Never fear, ma’am,” said Lydia, smiling quietly to 鏉窞榫欏嚖缃戠珯棣栭〉 herself, as she pulled her mistress’s long pink silk stocking over her hand, and turned it knowingly from side to side, looking for invisible damage, “the pelisse is as good as mine already.”
“But, think you, was Sir Jasper at home?” said Mistress Bellairs, after a few moments’ reflection.
“I am sure of that,” said Lydia
triumphantly, peeling off the stocking. “I thought it best to go in by the mews, ma’am, and I heard that Sir Jasper had not left the house since that little鈥攖hat little affair with the Bishop, you know, ma’am. But all the night, 鏉窞妗戞嬁娲嬪 and all the morning, he kept William and Joseph (those are the grooms, ma’am) going backwards and forwards with challenges to the Bishop’s lodgings.”
“Oh!” cried Kitty, and kicked her little toes under the silk counterpane with exquisite enjoyment, “and what does the Bishop answer, I 鏉窞澶滅敓娲诲皬濮?wonder?”
“Sends back the letter every time unopened, ma’am, with a fresh text written on the back of it. The texts it is, William says, that drive Sir Jasper mad.”
“Oh! oh! oh!” cried Mistress Kitty faintly, rolling about her pillows. “Child, you’ll be the death of me! … Well, then, to business. You know what you are to do to-night?”
“No sooner are you gone to the Assembly Rooms this evening, ma’am, than I take a letter from you for Lady Standish, and this time deliver it myself to her own hand, and, if needs be, persuade her to follow your 鏉窞鍝簺娲楁荡鏈夋椿 advice, ma’am.”
“Right, girl; thou shalt have the gold locket with the Turkey stones鈥斺€?
“Thank you, ma’am. Well, then, I’m to scurry as fast as I can to the corner of Bond Street and Quiet Street