Charlotte Mary Yonge.

Nuttie's father online

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Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeNuttie's father → online text (page 23 of 28)
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young ladies rush out to morning prayers at unearthly
hours '

' Father ! ' with her voice trembling, ' I assure you
he doesn't — I mean he always goes to St. Michael's,
unless he has anything particular to say to me.'

' Oh yes, I understand,' and Mr. Egremont indulged
in a hearty laugh, which almost drove poor Nuttie
beside herself.

' Indeed — indeed,' she stammered, in her confusion
and suppressed wrath ; ' it is nothing of that sort. He
is a regular old bachelor — he always was.'

'At what age do men become old bachelors? For
he seems to me about the age of poor Clarry, whom
you seem to view as a bugbear.'

'I wish you would not think of such things,
father ; I have not the slightest intention of leaving
you and dear little Wynnie ! Nothing should tem])t
me 1 '

342 NUTTIE'S father. [crap. XXX.

* Nothing ? Hein ! Then you may as well be on
your guard, Miss Egremont, or we shall haVe pleadings
that you have encouraged them — church and world —
or both, mayl)e. You pious folk take your little
diversions and flirtations just like your poor sisters
whom you shake your heads at, never guessing how
Gregorio and I have looked out at you and your
adopted uncle parading the street.'

* I wish Gregorio would mind his own business,
and not put such things in your head ! ' burst out

At which ]\Ir. Egremont laughed longer and louder
than ever.

Poor Nuttie ! It was terrible discomfiture, not
only for the moment, but a notion had been planted
in her mind that seemed cruel, almost profane, and
yet which would not be dismissed, and made her
heart leap with strange bounds at the wild thought,
* Could it be true ? ' tlien sink again witli shame at her
own presumptuous folly in entertaining sucli a thought
for a moment.

Yet whenever she actually encountered Mr. Dutton
her habitual comfort and reliance on him revived, and
dispelled all the embarrassment wliich at other times
she expected to feel in his presence.



Summer had quite set in before Mr. Egremont was
able to go out for a drive, and then he was ordered to

Nuttie only once saw her cousins before leaving
town, for their little boy fulfilled the nursery super-
stition by whooping till May ; and all intercourse was
prohibited, till he had ceased for a whole week to utter
a suspicious sound. Mr. Button had insisted on the
family spending a fortnight at Springfield House for
change of air, and it was there that Xutti^ was per-
mitted to see them, though the children were still
forbidden to meet.

Annaple looked very thin, but rattled as merrily
as ever. 'No one could guess,' she said, 'what a
delight it was oiot to know what one was to have for
dinner ? '

' To do more than know, I am afraid,' said Ursula.

' Well, next to the delight of knowing nothing at
all about it — and even that is only good for a holiday
— is the delight of seeing a pudding come out
smootli and comfortable and unbroken from its basin.
" Something attempted, something done," you know.

344 NUTTIE's father. [chap.

It is quite as good a work of art as a water-coloured

* Only not quite so permanent.'

* No ; it is only one's first puddin

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Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeNuttie's father → online text (page 23 of 28)