Clavering's service on the strength of his information. He
will get very good pay for it, mark my words, the villain."
" Where is Amory?" asked Pen.
"At Boulogne, I believe. I left him there, and warned
him not to come back. I have broken with him, after a des-
perate quarrel, such as one might have expected with such a
madman. And I 'm glad to think that he is in my debt now,
and that I have been the means of keeping him out of more
harms than one."
"He has lost all his winnings, I suppose," said Pen.
"No : he is rather better than when he went away , or was a
fortnight ago. He had extraordinary luck at Baden: broke
the bank several nights, and was the fable of the place. He
Zzerf himself there, with a fellow by the name of Bloundell, who
gathered about him a society of all sorts of sharpers, male and
female , Russians , Germans , French , English. Amory got so
insolent, thati was obliged to thrash him one day within an inch
of his life. I couldn't help myself; the fellow has plenty of
pluck, and I had nothing for it but to hit out."
" And did h^^ call you out? " said Pen.
"You think if I had shot him I should have done nobody
any harm? No, Sir; I waited for his challenge, but it never
came : and the next time I met him he begged my pardon, and
said, 'Strong, I beg your pardon; you whopped me and you
served me right.' I shook hands: but I couldn't live with him
after that. I paid him what I owed him the night before," said
Strong with a blush. "I pawned everything to pay him, and
then I went with my last ten florins , and had a shy at the roU'
lette. If I had lost, I should have let him shoot me in the
morning. I was weary of my life. By Jove, Sir, isn't it a
shame that a man like me, who may have had a few bills out,
but who never deserted a friend , or did an unfair action,
shouldn't be able to turn his hand to anything to get bread? I
made a good night, Sir, 2Ji roulette, and I 've done with that.
I 'm going into the wine business. My wife's relations live at
Cadiz. I intend to bring over Spanish wine and hams, there 's
a fortune to be made by it, Sir, â a fortune â here 's my card.
If you want any sherry or hams, recollect Ned Strong is your
man." And the Chevalier pulled out a handsome card, stating
that Strong and Company, Shepherd's Inn , were sole agents
of the celebrated Diamond Manzanilla of the Duke of Gar-
banzos, Grandee of Spain of the First Class; and of the famous
Toboso hams , fed on acorns only in the country of Don
Quixote. " Come and taste 'em , Sir, â come and try 'em at
my chambers. You see, I 've an eye to business , and by Jove
this time I '11 succeed."
Pen laughed as he took the card. "I don't know v/hether
I shall be allowed to go to bachelors' parties," he said. " You
know I 'm going to â "
"But you must have sherry, Sir. You must have sherry."
"I will have it from you, depend on it," said the other.
"And I think you are very well out of your other partnership.
That worthy, Altamont and his daughter corjU^pond, I hear,"
Pen added after a pause.
"Yes; she wrote him the longest rigmarole letters that I
used to read : the sly little devil; and he answered under cover
to Mrs. Bonner. He was for carrying her off the first day or
two, and nothing would content him but having back his child.
But she didn't want to come, as you may fancy; and he was
not very eager about it." Here the Chevalier burst out in a
laugh. "Why, Sir, do you know what was the cause of our
quarrel and boxing match? There was a certain widow at
Baden, a Madame laBaronne de la Cruche-cassee, who was
not much better than himself, and whom the scoundrel wanted
to marry ; and would , but that I told her he was married al-
ready. I don't think that she was much better than he was.
I saw her on the pier at Boulogne the day I came to England."
And now we have brought up our narrative to the point,
whither the announcement in the Chatteries Champion had
already conducted us.
It wanted but very, very few days before that blissful one
when Foker should call Blanche his own ; the Clav-ering folks
had all pressed to see the most splendid new carriage in the
whole world, which was standing in the coach-house at the
Clavering Arms; and shown, in grateful return for drink,
commonly, by Mr. Foker's head coachman. Madame Fribsby
was occupied in making some lovely dresses for the tenants'
daughters, who were to figure as a sort of bride-maids' chorus
at the breakfast and marriage ceremony. And immense fes-
tivities were to take place at the Park upon this delightful
"Yes, Mr. Huxter, yes; a happy tenantry, its country's
pride, will assemble in the baronial hall, where the beards
will wag all. The ox shall be slain, and the cup they '11 drain ;
and the bells slÂ§tll peal quite genteel; and my father-in-law,
with the tear of sensibility bedewing his eye, shall bless us at
his baronial porch. That shall be the order of proceedings I
think, Mr. Huxter; and I hope we shall see you and your lovely
bride by her husband's side ; and what will you please to drink.
Sir? Mrs. Lightfoot, Madam, you will give to my excellent
friend and body surgeon, Mr. Huxter, Mr. Samuel Huxter,
M.K.. C. S., every refreshment that your hostel aflfords, and
place the festive amount to my account; and Mr. Lightfoot,
Sir, what will you take ? though you 've had enough already,
I think; yes, ha."
So spoke Harry Foker in the bar of the Clavering Arms.
He had apartments at that hotel, and had gathered, a circle of
friends round him there. He treated all to drink who came.
He was hail-fellow with every man. He was so happy! He
danced round Madame Fribsby, Mrs. Lightfoot's great ally,
as she sate pensive in the bar. He consoled Mrs. Lightfoot,
who had already begun to have causes of matrimonial disquiet;
for the truth must be told , that young Lightfoot, having now
the full command of the cellar, had none over his own un-
bridled desires , and was tippling and tipsy from morning till
night. And a piteous sight It was for his fond wife to behold
the big youth reeling about the yard and coffee-room, or
drinking with the farmers and tradesmen his own neat wines
and carefully-selected stock of spirits.
When he could find time, Mr. Morgan the butler came
from the Park, and took a glass at the expense of the landlord
of the Clavering Arms. He watched poor Lightfoot's tipsy
vagaries with savage sneers. Mrs. Lightfoot felt always doubly
uncomfortable when her unhappy spouse was under his com-
rade's eye. But a few months married, and to think he had
got to this. Madame Fribsby could feel for her. Madame
Fribsby could tell her stories of men every bit as bad. She
had had her own woes too , and her sad experience of men.
So it is that nobody seems happy altogether; and that there 's
bitters, as Mr. Foker remarked, in the cup of every man's
life. And yet there did not seem to be any in his , the honest
young fellow I It was brimming over with happiness and good-
Mr. Morgan was constant In his attentions to Foker. "And
yet I don't like him somehow," said the candid young man to
Mrs. Lightfoot. " He always seems as if he was measuring me
for my coffin somehow. Pa-in-law 's afraid of him ; pa-in-
law 's, a-heml never mind, but ma-in-law 's a trump, Mrs.
"Indeed my Lady was; " and Mrs. Lightfoot owned, with
a sigh, that perhaps it had been better for her had she never
left her mistress.
"No, I do not like thee. Dr. Fell; the reason why I cannot
tell," continued Mr. Foker; "and he wants to be taken as my
head man. Blanche wants me to take him. Why does Miss
Amory like him so? "
"Did Miss Blanche like him so?" The notion seemed to
disturb Mrs. Lightfoot very much; and there came to this
worthy landlady another cause for disturbance. A letter,
bearing the Boulogne post-mark, was brought to her one
morning, and she and her husband were quarrelling over it
as Foker passed down the stairs by the bar, on his way to the
Park. His custom was to breakfast there, and bask awhile in
the presence of Armida; then, as the company of Clavering
tired him exceedingly, and he did not care for sporting, he
would return for an hour or two to billiards and the society of
the Clavering Arms ; then it would be time to ride with Miss
Amory, and , after dining with her, he left her and returned
modestly to his inn.
Lightfoot and his wife were quarrelling over the letter.
What was that letter from abroad? Why was she always
having letters from abroad? Who wrote 'em? â he would
know. He didn't believe it was her brother. It was no busi-
ness of his? It Â«;a* a business of his; and, with a curse, he
seized hold of his wife, and dashed at her pocket for the letter.
The poor woman gave a scream; and said, "Well, take
It." Just as her husband seized on the letter, and Mr. Foker
entered at the door, she gave another scream at seeing him,
and once more tried to seize the paper. Lightfoot opened it,
shaking her away, and an enclosure dropped down on the
"Hands off, man alive!" cried little Harry, springing in.
"Don't lay hands on a woman. Sir. The man that lays his
hand upon a woman, save In the way of kindness, is a â hallo !
it 's a letter for Miss Amory. What 's this , Mrs. Lightfoot? "
Mrs. Lightfoot began, in piteous tones of reproach to her
husband, â "You unmanly! to treat a woman so who took
you off the street. O you coward, to lay your hand upon
your wife ! Why did I marry you ? Why did I leave my Lady
for you? Why did I spend eight hundred pound in fitting up
this house that you might drink and guzzle?"
"She gets letters, and she won't tell me who writes letters,'*
said Mr. Lightfoot, with a muzzy voice, "it 's a family affair.
Sir. Will you take anything, Sir?"
"I will take this letter to Miss Amory , as I am going to the
Park , " said Foker, turning very pale ; and taking it up from
the table, which was arranged for the poor landlady's break-
fast, he went away.
" He 's comin' â dammy , who 's a comin' ? Who 's J. A.,
Mrs. Lightfoot â curse me, who 's J. A.," cried the hus-
Mrs. Lightfoot cried out, "Be quiet, you tipsy brute, do,"
â and running to her bonnet and shawl, threw them on , saw
Mr. Foker walking down the street, took the by-lane which
skirts it, and ran as quickly as she could to the lodge-gate,
Clavering Park. Foker saw a running figure before him, but
it was lost when he got to the lodge-gate. He stopped and
asked, "Who was that who had just come in? Mrs. Bonner
was it?" He reeled almost in his walk: the trees swam before
him. He rested once or twice against the trunks of the naked
Lady Clavering was in the breakfast-room with her son,
and her husband yawning over his paper. "Good morning,
Harry," said the Begum. "Here's letters, lots of letters;
Lady Rockminster will be here on Tuesday instead of Monday,
and Arthur and the Major come to-day; and Laura is to
go to Dr. Portman's, and come to church from there: and â
what 's the matter, my dear? What makes you so pale,
" Where is Blanche? " asked Harry, in a sickening voice â
"not down yet?"
"Blanche is always the last," said the boy, eating muffins ;
' she 's a regular dawdle , she is. When you 're not here , she
lays in bed till lunch time."
"Be quiet, Frank," said the mother.
Blanche came down presently, looking pale, and with
rather an eager look towards Foker; then she advanced and
kissed her mother, and had a face beaming with her very best
smiles on when she greeted Harry.
"How do you do. Sir?" she said, and put out both her
"I'm ill," answered Harry. "I â I 've brought a letter
for you, Blanche. "
"A letter, and from whom is it, pray? Foyons^^* she
"I don't know â I should like to know," said Foker.
"How can I tell until I see it? " asked Blanche.
"Has Mrs. Bonner not told you?" he said, with a shaking
voice ; â " there 's some secret. You give her the letter, Lady
Lady Clavering, wondering, took the letter from poor
Foker's shaking hand, and looked at the superscription. As
she looked at it, she too began to shake in every limb, and
with a scared face she dropped the letter, and running up to
Frank, clutched the boy to her, and burst out with a sob â
"Take that away â it 's impossible, it 's impossible."
"What is the matter?" cried Blanche, with rather a
ghastly smile; "the letter is only from â from a poor pen-
sioner and relative of ours."
"It 's not true, it 's not true," screamed Lady Clavering.
"No, my Frank â is it, Clavering?"
Blanche had taken up the letter, and was moving with
it towards the fire, but Foker ran to her and clutched her
arm â "I must see that letter, " he said; "give it me. You
sha*n't burn it."
"You â you shall not treat Miss Amory so in my house,"
cried the Baronet ; " give back the letter , by Jove I ' '
"Read It' â and look at her," Blanche cried, pointing to
her mother; "it â it was for her I kept the secret! Read it,
cruel man I"
And Foker opened, and read the letter : â^
"I HAVE not wrote, my darling Bessy, this three
weeks; but this is to give her a father's blessing, and I shall
come down pretty soon as quick as my note, and intend to see
the ceremony, and my son-in-law. I shall put up at Bonner's.
I have had a pleasant autumn, and am staying here at an hotel
where there is good company, and which is kep' in good style,
I don't know whether I quite approve of your throwing over
Mr. P. for Mr. F. , and don't think Foker's such a pretty
name , and from your account of him he seems a muff^ and not
a beauty. But he has got the rowdy , which is the thing. So
no more, my dear little Betsy, till we meet, from your affec-
"Jâ Amory Altamont."
"Read it, Lady Clavering; it is too late to keep it from
you now," said poor Foker; and the distracted woman, ha-
ving cast her eyes over it, again broke out into hysterical
screams, and convulsively grasped her son.
"They have made an outcast of you, my boy," she said.
"They 've dishonoured your old mother; but I 'm innocent,
Frank; before God, I 'm innocent. I didn't know this, Mr.
Foker; indeed, indeed, I didn't."
"I'm sure you didn't," said Foker, going up and kissing
"Generous, generous Harry," cried out Blanche, in an
ecstasy. But he withdrew his hand, which was upon her
side , and turned from her with a quivering lip. " That 's dif-
ferent," he says.
"It was for her sake â for her sake , Harry." Again Miss
Amory is in an attitude.
"There was something to be done for mine," saidFoker.
"I would have taken you, whatever you were. Everything's
talked about in London. I knew that your father had come to
â to grief. You don't think it was â it was for your con-
nexion I married you? D â it all! I've loved you with all
my heart and soul for two years , and you 've been playing with
me, and cheating me," broke out the young man, with a cry.
"Oh, Blanche, Blanche, it's a hard thing, a hard thing I"
and he covered his face with his hands, and sobbed behind
Blanche thought, "Why didn't I tell him that night when
Arthur warned me? "
"Don't refuse her, Harry," cried out Lady Clavering.
" Take her, take everything I have. It's all hers , you know,
at my death. This boy 's disinherited." â (Master Frank,
who had been looking as scared at the strange scene, here
burst into a loud cry.) â "Take every shilling. Give me just
enough to live , and to go and hide my head with this child,
and to fly from both. Oh, they 've both been bad, bad men.
Perhaps he 's here now. Don't let me see him. Clavering,
you coward, defend me from him."
Clavering started up at this proposal. "You ain't serious,
Jemima? You don't mean that?" he said. "You won't
throw me and Frank over? I didn't know it, so help me â .
Foker, I 'd no more idea of it than the dead â until the fellow
came and found me out, the d â d escaped convict scoundrel."
" The what?" said Foker. Blanche gave a scream.
"Yes," screamed out the Baronet in his turn, "yes, a
d â d runaway convict â a fellow that forged his father-in-
law's name â a d â d attorney, and killed a fellow in Botany-
Bay, hang him â and ran into the Bush, curse him; I wish
he 'd died there. And he came to me, a good six years ago,
and robbed me ; and I 've been ruining myself to keep him,
the infernal scoundrel ! And Pendennis knows it, and Strong
knows it, and that d â d Morgan knows it, and she knows it,
ever so long; and I never would tell it, never: and I kept it
from my wife."
"And you saw him, and you didn't kill him, Clavering,
you coward? " said the wife of Amory. " Come away, Frank ;
your father's a coward. I am dishonoured, but I 'm your old
mother, and you '11 â you'llloveme, won'tyou?"
Blanche, eploree, went up to her mother; but Lady Cla-
vering shrank from her with a sort of terror. "Don't touch
me," she said; "you've no heart; you never had. I see all
now. I see why that coward was going to give up his place in
parliament to Arthur ; yes, that coward ! and why you threaten-
ed that you would make me give you half Frank's fortune.
And when Arthur offered to marry you without a shilling, be-
cause he wouldn't rob my boy, you left him, and you took
poor Harry. Have nothing to do with her, Harry. You 're
good, you are. Don't marry that â that convict's daughter.
Come away, Frank, my darling; come to your poor old
mother. We '11 hide ourselves; but we 're honest, yes, we
All this while a strange feeling of exultation had taken pos-
session of Blanche's mind. That month with poor Harry had
been a weary month to her. All his fortune and splendour
scarcely sufficed to make the idea of himself supportable. She
was wearied of his simple ways, and sick of coaxing and ca-
"Stay, Mamma; stay, Madam!" she cried out with a
gesture , which was always appropriate , though rather thea-
trical; "I have no heart? have I? I keep the secret of my
mother's shame. I give up my rights to my half-brother and
Pendennis. III. ^8
my bastard brother â yes, my rights and my fortune. I don't
betray my father, and for this I have no heart. I '11 have my
rights now, and the laws of my country shall give them to me.
I appeal to my country's laws â yes, my country's laws i The
persecuted one returns this day. I desire to go to my father."
And the little lady swept round her hand, and thought that
she was a heroine.
"You will, will you?" cried out Clavering, with one of
his usual oaths. " I 'm a magistrate , and dammy, I'll commit
him. Here 's a chaise coming; perhaps it 's him. Let him
A chaise was indeed coming up the avenue ; and the two
women shrieked each their loudest, expecting at that moment
to see Altamont arrive.
The door opened, and Mr. Morgan announced Major
Pendennis and Mr. Pendennis, who entered, and found all
parties engaged in this fierce quarrel. A large screen fenced
the breakfast-room from the hall ; and it is probable that, ac-
cording to his custom, Mr. Morgan had taken advantage of
the screen to make himself acquainted with all that occurred.
It had been arranged on the previous day that the young
people should ride; and at the appointed hour in the after-
noon, Mr. Foker's horses arrived from the Clavering Arms.
But Miss Blanche did not accompany him on this occasion.
Pen came out and shook hands with him on the door-steps;
and Harry Foker rode away, followed by his groom in mourn-
ing. The whole transactions which have occupied the most
active part of our history were debated by the parties concern-
ed during those two or three hours. Many counsels had been
given, stories told, and compromises suggested; and at the
end, Harry Foker rode away, with a sad "God bless you!"
from Pen. There was a dreary dinner at Clavering Park , at
which the lately installed butler did not attend ; and the ladies
were both absent. After dinner, Pen said, "IwIll\valkdown
to Clavering and see if he is come." And he walked through
the dark avenue, across the bridge and road by his own cot-
tage, â the once quiet and familiar fields of which were flaming
with the kilns and forges of the artificers employed on the new
railroad works ; and so he entered the town, and made for the
It was past midnight when he returned to Clavering Park.
He was exceedingly pale and agitated. "Is Lady Clavering
up yet?" he asked. Yes, she was in her own sitting-room.
He went up to her, and there found the poor lady in a piteous
state of tears and agitation.
"It is I, â Arthur," he said, looking in; and entering, he
took her hand very aflectionately and kissed it. "You were
always the kindest of friends to me, dear Lady Clavering,"
he said. "I love you very much. I have got some news
"Don't call me by that name," she said, pressing his hand.
" You were always a good boy, Arthur; and it 's kind of you
to come now, â very kind. You sometimes look very like
your ma, my dear."
^^ Dear good Lady Clavering', ^^ Arthur repeated, with par-
ticular emphasis , " something very strange has happened."
"Has anything happened to him?" gasped Lady Claver-
ing. "O, it 's horrid to think I should be glad of it â
"He Is well. He has been and is gone, my dear lady.
Don't alarm yourself, â he Is gone, and you are Lady Claver-
"Is It true .'' what he sometimes said to me," she screamed
out, â "that heâ"
"He was married before he married you," said Pen. He
has confessed it to-night. He will never come back." There
came another shriek from Lady Clavering, as she flung her
arms round Pen, and kissed him, and burst into tears on his
What Pen had to tell, through a multiplicity of sobs and
interruptions, must be compressed briefly, for behold our
prescribed limit is reached, and our tale is coming to its end.
With the Branch Coach from the railroad, which had suc-
ceeded the old Alacrity and Perseverance, Amory arrived,
and was set down at the Clavering Arms. He ordered his
dinner at the place under his assumed name of Altamont; and,
being of a jovial turn, he welcomed the landlord, who was
nothing loth to a share of his wine. Having extracted from
Mr. Lightfoot all the news regarding the family at the Park,
and found, from examining his host, that Mrs. Lightfoot, as
she said, had kept his counsel, he called for more wine of Mr.
Lightfoot, and at the end of this symposium, both, being
greatly excited, went in to Mrs. Lightfoot's bar.
She was there taking tea with her friend, Madame Fribsby;
and Lightfoot was by this time in such a happy state as not to
be surprised at anything which might occur, so that, when
Altamont shook hands with Mrs. Lightfoot as an old acquain-
tance, the recognition did not appear to him to be in the least
strange, but only a reasonable cause for further drinking.
The gentlemen partook then of brandy-&nd- water, which they
offered to the ladies, not heeding the terrified looks of one or
Whilst they were so engaged, at about six o'clock in the
evening, Mr. Morgan, Sir Francis Clavering's new man, came
in, and was requested to drink. He selected his favourite
beverage, and the parties engaged in general conversation.
After awhile Mr. Lightfoot began to doze. Mr. Morgan
had repeatedly given hints to Mrs. Fribsby to quit the pre-
mises; but that lady, strangely fascinated, and terrified it
would seem, or persuaded by Mrs. Lightfoot not to go, kept
her place. Her persistence occasioned much annoyance to
Mr. Morgan, who vented his displeasure in such language as
gave pain to Mrs. Lightfoot, and caused Mr. Altamont to say,
that he was a rum customer, and not polite to the sex.
The altercation between the two gentlemen became very
painful to the women, especially to Mrs. Lightfoot, who did
every thing to soothe Mr. Morgan ; and , under pretence of
giving a pipe-light to the stranger, she handed him a paper on
which she had privily written the words, "He knows you.
Go." There may have been something suspicious in her
manner of handing, or in her guest's of reading the paper;
for when he got up a short time afterwards, and said he would
go to bed, Morgan rose too, with a laugh, and said it was too
early to go to bed.
The stranger then said he would go to his bed-room. Mor-
gan said he would show him the way.
At this the guest said, "Come up. I've got a brace of
pistols up there to blow out the brains of any traitor or skulk-
ing spy," and glared so fiercely upon Morgan, that the latter,