tainly not Loo's. Madam, I must apologise for my violence."
Meanwhile, as may be supposed, the real delinquent had watched
her father's proceedings with no httle dismay.
" How shall I escape without attracting his observation ?" she
said to Gage. " Oh ! if I could only regain my own room."
" I'll manage it," the young man replied. " Come with me."
And taking her under his arm he made his way towards the door,
keeping on the further side of the table.
THE SPENDTHEIFT. 147
They might have got off without notice, if Mrs. Jenyns had not
called the old baronet's attention to them.
" Look there," she said, maliciously.
'* Ay, there she goes," Sir Hugh roared ; " that's my Loo — Fll
swear to her. Stop ! stop ! I say."
But the more he shouted, the less the fugitives seemed inclined
to attend to him. Quickening their steps, they presently gained
the door, and disappeared long before Sir Hugh could reach it, his
progress being barred by the servants, while Briscoe helped to pull
back Parson Chedworth.
148 THE SPENDTHRIFT.
HOW MR. TIBBITS SOUGHT EEVENGE UPON ARTHUR POYNINGS.
And now, in order to afford some needful explanations, we
must revert to that period of the evening when we left Sir Hugh
Poynings and his chaplain fast asleep in their chairs, completely
overcome by the potent punch brewed for them by the wily Mr.
As soon as the landlord perceived that his guests were in this
helpless condition, feeling satisfied that the sleeping draught he
had administered would last till morning, he caused them to be
transported to the coach-house where Sir Hugh's travelling-carriage
had been placed, and deposited at full length on the seats of the
roomy vehicle. The removal was accomplished without the slightest
difficulty, for the pair of topers were too far gone to offer any re-
sistance ; and their wigs, cravats, and upper vestments being re-
moved, and nightcaps, pillows, and blankets provided, they were
left to their repose. As the cunning landlord locked the coach-
house door, and put the key in his pocket, he chuckled at the
success of his scheme.
But his precautions were defeated, as we shall now proceed to
relate. About midnight, a man wrapped in a cloak, beneath which
he concealed a lighted horn lantern, made his way to the coach-
house, unlocked the door, and went in. This personage was no
other than Mr. Tibbits, who, having registered a vow of vengeance
against Arthur Poynings, to be fulfilled before the morrow, took
the present opportunity of executing his threat. The mischievous
valet had passed part of the evening in the society of his newly-
restored wife, and learnt from her that her young lady and Mr.
Arthur were about to disobey Sir Hugh's orders, and clandestinely
THE SPENDTHRIFT. 149
attend the ball. Mrs. Pinchbeck wouldn't for worlds the old gen-
tleman should know it. He would never forgive Mr. Arthur or
her young lady the deception practised upon him — never, she was
convinced ! This was just what Tibbits wanted. Revenge was
now in his power, and he inwardly rejoiced. With affected in-
difference he asked what costumes the young folks meant to wear,
and soon obtained from his communicative spouse all particulars
likely to be serviceable to his design.
Later on, when the revel began, Tibbits hovered about the
entrance-hall and passages until he had seen with his own eyes the
Spanish hidalgo and his companions enter the ball-room. While
he lingered for a few minutes, gazing at the motley assemblage
inside, and envying the merriment he could not share, the second
hidalgo and his companions arrived, filling him with astonishment
at their exact resemblance to the previous party. Who could
these be ? — It would be vain to inquire. Nor did it much matter.
Either the first Spaniard or the second must be Arthur. Both
were in the ball-room. Of that he was assured; and though
some confusion might arise, still young Poynings could not escape
detection. He would now wake up Sir Hugh and communicate
the pleasing intelligence to him.
A keen-witted fellow like Tibbits does not do business by halves.
Thus we may be quite sure the knowing valet had made himself
acquainted with the strange quarters in which the old baronet
was lodged; and though Mr. Briscoe had secured the key of the
coach-house, the clever rascal had found means of opening the
lock. A crown piece bestowed on the ostler placed another
key, as well as a lantern, at his disposal. But he was inter-
rupted just as he was going forth on his errand. Mrs. Pinch-
beck had been engaged for the last two hours in attiring her
young lady for the ball, and being now at liberty, was on
the look-out for him to take her to supper. Not to arouse her
suspicions, Tibbits was forced to comply, and very reluctantly sat
down with her in a back room appropriated to the servants,
meaning to make a speedy escape. But he stayed longer than he
expected, for Mrs. Pinchbeck excited his curiosity by repeating a
conversation she had overheard between her young mistress and
Clare Fairlie, from which it appeared that the latter had deter-
mined upon leaving her father that very night.
150 THE SPENDTHRIFT.
" And rm sure I can't blame her," Mrs. PincKbeck said, in con-
clusion, " if all I hear of Mr. Fairlie be true. Poor thing, she's
" I can't see any great cause for her affliction," Tibbits rejoined;
" and as to Mr. Fairlie, he seems a very good kind of father, as
fathers go. However, that's the young lady's affair, not mine.
If she chooses to elope, I shan't hinder her. But I suppose she
don't mean to go off alone. There's a lover in the case, I'll be
" No — no — she's half distracted, I tell you."
" She must be entirely so, to commit such folly," Tibbits re-
joined, with a sneer. " I can't say I commiserate her. But I am
rather concerned for old Fairlie, as I fancy he won't like it."
"Your compassion is thrown away upon such a rascal. I feel
no pity for him whatever, and should like to see him hanged at
" Hush ! not so loud, my dear," Tibbits cried, looking round in
alarm. " It's very well nobody heard you. You musn't speak in
such disrespectful terms of Mr. Fairlie. He's no worse than every
other worthy gentleman's steward, whose master is foolish enough
to trust him," he added, lowering his tone.
"Perhaps not," Mrs. Pinchbeck rejoined; "but that's no
excuse for his knavery. Why, he is doing his best to ruin Mr.
" I must again impress upon you the necessity of caution, my
love. This is not the "place where private matters can be discussed.
Luckily all the household are absent just now. Listen to me,"
he added, sinking his voice to a whisper: "Mr. Monthermer is
born to be a dupe — some men are so. Old Fairlie will profit most
by him no doubt — but there are others I could mention who will
come in for a share of the spoil. My own master, Mr. Freke, and
Sir Randal will be large gainers — to say nothing of Mrs. Jenyns."
"Don't mention that horrid creature to me, Tibbits," Mrs.
Pinchbeck cried, with a look of virtuous indignation. " I'm per-
fectly scandalised at such proceedings. I don't wonder at Miss
Fairlie's determination to fly. I should fly too, if I were so cir-
cumstanced. My young lady approves of her design, and so does
" Oh ! Mr. Arthur approves of it, does he ?" Mr. Tibbits cried.
THE SPENDTHRIFT. 151
" Soh! — soh ! I begin to see more clearly into the matter. Per-
haps he will assist in the flight — eh?"
Mrs. Pinchbeck gave a slight nod in token of assent.
" Now it's out. I knew there must be a lover in the case,"
Tibbits cried. " When are they to meet? — and where?"
" Oh ! I know nothing more than I've told you. But how's
this? — surely, you're not going to leave me?" she said, with a look
of tender reproach as her husband rose to depart.
"I must tear myself away, sweetheart," he replied. "I am
obliged to wait on my master during supper. As soon as he sets
me at liberty I'll return."
" You know where to find me, Tibbits," she said.
The valet replied that he did, and hurried away, fearful of
On gaining the inn-yard, he stood still to reflect, and after a
moment's consideration, decided upon seeing Mr. Fairlie in the
first instance, and acquainting him with his daughter's intended
flight. With this purpose he shaped his course towards the ball-
room, and having stated to Mr. Briscoe that he had a message
of pressing importance to deliver to Mr. Fairlie, the landlord
directed him to proceed to the card-room, where he would find
the object of his search. Mr. Fairlie chanced to be engaged,
and some little time elapsed before the valet could obtain
speech with him. Greatly astounded by the communication, Mr.
Fairlie took Tibbits aside, and questioned him sharply as to how
he had gained his information. At first the steward seemed
incredulous, but ere long his uneasiness became manifest. Pro-
mising the valet a reward proportionate to the service he had
rendered, he enjoined silence, and dismissed him. Fairlie then
commenced his investigations, which speedily resulted in the dis-
covery that his daughter had disappeared — at all events, he ascer-
tained that a Spanish senora and don had recently quitted the
ball-room with so much haste as to attract attention. Further
inquiry showed him that two ladies, whom he could not doubt to
be Clare and Lucy, had changed dresses behind one of the screens
in the ante-chamber. We have abeady seen what occurred to
him in the supper-room, and shall leave him for the present to
follow Mr. Tibbits.
Having succeeded in alarming Mr. Fairlie, the valet next
152 THE SPENDTHRIFT.
betook himself to the coach-house, in order . to go through a
like process with Sir Hugh. On opening the door of the carriage
he found its two occupants comfortably wrapped up in their
blankets, and snoring away as if in emulation of each other. Hold-
ing the lantern to the old baronet's face, he gave him so vigorous
a shake that he soon wakened him. Alarmed by the light, aUd
not comprehending where he was. Sir Hugh roared out, " Thieves !
thieves !" and at the same time endeavouring to spring from the
seat and becoming entangled in the blanket, he fell upon the still
slumbering chaplain, whose outcries were instantly added to his
own. Half suffocated by the weight imposed upon him, and
fancying he was about to be murdered. Parson Chedworth
seized Sir Hugh by the ears, and buffeted him soundly. The
old baronet replied in the same style, and the conflict might have
been of some duration if the valet had not interposed, and by
thrusting forward the lantern, enabled the combatants to dis-
tinguish each other's features. Great was the chaplain's surprise
and dismay to find whom he had been cufHng so heartily; while
Sir Hugh was no less amazed. However, the old baronet's wrath
was speedily turned into another channel when he learnt from
Tibbits that his son and daughter were actually present at the
masked ball. The chaplain strove to pour oil on the troubled waters,
but in vain. Sir Hugh got out of the coach, and without stopping
to put on his coat, or remove his nightcap, went in search of some
of his own servants, and proceeding to the inn-kitchen as the most
likely place to hear of them, found his coachman there playing at
cribbage with Tom Maddocks, the head ostler, and a couple of
grooms. Beccles stared at seeing his master in such a strange
guise, and thought he must have become suddenly demented; and
he was confirmed in the notion when he received peremptory
orders to bring out the carriage and put to the horses without a
" What ! at this time of night. Sir Hugh?" he remonstrated.
" Do as I bid you, Beccles," Sir Hugh rejoined, in an authorita-
tive tone. " Be ready to start in half an hour's time, or you lose
" Well, I'll do my best," the coachman replied, getting up
sulkily. And followed by Tom Maddocks and the grooms, he re-
paired to the stables.
THE SPENDTHRIFT. 153
UNDER "VTHAT CIRCUMSTANCES SIE HUGH POYNINGS's TEAVELLING-CAEBIAGE
WAS DRIVEN OFF.
Shortly afterwards another extraordinary incident occurred,
which led Beccles to conclude that his old master was not the only
one of the family touched in the upper story.
Scarcely had the coachman and his assistants got out the carriage,
and cleared it of the blankets and other things left inside it by its
late occupants, when a tall Spaniard, with a lady under his arm of a
noble presence, but rather singularly dressed as it appeared to
Beccles, and whose features were concealed by a mask, came
quickly up to him, and ordered him to open the door of the
vehicle without an instant's delay. Greatly amazed, but recog-
nising Arthur's voice, though the young gentleman's masquerade
attire had puzzled him at first, Beccles complied, and the lady in-
stantly sprang into the carriage, and retired to its furthest corner,
as if anxious for concealment. Arthur bent forward for a moment,
addressed a few words to her in an under tone, and then closing
the door, took Beccles out of hearing of the ostler and the grooms,
and told him to keep careful watch over the young lady, and see
that she was not molested in any way.
" I have promised her protection, Beccles, and I put her under
your charge, as 1 know I can rely on you. Search may possibly
be made for her, but let no one look into the carriage — above all,
Mr. Fairlie. Take your own way of inducing those fellows to hold
their tongues," he added, pointing to Tom Haddocks and the
" But Sir Hugh has ordered me to put to the horses directly,
Muster Arthur," Beccles remarked. " Must I do it?"
154 THE SPENDTHRIFT.
" Of course. Get ready for starting as quickly as you can, but
on no account allow Sir Hugh, to enter the carriage till you see
" Oons, Muster Arthur, that's easily said. But suppose he will
get in, how am I to hinder him ? "
" Oh ! you'll find out a way of doing it. Make any excuse to
" Lord lovee, Muster Arthur, I'd go through fire and water to
serve you, but I daren't offend Sir Hugh. It's as much as my
place be worth."
" Rest quite easy, Beccles. I'll hold you harmless, and reward
you handsomely into the bargain. Attend to my orders."
" Very well. Muster Arthur, I suppose you must have your way.
But it be sorely against my inclination to disobey Sir Hugh."
"I'll make it all right, I tell you," Arthur rejoined, walking
"Dang me if I can understand what he'd be at!" Beccles
thought. " It's my opinion both father and son be cracked. Well,
I suppose I must side wi' young master."
With this self-communion he returned to the ostler and the
grooms, and in pursuance of his intructions bound them over to
secrecy in regard to the lady inside the carriage ; and while the
horses were put to, debated with himself what had best be done
under the circumstances ; the result of his cogitations being an order
to Tom Maddocks to mount the box, and hold himself in readiness
to drive gS, when he, Beccles, should give him the hint. Mad-
docks had just got up, and taken the whip in hand, when Mr.
Fairlie, accompanied by Bellairs, Chassemouche, and a link-boy,
bearing a flambeau, suddenly burst into the inn-yard. The unusual
spectacle at such an hour of a travelling-carriage, with horses attached
to it, naturally attracted the steward's attention, and, addressing
Beccles, he asked what was the meaning of his master's sudden
departure. Receiving no very satisfactory answer to the inquiry,
he ordered the coachman to open the carriage door.
"What for, sir?" Beccles demanded, sulkily.
" Because I suspect some one is concealed within. That's enough
" No, it isn't. I'm sure Sir Hugh would never allow you to
set foot in his carriage, and while I can raise a hand to prevent
it you never shall."
THE SPENDTHBIFT. 155
"Ah, ma foi! dere is a lady in tlie coche — I see her quite
plain," Chassemouche exclaimed. He had snatched the flambeau
from the link-boy and run to the other side of the carriage.
" It's only Mrs. Pinchbeck," Beccles shouted. " I won't have
" Be off, you meddling hound," Haddocks cried, cutting at the
Frenchman with his whip.
" Ah ! sacrebleu ! do you dare strike me !" Chassemouche cried.
And he hurled the flambeau at the ostler, who luckily avoided the
dangerous missile, and retaliated with a further application of the
whip to the Frenchman's shoulders. The torch fell into a little
pool, and became extinguished, leaving all in darkness as before.
" Come, sirrah ! " Fairlie cried, " I will be trifled with no longer.
I am sure my daughter is in the carriage. You had better be
reasonable. I have the means of enforcing obedience to my orders,
and rely upon it I will use them."
" Once more I tell you. Muster Fairlie, you shall never set foot
in my master's carriage — and now you're answered, sir."
At this juncture, a slight diversion was occasioned by the ap-
pearance of two other actors on the scene, the foremost of whom
was Sir Hugh Poynings. The old baronet suddenly issued from
the side-door of the hotel, and was followed by his chaplain.
" What's all this ?" exclaimed Sir Hugh. " Oddslife ! are you
going to take my carriage by storm?"
" It may put an end to this unseemly altercation. Sir Hugh,"
Mr. Fairlie said, " if I' inform you that I am in search of my
" Precisely my own case, sir — I am in search of mine. I saw
her quit the ball just now with that young prodigal — Gage Mon-
thermer, and I've lost all traces of her."
"I shall be happy to aid you in your quest. Sir Hugh, if
you will first oblige me by a sight of the lady inside your
"I didn't know there was a lady inside it," the old baronet
rejoined. " Who is she, Beccles?"
" I've already told Muster Fairlie it be Mrs. Pinchbeck, but he
won't believe me, and wants to get in and satisfy himself. I
know your honour won't permit it."
" Well, I don't know what to say," Sir Hugh rejoined. " If it
be Mrs. Pinchbeck, there can be no harm in her getting out.'*
156 THE SPENDTHRIFT.
" Oons, your honour," Beccles exclaimed, " I didn't expect you
to knock under to the Hke of Muster Fairlie."
" Knock under ! rascal — I'd have you to know that a Poynings
never yet knocked under."
" So I've always heard say, Sir Hugh ; but this looks woundy
" Really, Sir Hugh, the impertinence of this fellow is past all
endurance, and I wonder you can tolerate it," Mr. Fairlie remarked,
in a bland tone. " I am sorry to put you to any trouble, but I
am sure you will excuse me under the circumstances. If you will
get into the carriage, and assure me from your own observation
that the person inside is not my daughter, I shall be perfectly
satisfied. I think I may venture to ask thus much of your polite-
" "Well, I see no objection to that, sir," the old baronet re-
And he approached the carriage, but Beccles planted himself
sturdily before the door.
" Your honour don't do it," he said, doggedly.
"Don't do what, rascal? Zounds! will you dare oppose me?"
"Your honour shan't demean yourself by obeying Muster
Fairlie. I'm too trusty a servant to let my master be cajoled by
his flummery. Let him and me settle it."
" You must be drunk, fellow, to act in this way," the old
" Your pardon, Sir Hugh," Fairlie interposed — " the man is
sober enough, but is evidently bent on thwarting me, and takes
this cunning means of doing so. But it shall not succeed. I am
now satisfied that my suspicions are correct. Allow me to deal
with him? Will you listen to reason, sirrah?" he demanded, in
a stern tone, of Beccles. " I ask you for the last time."
"My answer's the same as before," the coachman rejoined.
" Now, Tom," he roared to Maddocks, " drive on."
The whip resounded, and in another instant the lumbering
vehicle was in motion. As Mr. Fairlie saw it move off he uttered
an exclamation of rage, and felt inclined to knock down his
audacious opponent, but some fears of the consequences perhaps
restrained him. As to Sir Hugh, in spite of his anger he could
3iot help laughing at this unexpected termination of the dispute.
No one doubted that the carriage would be speedily stopped, and
THE SPENDTHRIFT. lo7
most of the party followed it as it rolled out of the inn-yard.
By this time, a large portion of the assemblage which we have
described as congregated in front of the Angel had dispersed.
Still, there was a considerable crowd near the door of the hotel,
while numerous carriages were drawn up on the opposite side of
the square. Besides these, there were sedan-chairs in abundance,
and around the latter were collected groups of footmen, chairmen,
and link-boys, smoking, drinking, and otherwise amusing them-
selves. As Sir Hugh's enormous travelling- carriage came rum-
bling into the square it astonished all beholders. No one could
conceive what had brought it out at that time of night. The
shouts raised by Mr. Fairlie and the others of " Stop it ! — stop
it!" were echoed by a hundred voices, and even if Haddocks had
intended going further, he could not have got beyond the portal
of the hotel.
Just as he pulled up, half a dozen lacqueys, in the gorgeous
Monthermer livery, rushed down the steps, and posted themselves
on either side of the door of the vehicle. Mr. Briscoe followed
them almost immediately, and ordered Haddocks to descend from
the box. While Mr. Fairlie was struggling with the crowd, try-
ing to get up to the carriage, and wondering what was about to
happen, to his infinite astonishment he beheld Gage issue forth
from the hotel, with a lady under his arm, masked and enveloped
in a black domino. Behind them came a smart little page, whose
white satin habiliments were partially concealed by a cloak. Un-
like the other two, Honthermer wore no vizard, and his features
were therefore fully distinguishable by the torchlight. A large
roquelaure was thrown over his shoulders.
As Gage hastily descended the steps with his fair companion,
the coach door was opened by the lacquey nearest it, and in another
moment the lady and her page were inside, and the door closed
upon them. All this was the work of a few seconds, but brief as
was the space, it sufficed to show Fairlie that the coach was
tenanted by another lady — most likely, his daughter. He re-
doubled his efforts to press through the throng, but in vain. As
a last resource, he shouted to Gage, but the young gentleman
took no notice of him, being otherwise occupied.
Mounting with unwonted activity to the seat lately vacated by
Haddocks, Gage snatched up the reins and applied the whip to
the horses with such good will, that they instantly started off at a
158 THE SPENDTHRIFT.
gallop. Free course was now made for the rattling vehicle by the
assemblage, who were greatly entertained, and amidst general
laughter and cheering, it speedily disappeared. Sir Hugh came
up just as the coach had started, and laughed as heartily as the
rest of the bystanders, till FairHe made him alter his tone.
" Are you aware that your daughter is gone. Sir Hugh? " Fairlie
said. ^^ She is inside the carriage — and so is mine."
"My daughter! What! has he dared to carry her off? 'Sblood!
I must give chase instantly. A coach! — a coach!" But though
there were plenty of vehicles at hand, not one stirred at the call.
^'It's my fault that this has happened, sir," Arthur cried,
coming up. " But I'll repair the error. As soon as my horse
is saddled I'll follow them."
" You shan't go alone," Mr. Fairlie said. " A horse instantly,
" And another for me," Sir Hugh roared. " We'll all start in
pursuit. But zounds ! I must put on my coat, and get myself a
little in order for the chase. If Gage should break his neck in
going down that infernal hill without a drag, it would serve him
right — ^but then what would become of poor Lucy ?**
THE SPENDTHRIFT. 159
THE DEBT OP HONOUR, AND HOW IT WAS PAID.
Three months have elapsed. A long term in the life of our
last-going hero. In three months he could squander away as much
money, and commit a3 many follies, as other and slower folk
could contrive to do in as many years. In three months, by a
lucky hit, some people have made a fortune: in the same space
of time Gage found it equally easy to spend one.
Three months then have gone by: three months of unheard-of
extravagance and waste — of riot, profligacy, exhaustion.
These three months have been passed in town, in the society of