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When Walter Joyce arrived in Chesterfield Street, he found Lady Caroline was absent--passing the holidays with Lord and Lady Hetherington at Westhope--and, after a little hesitation, he determined to go down there and see her. He had not seen anything of the Hetheringtons since his election: his lordship was occupied with some new fad which kept him in the country, and her ladyship did not care to come to town until after Easter. Lord Hetherington had viewed the progress of his ex-secretary with great satisfaction. His recollections of Joyce were all pleasant; the young man had done his work carefully and cleverly, had always been gentlemanly and unobtrusive, and had behaved deuced well--point of fact, deuced well--brave, and all that kind of thing--in that matter of saving Car'line on the ice. Her ladyship's feelings were very different. She disliked self-made people more than any others, and those who were reckoned clever were specially obnoxious to her. She had heard much, a great deal too much, of Joyce from Mr. Gould, who, in his occasional visits, delighted in dilating on his recent foeman's abilities, eloquence, and pluck, partly because he respected such qualities wherever he met with them, but principally because he knew that such comments were very aggravating to Lady Hetherington (no great favourite of his); and she was not more favourably disposed towards him, because he had adopted political principles diametrically opposed to those which she believed. But what actuated her most in her ill-feeling towards Mr. Joyce was a fear that, now that he had obtained a certain position, he might aspire to Lady Caroline Mansergh, who, as Lady Hetherington always suspected, would be by no means indisposed to accept him. Hitherto the difference in their social status had rendered any such proceeding thoroughly unlikely. A tutor, or a--what did they call it?--reporter to a newspaper, could scarcely have the impertinence to propose for an earl's sister; but, as a member of Parliament, the man enjoyed a position in society, and nothing could be said against him on that score. There was Lady Violet Magnier, Lord Haughtonforest's daughter. Well, Mr. Magnier sold ribbons, and pocket-handkerchiefs and things, in the City; but then he was member for some place, and was very rich, and it was looked upon as a very good match for Lady Violet. Mr. Joyce was just the man to assert himself in a highly disagreeable manner; he always held views about the supremacy of intellect, and that kind of rubbish; and the more he kept away from them, the less chance he would have of exercising any influence over Lady Caroline Mansergh.
I visited several other streets during my stay in Naples which were, if possible, in a worse condition than the one I have described. In a city where every one lives in the streets more than half the time, and where all the intimate business of life is carried on with a frankness and candour of which we in America have no conception, there is little difficulty in seeing how people live. I noted, for example, instances in which the whole family, to the number of six or seven, lived in a single room, on a dirt floor, without a single window. More than that, this one room, which was in the basement of a large tenement house, was not as large as the average one-room Negro cabin in the South. In one of these one-room homes I visited there was a blacksmith shop in one part of the room, while the family ate and slept in the other part. The room was so small that I took the trouble to measure it, and found it 8 × 13 feet in size.
Mrs. Munro's affectionate expressions of gratitude were muffled by her pocket handkerchief, but she soon allowed herself to be drawn into an interesting discussion concerning Trixie's outfit for India, though both ladies were well aware that
“Faith dear,” said I, “don’t you know that you shouldn’t accept presents from gentlemen, and especially now you’re a married woman, and especially from those of higher station?”
"Very well, Felix. Miller, hold your squad where it is. Disperse them well, and wait my order before bringing them into the ditch. Confirm."
Another long pause came.
gized, the mud was bound to stick to his wife. Everybody would have said the row was on her account. It’s as plain as the knob on the door—there wasn’t anything else for him to do. He saw it well enough after she’d said a dozen words to him—”
Meantime, her mate was drifting like an unobtrusive black shadow through the rain toward the clutter of farm buildings at the base of the hill-pasture. His scent told him there was a dog somewhere in that welter of sheds and barns and houses. But his scent told him also that there were fowls aplenty. Preparing to match his speed and his wit against any dog’s, he crept close and closer, taking due advantage of every patch of cover; unchecked even by the somewhat more distant man-scent; and urged on by that ever stronger odour of live chickens.
Suddenly, as though the horror of her own situation for the first time burst upon her, Célestine uttered a piercing shriek, and, flinging herself upon Poirot, poured out a torrent of incoherent French.
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