The Moonstone (Chapter 7, page 1 of 10)


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Chapter 7

I am truly sorry to detain you over me and my beehive chair. A sleepy
old man, in a sunny back yard, is not an interesting object, I am well
aware. But things must be put down in their places, as things actually
happened--and you must please to jog on a little while longer with me,
in expectation of Mr. Franklin Blake's arrival later in the day.

Before I had time to doze off again, after my daughter Penelope had left
me, I was disturbed by a rattling of plates and dishes in the servants'
hall, which meant that dinner was ready. Taking my own meals in my own
sitting-room, I had nothing to do with the servants' dinner, except to
wish them a good stomach to it all round, previous to composing myself
once more in my chair. I was just stretching my legs, when out
bounced another woman on me. Not my daughter again; only Nancy, the
kitchen-maid, this time. I was straight in her way out; and I observed,
as she asked me to let her by, that she had a sulky face--a thing which,
as head of the servants, I never allow, on principle, to pass me without
inquiry.

"What are you turning your back on your dinner for?" I asked. "What's
wrong now, Nancy?"

Nancy tried to push by, without answering; upon which I rose up, and
took her by the ear. She is a nice plump young lass, and it is customary
with me to adopt that manner of showing that I personally approve of a
girl.

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