The Honourable Mr. Tawnish (Chapter 5, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 5

'Twas some half-hour later that we found Jack in his library, seated before the fire, his wine at his elbow and Pen at his feet, reading aloud from Mr. Steele's "Tatler."

Upon our sudden appearance Penelope rose, and looked from myself to Bentley a trifle anxiously I thought. Now, as I made my bow to her, I heard Bentley softly begin to whistle "Lillibuleero," and though I had heard him do so many times before, it suddenly struck me that this was the air the highwayman fellow had whistled as he sat swinging his legs upon the bridge.

"Bentley, to-day is Wednesday!" I expostulated, as breaking off in the middle of a bar, he kissed Pen full upon the lips.

"To be sure it is," says he, and kissed her again upon the cheek.

"And ten o'clock," added Jack, "and time all maids were abed."

"Not before I even matters," says I. "I'll give second place to none, least of all Bentley!" And I having kissed her twice--once upon the cheek for Wednesday, and once upon the lips for myself,--she dropped us a laughing courtesy, and with a final good-night kiss for Jack, and a nod to each of us, ran up to bed. But even then Bentley must needs follow her out to the stairs and stand there whispering his nonsense--which goes but to prove the jealous nature of the man!

"What's to do?" says Jack, pushing the wine towards me. "I've sat here with the cards beside me ever since eight o'clock--what's to do?"

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