The Honourable Mr. Tawnish (Chapter 3, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 3

Autumn, with its dying flowers and falling leaves, is, to my thinking, a mournful season, and hath ever about it a haunting melancholy, a gentle sadness that sorts very ill with this confounded tune of "Lillibuleero," more especially when whistled in gusts and somewhat out of key.

Therefore, as we walked along towards the Manor on this November afternoon, I drew my arm from Bentley's and turned upon him with a frown: "Why in heaven's name must you whistle?" I demanded.

"Did I so, Dick? I was thinking."

"Of what, pray?"

"Of many things, man Dick, but more particularly of my nephew."

"Ah!" says I scornfully, "our gallant young Viscount! our bridegroom elect who--ran away!"

"But none the less," added Bentley, stoutly, "a pretty fellow with a good leg, a quick hand and a true eye, Dick--one who can tell 'a hawk from a hern-shaw' as the saying is."

"Which I take leave to doubt," says I, sourly, "or he would have fallen in with our wishes and married Pen a year ago, instead of running away like a craven fool!"

"But bethink you, Dick," says Bentley flushing, "he had never so much as seen her and, when he heard we were all so set on having him married, he writ me saying he 'preferred a wife of his own choosing' and then--well, he bolted!"

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