Kenilworth (Chapter 8, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 8

HOST. I will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep
your counsel.--MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

It becomes necessary to return to the detail of those circumstances
which accompanied, and indeed occasioned, the sudden disappearance
of Tressilian from the sign of the Black Bear at Cumnor. It will be
recollected that this gentleman, after his rencounter with Varney, had
returned to Giles Gosling's caravansary, where he shut himself up in his
own chamber, demanded pen, ink, and paper, and announced his purpose
to remain private for the day. In the evening he appeared again in the
public room, where Michael Lambourne, who had been on the watch for
him, agreeably to his engagement to Varney, endeavoured to renew his
acquaintance with him, and hoped he retained no unfriendly recollection
of the part he had taken in the morning's scuffle.

But Tressilian repelled his advances firmly, though with civility.
"Master Lambourne," said he, "I trust I have recompensed to your
pleasure the time you have wasted on me. Under the show of wild
bluntness which you exhibit, I know you have sense enough to understand
me, when I say frankly that the object of our temporary acquaintance
having been accomplished, we must be strangers to each other in future."

"VOTO!" said Lambourne, twirling his whiskers with one hand, and
grasping the hilt of his weapon with the other; "if I thought that this
usage was meant to insult me--"

"You would bear it with discretion, doubtless," interrupted Tressilian,
"as you must do at any rate. You know too well the distance that is
betwixt us, to require me to explain myself further. Good evening."

So saying, he turned his back upon his former companion, and entered
into discourse with the landlord. Michael Lambourne felt strongly
disposed to bully; but his wrath died away in a few incoherent oaths
and ejaculations, and he sank unresistingly under the ascendency which
superior spirits possess over persons of his habits and description. He
remained moody and silent in a corner of the apartment, paying the most
marked attention to every motion of his late companion, against whom he
began now to nourish a quarrel on his own account, which he trusted to
avenge by the execution of his new master Varney's directions. The hour
of supper arrived, and was followed by that of repose, when Tressilian,
like others, retired to his sleeping apartment.

He had not been in bed long, when the train of sad reveries, which
supplied the place of rest in his disturbed mind, was suddenly
interrupted by the jar of a door on its hinges, and a light was seen to
glimmer in the apartment. Tressilian, who was as brave as steel, sprang
from his bed at this alarm, and had laid hand upon his sword, when he
was prevented from drawing it by a voice which said, "Be not too rash
with your rapier, Master Tressilian. It is I, your host, Giles Gosling."

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