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earnest. Like Democrats everywhere, our people were stirred

source:sluggish netedit:lovetime:2023-12-05 23:45:06

At about ten o'clock he found himself, as it were, by accident, close to Mr Bolivia's establishment. He was thoroughly wet through, jaded, wretched, and in want of sustenance. He turned in, and found the place deserted. The diners had gone away, and the hour had not come at which men in quest of later refreshment were wont to make their appearance. But there were still one or two gas-lights burning; and he threw himself wearily into a little box or partition nearest to the fire. Here Signor Bolivia himself came to him, asking in commiserating accents what had brought him thither in so wretched a plight. "I have left my coat and umbrella behind," said Tom, trying to pluck up a little spirit -- "and my dinner too."

earnest. Like Democrats everywhere, our people were stirred

"No dinner, Mr Tringle; and you wet through like that! What shall I get you, Mr Tringle?" But Tom declared that he would have no dinner. He was off his appetite altogether, he said. He would have a bottle of champagne and a devilled biscuit. Mr Walker, who, as we are aware, put himself forward to the world generally as Signor Bolivia, felt for the moment a throb of pity, which overcame in his heart the innkeeper's natural desire to make the most he could of his customer. "Better have a mutton chop and a little drop of brandy and water hot."

earnest. Like Democrats everywhere, our people were stirred

"I ain't up to it, Bolivia," said the young man. "I couldn't swallow it if I had it. Give us the bottle of champagne and the devilled biscuit." Then Mr Walker -- for Bolivia was in truth Walker -- fetched the wine and ordered the biscuit; and poor Tom was again brought back to the miserable remedy to which he had before applied himself in his misfortune. There he remained for about an hour, during a part of which he slept; but before he left the house he finished the wine. As he got up to take his departure Mr Walker scanned his gait and bearing, having a friendly feeling for the young man, and not wishing him to fall again into the hands of the police. But Tom walked forth apparently as sober as a judge, and as melancholy as a hangman. As far as Mr Walker could see the liquor had made no impression on him. "If I were you, Mr Tringle," said the keeper of the eating-house, "I'd go home at once, because you are so mortal wet."

earnest. Like Democrats everywhere, our people were stirred

"All right," said Tom, going out into the pouring rain.

It was then something after eleven, and Tom instead of taking the friendly advice which had been offered to him, walked, as fast as he could, round Leicester Square; and as he walked the fumes of the wine mounted into his head. But he was not drunk -- not as yet so drunk as to misbehave himself openly. He did not make his way round the square without being addressed, but he simply shook off from him those who spoke to him. His mind was still intent upon Ayala. But now he was revengeful rather than despondent. The liquor had filled him once again with a desire to do something. If he could destroy himself and the Colonel by one and the same blow, how fitting a punishment would that be for Ayala! But how was he to do it? He would throw himself down from the top of the Duke of York's column, but that would be nothing unless he could force the Colonel to take the jump with him! He had called the man out and he wouldn't come! Now, with the alcohol in his brain, he again thought that the man was a coward for not coming. Had not such a meeting been from time immemorial the resource of gentlemen injured as he now was injured? The Colonel would not come when called -- but could he not get at him so as to strike him? If he could do the man a real injury he would not care what amount of punishment he might be called upon to bear.

He hurried at last out of the square into Coventry Street and down the Haymarket. His lodgings were in Duke Street, turning out of Piccadilly -- but he could not bring himself to go home to his bed. He was unutterably wretched, but yet he kept himself going with some idea of doing something, or of fixing some purpose. He certainly was tipsy now, but not so drunk as to be unable to keep himself on his legs. He gloried in the wet, shouting inwardly to himself that he in his misery was superior to all accidents of the weather. Then he stood for awhile watching the people as they came out of the Haymarket Theatre. He was at this time a sorry sight to be seen. His hat was jammed on to his head and had been almost smashed in the jamming. His coat reeking wet through was fastened by one button across his chest. His two hands were thrust into his pockets, and the bottle of champagne was visible in his face. He was such a one -- to look at -- that no woman would have liked to touch nor any man to address. In this guise he stood there amidst the crowd, foremost among those who were watching the ladies as they got into their vehicles. "And she might be as good as the best of them, and I might be here to hand her into her own carriage' -- said he to himself -- "if it were not for that intruder!"

At that moment the intruder was there before him, and on his arm was a lady whom he was taking across to a carriage, at the door of which a servant in livery was standing. They were followed closely by a pretty young girl who was picking her steps after them alone. These were Lady Albury and Nina, whom Colonel Stubbs had escorted to the play.

"You will be down by the twentieth?" said the elder lady.

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