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Chapter 19 (continued)
'I'm sure you'll excuse me, sir,' said Mrs Varden, rising and curtseying. 'Varden is so very thoughtless, and needs so much reminding--Sim, bring a chair here.'
Mr Tappertit obeyed, with a flourish implying that he did so, under protest.
'And you can go, Sim,' said the locksmith.
Mr Tappertit obeyed again, still under protest; and betaking himself to the workshop, began seriously to fear that he might find it necessary to poison his master, before his time was out.
In the meantime, Edward returned suitable replies to Mrs Varden's courtesies, and that lady brightened up very much; so that when he accepted a dish of tea from the fair hands of Dolly, she was perfectly agreeable.
'I am sure if there's anything we can do,--Varden, or I, or Dolly either,--to serve you, sir, at any time, you have only to say it, and it shall be done,' said Mrs V.
'I am much obliged to you, I am sure,' returned Edward. 'You encourage me to say that I have come here now, to beg your good offices.'
Mrs Varden was delighted beyond measure.
'It occurred to me that probably your fair daughter might be going to the Warren, either to-day or to-morrow,' said Edward, glancing at Dolly; 'and if so, and you will allow her to take charge of this letter, ma'am, you will oblige me more than I can tell you. The truth is, that while I am very anxious it should reach its destination, I have particular reasons for not trusting it to any other conveyance; so that without your help, I am wholly at a loss.'
'She was not going that way, sir, either to-day, or to-morrow, nor indeed all next week,' the lady graciously rejoined, 'but we shall be very glad to put ourselves out of the way on your account, and if you wish it, you may depend upon its going to-day. You might suppose,' said Mrs Varden, frowning at her husband, 'from Varden's sitting there so glum and silent, that he objected to this arrangement; but you must not mind that, sir, if you please. It's his way at home. Out of doors, he can be cheerful and talkative enough.'
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