BOOK THE SECOND - REAPING
2. Chapter Ii - Mr. James Harthouse (continued)
'Ay, ay?' thought the visitor. 'This whelp is the only creature
she cares for. So, so!'
The whelp was presented, and took his chair. The appellation was
not flattering, but not unmerited.
'When I was your age, young Tom,' said Bounderby, 'I was punctual,
or I got no dinner!'
'When you were my age,' resumed Tom, 'you hadn't a wrong balance to
get right, and hadn't to dress afterwards.'
'Never mind that now,' said Bounderby.
'Well, then,' grumbled Tom. 'Don't begin with me.'
'Mrs. Bounderby,' said Harthouse, perfectly hearing this under-
strain as it went on; 'your brother's face is quite familiar to me.
Can I have seen him abroad? Or at some public school, perhaps?'
'No,' she resumed, quite interested, 'he has never been abroad yet,
and was educated here, at home. Tom, love, I am telling Mr.
Harthouse that he never saw you abroad.'
'No such luck, sir,' said Tom.
There was little enough in him to brighten her face, for he was a
sullen young fellow, and ungracious in his manner even to her. So
much the greater must have been the solitude of her heart, and her
need of some one on whom to bestow it. 'So much the more is this
whelp the only creature she has ever cared for,' thought Mr. James
Harthouse, turning it over and over. 'So much the more. So much
Both in his sister's presence, and after she had left the room, the
whelp took no pains to hide his contempt for Mr. Bounderby,
whenever he could indulge it without the observation of that
independent man, by making wry faces, or shutting one eye. Without
responding to these telegraphic communications, Mr. Harthouse
encouraged him much in the course of the evening, and showed an
unusual liking for him. At last, when he rose to return to his
hotel, and was a little doubtful whether he knew the way by night,
the whelp immediately proffered his services as guide, and turned
out with him to escort him thither.