BOOK THE SECOND - REAPING
7. Chapter Vii - Gunpowder (continued)
'Now, you see, Tom,' said Mr. Harthouse in conclusion, himself
tossing over a rose or two, as a contribution to the island, which
was always drifting to the wall as if it wanted to become a part of
the mainland: 'every man is selfish in everything he does, and I
am exactly like the rest of my fellow-creatures. I am desperately
intent;' the languor of his desperation being quite tropical; 'on
your softening towards your sister - which you ought to do; and on
your being a more loving and agreeable sort of brother - which you
ought to be.'
'I will be, Mr. Harthouse.'
'No time like the present, Tom. Begin at once.'
'Certainly I will. And my sister Loo shall say so.'
'Having made which bargain, Tom,' said Harthouse, clapping him on
the shoulder again, with an air which left him at liberty to infer
- as he did, poor fool - that this condition was imposed upon him
in mere careless good nature to lessen his sense of obligation, 'we
will tear ourselves asunder until dinner-time.'
When Tom appeared before dinner, though his mind seemed heavy
enough, his body was on the alert; and he appeared before Mr.
Bounderby came in. 'I didn't mean to be cross, Loo,' he said,
giving her his hand, and kissing her. 'I know you are fond of me,
and you know I am fond of you.'
After this, there was a smile upon Louisa's face that day, for some
one else. Alas, for some one else!
'So much the less is the whelp the only creature that she cares
for,' thought James Harthouse, reversing the reflection of his
first day's knowledge of her pretty face. 'So much the less, so
much the less.'