BOOK VIII. SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
84. CHAPTER LXXXIV.
She tripped off to meet her uncle, while Sir James and Mr. Cadwallader
came forward to make one group with the ladies. Celia had slipped
her arm through her uncle's, and he patted her hand with a rather
melancholy "Well, my dear!" As they approached, it was evident
that Mr. Brooke was looking dejected, but this was fully accounted
for by the state of politics; and as he was shaking hands all round
without more greeting than a "Well, you're all here, you know,"
the Rector said, laughingly--
"Don't take the throwing out of the Bill so much to heart, Brooke;
you've got all the riff-raff of the country on your side."
"The Bill, eh? ah!" said Mr. Brooke, with a mild distractedness
of manner. "Thrown out, you know, eh? The Lords are going
too far, though. They'll have to pull up. Sad news, you know.
I mean, here at home--sad news. But you must not blame me, Chettam."
"What is the matter?" said Sir James. "Not another gamekeeper shot,
I hope? It's what I should expect, when a fellow like Trapping Bass
is let off so easily."
"Gamekeeper? No. Let us go in; I can tell you all in the house,
you know," said Mr. Brooke, nodding at the Cadwalladers, to show
that he included them in his confidence. "As to poachers like
Trapping Bass, you know, Chettam," he continued, as they were entering,
"when you are a magistrate, you'll not find it so easy to commit.
Severity is all very well, but it's a great deal easier when you've
got somebody to do it for you. You have a soft place in your
heart yourself, you know--you're not a Draco, a Jeffreys, that sort
Mr. Brooke was evidently in a state of nervous perturbation.
When he had something painful to tell, it was usually his way
to introduce it among a number of disjointed particulars, as if it
were a medicine that would get a milder flavor by mixing He continued
his chat with Sir James about the poachers until they were all seated,
and Mrs. Cadwallader, impatient of this drivelling, said--