BOOK THE SECOND - REAPING
3. Chapter Iii - the Whelp (continued)
Mr. James Harthouse smiled; and rising from his end of the sofa,
and lounging with his back against the chimney-piece, so that he
stood before the empty fire-grate as he smoked, in front of Tom and
looking down at him, observed:
'What a comical brother-in-law you are!'
'What a comical brother-in-law old Bounderby is, I think you mean,'
'You are a piece of caustic, Tom,' retorted Mr. James Harthouse.
There was something so very agreeable in being so intimate with
such a waistcoat; in being called Tom, in such an intimate way, by
such a voice; in being on such off-hand terms so soon, with such a
pair of whiskers; that Tom was uncommonly pleased with himself.
'Oh! I don't care for old Bounderby,' said he, 'if you mean that.
I have always called old Bounderby by the same name when I have
talked about him, and I have always thought of him in the same way.
I am not going to begin to be polite now, about old Bounderby. It
would be rather late in the day.'
'Don't mind me,' returned James; 'but take care when his wife is
by, you know.'
'His wife?' said Tom. 'My sister Loo? O yes!' And he laughed,
and took a little more of the cooling drink.
James Harthouse continued to lounge in the same place and attitude,
smoking his cigar in his own easy way, and looking pleasantly at
the whelp, as if he knew himself to be a kind of agreeable demon
who had only to hover over him, and he must give up his whole soul
if required. It certainly did seem that the whelp yielded to this
influence. He looked at his companion sneakingly, he looked at him
admiringly, he looked at him boldly, and put up one leg on the
'My sister Loo?' said Tom. 'She never cared for old Bounderby.'