BOOK THE SECOND - REAPING
8. Chapter Viii - Explosion (continued)
As he had rather a long ride to take that day - for there was a
public occasion 'to do' at some distance, which afforded a
tolerable opportunity of going in for the Gradgrind men - he
dressed early and went down to breakfast. He was anxious to see if
she had relapsed since the previous evening. No. He resumed where
he had left off. There was a look of interest for him again.
He got through the day as much (or as little) to his own
satisfaction, as was to be expected under the fatiguing
circumstances; and came riding back at six o'clock. There was a
sweep of some half-mile between the lodge and the house, and he was
riding along at a foot pace over the smooth gravel, once Nickits's,
when Mr. Bounderby burst out of the shrubbery, with such violence
as to make his horse shy across the road.
'Harthouse!' cried Mr. Bounderby. 'Have you heard?'
'Heard what?' said Harthouse, soothing his horse, and inwardly
favouring Mr. Bounderby with no good wishes.
'Then you haven't heard!'
'I have heard you, and so has this brute. I have heard nothing
Mr. Bounderby, red and hot, planted himself in the centre of the
path before the horse's head, to explode his bombshell with more
'The Bank's robbed!'
'You don't mean it!'
'Robbed last night, sir. Robbed in an extraordinary manner.
Robbed with a false key.'
Mr. Bounderby, in his desire to make the most of it, really seemed
mortified by being obliged to reply, 'Why, no; not of very much.
But it might have been.'
'Of how much?'