BOOK THE FIRST - SOWING
14. Chapter Xiv - the Great Manufacturer (continued)
'Then I'll tell you. He's with old Bounderby. They are having a
regular confab together up at the Bank. Why at the Bank, do you
think? Well, I'll tell you again. To keep Mrs. Sparsit's ears as
far off as possible, I expect.'
With her hand upon her brother's shoulder, Louisa still stood
looking at the fire. Her brother glanced at her face with greater
interest than usual, and, encircling her waist with his arm, drew
her coaxingly to him.
'You are very fond of me, an't you, Loo?'
'Indeed I am, Tom, though you do let such long intervals go by
without coming to see me.'
'Well, sister of mine,' said Tom, 'when you say that, you are near
my thoughts. We might be so much oftener together - mightn't we?
Always together, almost - mightn't we? It would do me a great deal
of good if you were to make up your mind to I know what, Loo. It
would be a splendid thing for me. It would be uncommonly jolly!'
Her thoughtfulness baffled his cunning scrutiny. He could make
nothing of her face. He pressed her in his arm, and kissed her
cheek. She returned the kiss, but still looked at the fire.
'I say, Loo! I thought I'd come, and just hint to you what was
going on: though I supposed you'd most likely guess, even if you
didn't know. I can't stay, because I'm engaged to some fellows to-
night. You won't forget how fond you are of me?'
'No, dear Tom, I won't forget.'
'That's a capital girl,' said Tom. 'Good-bye, Loo.'