BOOK X. IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.
3. Chapter iii. A dialogue between the landlady and Susan...
This gentleman then being well tired with his long journey from
Chester in one day, with which, and some good dry blows he had
received in the scuffle, his bones were so sore, that, added to the
soreness of his mind, it had quite deprived him of any appetite for
eating. And being now so violently disappointed in the woman whom, at
the maid's instance, he had mistaken for his wife, it never once
entered into his head that she might nevertheless be in the house,
though he had erred in the first person he had attacked. He therefore
yielded to the dissuasions of his friend from searching any farther
after her that night, and accepted the kind offer of part of his bed.
The footman and post-boy were in a different disposition. They were
more ready to order than the landlady was to provide; however, after
being pretty well satisfied by them of the real truth of the case, and
that Mr Fitzpatrick was no thief, she was at length prevailed on to
set some cold meat before them, which they were devouring with great
greediness, when Partridge came into the kitchen. He had been first
awaked by the hurry which we have before seen; and while he was
endeavouring to compose himself again on his pillow, a screech-owl had
given him such a serenade at his window, that he leapt in a most
horrible affright from his bed, and, huddling on his cloaths with
great expedition, ran down to the protection of the company, whom he
heard talking below in the kitchen.
His arrival detained my landlady from returning to her rest; for she
was just about to leave the other two guests to the care of Susan; but
the friend of young Squire Allworthy was not to be so neglected,
especially as he called for a pint of wine to be mulled. She
immediately obeyed, by putting the same quantity of perry to the fire;
for this readily answered to the name of every kind of wine.
The Irish footman was retired to bed, and the post-boy was going to
follow; but Partridge invited him to stay and partake of his wine,
which the lad very thankfully accepted. The schoolmaster was indeed
afraid to return to bed by himself; and as he did not know how soon he
might lose the company of my landlady, he was resolved to secure that
of the boy, in whose presence he apprehended no danger from the devil
or any of his adherents.