BOOK X. IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.
6. Chapter vi. Containing, among other things...
Maclachlan, who was much the sharper man of the two, no sooner heard
that this lady came from Chester, with the other circumstances which
he learned from the hostler, than it came into his head that she might
possibly be his friend's wife; and presently acquainted him with this
suspicion, which had never once occurred to Fitzpatrick himself. To
say the truth, he was one of those compositions which nature makes up
in too great a hurry, and forgets to put any brains into their head.
Now it happens to this sort of men, as to bad hounds, who never hit
off a fault themselves; but no sooner doth a dog of sagacity open his
mouth than they immediately do the same, and, without the guidance of
any scent, run directly forwards as fast as they are able. In the same
manner, the very moment Mr Maclachlan had mentioned his apprehension,
Mr Fitzpatrick instantly concurred, and flew directly up-stairs, to
surprize his wife, before he knew where she was; and unluckily (as
Fortune loves to play tricks with those gentlemen who put themselves
entirely under her conduct) ran his head against several doors and
posts to no purpose. Much kinder was she to me, when she suggested
that simile of the hounds, just before inserted; since the poor wife
may, on these occasions, be so justly compared to a hunted hare. Like
that little wretched animal, she pricks up her ears to listen after
the voice of her pursuer; like her, flies away trembling when she
hears it; and, like her, is generally overtaken and destroyed in the
This was not however the case at present; for after a long fruitless
search, Mr Fitzpatrick returned to the kitchen, where, as if this had
been a real chace, entered a gentleman hallowing as hunters do when
the hounds are at a fault. He was just alighted from his horse, and
had many attendants at his heels.
Here, reader, it may be necessary to acquaint thee with some matters,
which, if thou dost know already, thou art wiser than I take thee to
be. And this information thou shalt receive in the next chapter.