The Hand of Ethelberta
21. A Street - Neigh's Rooms - Christopher's
As soon as Ethelberta had driven off from the Hall, Ladywell
turned back again; and, passing the front entrance, overtook
his acquaintance Mr. Neigh, who had been one of the last to
emerge. The two were going in the same direction, and they
walked a short distance together.
'Has anything serious happened?' said Neigh, noticing an
abstraction in his companion. 'You don't seem in your usual
'O, it is only that affair between us,' said Ladywell.
'Affair? Between you and whom?'
'Her and myself, of course. It will be in every fellow's mouth
now, I suppose!'
'But--not anything between yourself and Mrs. Petherwin?'
'A mere nothing. But surely you started, Neigh, when you
suspected it just this moment?'
'No--you merely fancied that.'
'Did she not speak well to-night! You were in the room, I
'Yes, I just turned in for half-an-hour: it seems that everybody
does, so I thought I must. But I had no idea that you were
feeble that way.'
'It is very kind of you, Neigh--upon my word it is--very kind;
and of course I appreciate the delicacy which--which--'
'I mean your well-intentioned plan for making me believe that
nothing is known of this. But stories will of course get wind;
and if our attachment has made more noise in the world than
I intended it should, and causes any public interest, why--ha-
ha!--it must. There is some little romance in it perhaps, and