The landlady and I recognized him at the same moment.
The landlady, drawing the inevitable inference from the words that she had just heard, looked from me to my mother-in-law in a state of amazement, which paralyzed even her tongue.
'He was a wicked wretch,' said the landlady, 'and well merited what he had the good fortune to escape.
'Hold there, you and your philanthropy,' cried the smiling landlady, nodding her head more than ever.
"Ay!" cries the landlady; "why, look you there, now: well, my first husband was a wise man; he used to say, you can't always know the inside by the outside.
I will see him again early in the morning; and in the meantime let him be kept extremely quiet, and drink liberally of water-gruel."--"Won't you allow him sack-whey?" said the landlady.--"Ay, ay, sack-whey," cries the doctor, "if you will, provided it be very small."--"And a little chicken broth too?" added she.--"Yes, yes, chicken broth," said the doctor, "is very good."--"Mayn't I make him some jellies too?" said the landlady.--"Ay, ay," answered the doctor, "jellies are very good for wounds, for they promote cohesion." And indeed it was lucky she had not named soup or high sauces, for the doctor would have complied, rather than have lost the custom of the house.
The landlady had declined to let her have the rooms: it was quite possible that the strangers might be coming to look at them.
In despair of knowing what else to do at the moment, Arnold asked for the landlady, whom he had not seen on arriving at the inn.
"And I just as much," said the landlady
, "because I never have a quiet moment in my house except when you are listening to some one reading; for then you are so taken up that for the time being you forget to scold."
There was barely an hour left to try her desperate experiment, and to return to the lodging before the landlady
's children came back from school.
The schoolmaster sat for a long time smoking his pipe by the kitchen fire, which was now deserted, thinking, with a very happy face, on the fortunate chance which had brought him so opportunely to the child's assistance, and parrying, as well as in his simple way he could, the inquisitive cross-examination of the landlady
, who had a great curiosity to be made acquainted with every particular of Nell's life and history.
The good landlady
was amazed when she saw Hetty come downstairs soon after herself, neatly dressed, and looking resolutely self- possessed.