category:Racing racing


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    The deputation retired greatly crestfallen, and the result was that for that evening the young Canterbury girls were for the first time in their lives nearly emancipated from maternal supervision, and enjoyed the evening proportionately, flirting with a zest all the greater for its being an amusement indulged in for the first time, and making their mothers' hearts swell, and their mothers' hair figuratively stand on end at such unheard of goings on. Another consequence of the lighted walks was that many families of girls who had never hitherto been allowed to dance except in quadrilles, now found themselves allowed to waltz as they pleased. Not that their mothers' views of the extreme impropriety of such dances had undergone any change; but that of two evils they chose the least, and thought it better to have their daughters waltzing under their eyes, than that they should be wandering away altogether beyond their ken.
    Mr. Billow was supposed to be a retired watchmaker, living upon his savings, but he was in reality engaged in a far more profitable trade than that had ever been. At various times of the day ill-looking fellows would lounge in at the little front gate, and instead of going up the stairs to the front door, would knock at the window, and be admitted by a little door under the steps into the kitchen. Mr. Billow would then postpone his sleep for a few minutes, tell Mrs. Billow to "hook it;" and when alone, would enter into a low but animated conversation with his visitors, who had generally small parcels of goods to display to him; the ownership of these, after much altercation, generally changed hands—that is to say the nominal ownership, the real owner being some third person, whose rights and interests were entirely unrepresented and overlooked. Sometimes men would come in the same way late of an evening, with a bundle too large to be carried openly through the streets in the broad daylight; and on all these occasions Mrs. Billow was dismissed while the conversation was going on. Once, too, at three or four in the morning, Robert Gregory hearing a noise below, went down, stairs and found Mr. Billow engaged over a fire in the kitchen, apparently cooking. Finding that all was safe, Robert had gone up to bed again, and in the morning, Mrs. Billow mentioned casually that Mr. Billow had started very early, and that Robert had found him cooking his breakfast. But Robert knew that if Mr. Billow had required breakfast at any hour, his wife would have had to get up to prepare it; he had moreover detected that the smell of the ingredients in the pot on the fire, much more resembled the fumes of melting metal, than the savory steam of Mr. Billow's breakfast. He was therefore confirmed in what he had previously strongly suspected, namely, that his landlord was neither more nor less than a receiver of stolen goods. Sophy objected to this, "Why then should he let lodgings?" But Robert told her, with a laugh, that this was merely a blind to deceive the police as to the character of the house. Sophy when she made this discovery, wished at once to leave their lodgings, but Robert said that it could make no difference to them what the old rogue was; that the lodgings were clean and comfortable, and that it would be a pity to change without some better reason. And so, this time against Sophy's judgment, they determined to stay for the present as they were.
    "No, no," Robert said hastily; "not here. You take me to some place you may appoint to meet them; and your part of the agreement is that you on no account tell them my name, or anything about me. If the plan succeeds, I don't care, for I shall only have broken into my own house. At any rate, if I were punished I should care very little, for I should be a rich man; and I question if the old women dare prosecute me for any violence I may have to use, when they will be themselves liable to imprisonment for hiding the will; but in the case of its failing, I don't want to be in the power of any man. I don't mind you, because I could break up your place here in return; but I intend to go abroad very soon if it fails, and I don't want anything known against me. So make an appointment for me to meet them where you like, and call me Robert Brown."


    3.Mr. Brandon ceased, his voice faltered as he spoke, and the tears fell from his eyes. Mr. Harmer hid his face in his hands, and sobbed unrestrainedly; he was inexpressibly shocked and grieved. At last he said—
    Put away



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