Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


No announcement was necessary, indeed; for the good lady's voice was heard as she walked across the court-yard to the house scolding the unfortunate postilion who had driven her from Barchester. At the moment Miss Thorne could not but be thankful that the other guests were more fashionable, and were thus spared the fury of Mrs Clantantram's indignation.

'Oh, Miss Thorne, look here!' said she, as soon as she found herself in the drawing-room; 'do look at my roquelaure! It's clean spoilt, and for ever. I wouldn't but wear it because I know you wished us all to be grand to-day; and yet I had my misgivings. Oh dear, oh dear! It was five-and-twenty shillings a yard.'

The Barchester post horses had misbehaved in some unfortunate manner just as Mrs Clantantram was getting out of the chaise and had nearly thrown her under the wheel.

Mrs Clantantram belonged to other days, and therefore, though she had but little else to recommend her, Miss Thorne was to a certain extent fond of her. She sent the roquelaure away to be cleaned, and lent her one of her best shawls out of her own wardrobe.

The next comer was Mr Arabin, who was immediately informed of Mrs Clantantram's misfortune, and of her determination to pay neither master nor post-boy; although, as she remarked, she intended to get her lift home before she made known her mind upon that matter. Then a good deal of rustling was heard in the sort of lobby that was used for the ladies' outside cloaks; and the door having been thrown wide open, the servant announced, not in the most confident of voices, Mrs Lookaloft, and the Miss Lookalofts, and Mr Augustus Lookaloft.

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