2. CHAPTER II
Mr. Godfrey followed the announcement of his name--
as Mr. Godfrey does everything else--exactly at the right time.
He was not so close on the servant's heels as to startle us.
He was not so far behind as to cause us the double inconvenience
of a pause and an open door. It is in the completeness of his
daily life that the true Christian appears. This dear man was
"Go to Miss Verinder," said my aunt, addressing the servant,
"and tell her Mr. Ablewhite is here."
We both inquired after his health. We both asked him together whether
he felt like himself again, after his terrible adventure of the past week.
With perfect tact, he contrived to answer us at the same moment.
Lady Verinder had his reply in words. I had his charming smile.
"What," he cried, with infinite tenderness, "have I done
to deserve all this sympathy? My dear aunt! my dear
Miss Clack! I have merely been mistaken for somebody else.
I have only been blindfolded; I have only been strangled;
I have only been thrown flat on my back, on a very thin carpet,
covering a particularly hard floor. Just think how much
worse it might have been! I might have been murdered;
I might have been robbed. What have I lost? Nothing but
Nervous Force--which the law doesn't recognise as property;
so that, strictly speaking, I have lost nothing at all.
If I could have had my own way, I would have kept my adventure
to myself--I shrink from all this fuss and publicity.
But Mr. Luker made HIS injuries public, and my injuries,
as the necessary consequence, have been proclaimed in their turn.
I have become the property of the newspapers, until the gentle reader
gets sick of the subject. I am very sick indeed of it myself.
May the gentle reader soon be like me! And how is dear Rachel?
Still enjoying the gaieties of London? So glad to hear it!
Miss Clack, I need all your indulgence. I am sadly behind-hand
with my Committee Work and my dear Ladies. But I really
do hope to look in at the Mothers'-Small-Clothes next week.
Did you make cheering progress at Monday's Committee? Was the Board
hopeful about future prospects? And are we nicely off for