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35. CHAPTER XXXV: MISS THORNE'S FETE CHAMPETRE (continued)
At about nine the lower orders began to congregate in the paddock and park, under the surveillance of Mr Plomacy and the head gardener and head groom, who were sworn in as his deputies, and were to assist him in keeping the peace and promoting the sports. Many of the younger inhabitants of the neighbourhood, thinking that they could not have too much of a good thing, had come at a very early hour, and the road between the house and the church had been thronged for some time before the gates were thrown open.
And then another difficulty of huge dimensions arose, a difficulty which Mr Plomacy had indeed foreseen, and for which he was in some sort provided. Some of those who wished to share Miss Thorne's hospitality were not so particular that they should have been as to the preliminary ceremony of an invitation. They doubtless conceived that they had been overlooked by accident; and instead of taking this in dudgeon, as their betters would have done, they good-naturedly put up with the slight, and showed that they did so by presenting themselves at the gate in their Sunday best.
Mr Plomacy, however, well knew who were welcome and who were not. To some, even though uninvited, he allowed ingress. 'Don't be too particular, Plomacy,' his mistress had said; 'especially with the children. If they live anywhere near, let them in.'
Acting on this hint, Mr Plomacy did let in many an eager urchin, and a few tidily dressed girls with their swains, who in no way belonged to the property. But to the denizens of the city he was inexorable. Many a Barchester apprentice made his appearance there that day, and urged with piteous supplication that he had been working all the week in making saddles and boots for the use of Ullathorne, in compounding doses for the horses, or cutting up carcasses for the kitchen. No such claim was allowed. Mr Plomacy knew nothing about the city apprentices; he was to admit the tenants and labourers on the estate; Miss Thorne wasn't going to take in the whole city of Barchester; and so on.
Nevertheless, before the day was half over, all this was found to be useless. Almost anybody who chose to come made his way into the park, and the care of the guardians was transferred to the tables on which the banquet was spread. Even here there was many an unauthorized claimant for a plate, of whom it was impossible to get quit without some commotion than the place and food were worth.
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