Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers


Mrs Proudie could not stay when the countess was gone. So the bishop was searched for by the Revs. Messrs. Grey and Green, and found in one corner of the tent enjoying himself thoroughly in a disquisition on the hebdomadal board. He obeyed, however, the behests of the lady without finishing the sentence in which he was promising to Dr Gwynne that his authority at Oxford should remain unimpaired; and the episcopal horses turned their noses towards the palatial stables. Then the Grantlys went. Before they did so Mr Harding managed to whisper a word into his daughter's ear. Of course, he said, he would undeceive the Grantlys as to that foolish rumour about Mr Slope.

'No, no, no,' said Eleanor; 'pray do not--pray wait till I see you. You will be home in a day or two, and then I will explain to you everything.'

'I shall be home to-morrow,' said he.

'I am so glad,' said Eleanor. 'You will come and dine with me, and then we shall be so comfortable.'

Mr Harding promised. He did not exactly know what there was to be explained, or why Dr Grantly's mind should not be disabused of the mistake into which he had fallen; but nevertheless he promised. He owed some reparation to his daughter, and he thought that he might best make it by obedience.

And thus the people were thinning off by degrees, as Charlotte and Eleanor walked about in quest of Bertie. Their search might have been long, had they not happened to hear his voice. He was comfortably ensconced in the ha-ha, with his back to the sloping side, smoking a cigar, and eagerly engaged in conversation with some youngster from the further side of the county, whom he had never met before, who was also smoking under Bertie's pupilage, and listening with open ears to an account given by his companion of some of the pastimes of the Eastern clime.

'Bertie, I am seeking you everywhere,' said Charlotte. 'Come up here at once.'

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