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Mrs. Milton, as a successful little authoress and still more successful widow of thirty-two,–„Thomas Plantagenet is a charming woman,“ her reviewers used to write invariably, even if they spoke ill of her,–found the steady growth of Jessie into womanhood an unmitigated nuisance and had been willing enough to keep her in the background. And Jessie–who had started this intercourse at fourteen with abstract objections to stepmothers–had been active enough in resenting this. Increasing rivalry and antagonism had sprung up between them, until they could engender quite a vivid hatred from a dropped hairpin or the cutting of a book with a sharpened knife. There is very little deliberate wickedness in the world. The stupidity of our selfishness gives much the same results indeed, but in the ethical laboratory it shows a different nature. And when the disaster came, Mrs. Milton’s remorse for their gradual loss of sympathy and her share in the losing of it, was genuine enough.
You may imagine the comfort she got from her friends, and how West Kensington and Notting Hill and Hampstead, the literary suburbs, those decent penitentiaries of a once Bohemian calling, hummed with the business, Her ‚Men‘–as a charming literary lady she had, of course, a cheap nike air max 1 n organised corps–were immensely excited, and were sympathetic; helpfully energetic, suggestive, alert, as their ideals of their various dispositions required them to be. „Any news of Jessie?“ was the pathetic opening of a dozen melancholy but interesting conversations. To her Men she was not perhaps so damp as she was to her women friends, but in a quiet way she was even more touching. For three days, Wednesday that is, Thursday, and Friday, nothing was heard of the fugitives. It was known that Jessie, wearing a patent costume with buttonup skirts, and mounted on a diamond frame safety with Dunlops, and a loofah covered saddle, had ridden forth early in the morning, taking with her about two pounds seven shillings in money, and a grey touring case packed, and there, save for a brief note to her stepmother,–a declaration of independence, it was said, an assertion of her Ego containing extensive and very annoying quotations from „A Soul Untrammelled,“ and giving no definite intimation of her plans–knowledge ceased. That note was shown to few, and then only in the strictest confidence.
But o http://air1max1.co.uk/ n Friday evening late came a breathless Man Friend, Widgery, a correspondent of hers, who had heard of her trouble among the first. He had been touring in Sussex,–his knapsack was still on his back,–and he testified hurriedly that at a place called Midhurst, in the bar of an hotel called the Angel, he had heard from a barmaid a vivid account of a Young Lady in Grey. Descriptions tallied. But who was the man in brown?“The poor, misguided girl! I must go to her at once,“ she said, choking, and rising with her hand to her heart.
„It’s imposs nike air max 1 black ible to-night. There are no more trains. I looked on my way.“
„A mother’s love,“ she said. „I bear her THAT.“
„I know you do.“ He spoke with feeling, for no one admired his photographs of scenery more than Mrs. Milton. „it’s more than she deserves.“
„Oh, don’t speak unkindly of her! She has been misled.“
It was really very friendly of him. He declared he was only sorry his news ended there. Should he follow them, and bring her back? He had come to her because he knew of her anxiety. „It is GOOD of you,“ she said, and quite instinctively took and pressed his hand. „And to think of that poor girl–tonight! It’s dreadful.“ She looked into the fire that she had lit when he came in, the warm light fell upon her dark purple dress, and left her features in a warm shadow. She looked such a slight, frail thing to be troubled so. „We must follow her.“ Her resolution seemed magnificent. „I have no one to go with me.“
„He must marry her,“ said the man.
„She has no friends. We have no one. After all–Two women.–So helpless.“
And this fair-haired little figure was the woman that people who kn nike air max 1 ew her only from her books, called bold, prurient even! Simply because she was great-hearted–intellectual. He was overcome by the unspeakable pathos of her position.
„Mrs. Milton,“ he said. „Hetty!“
She glanced at him. The overflow was imminent. „Not now,“ she said, „not now. I must find her first.“
„Yes,“ he said with intense emotion. (He was one of those big, fat men who feel deeply.) „But let me help you. At least let me help you.“
„But can you spare time?“ she said. „For ME.“
„For you–“
„But what can I do? wh nike air max 1 leopard at can WE do?“
„Go to Midhurst. Follow her on. Trace her. She was there on Thursday night, last night. She cycled out of the town. Courage!“ he said. „We will save her yet!“
She put out her hand and pressed his again.
„Courage!“ he repeated, finding it so well received.
There were alarms and excursions without. She turned her back to the fire, and he sat down suddenly in the big armchair, which suited his dimensions admirably. Then the door opened, and the girl showed in Dangle, who looked curiously from one to the other. There was emotion here, he had heard the armchair creaking, and Mrs. Milton, whose face was flushed, displayed a suspicious alacrity to explain. „You, too,“ she said, „are one of my good friends. And we have news of her at last.“
It was decidedly an advantage to Widgery, but Dangle determined to show himself a man of resource. In the end he, too, was accepted for the Midhurst Expedition, to the intense disgust of Widgery; and young Phipps, a callow youth of few words, faultless collars, and fervent devotion, w nike air max 1 as also enrolled before the evening was out. They would scour the country, all three of them. She appeared to brighten up a little, but it was evident she was profoundly touched. She did not know what she had done to merit such friends. Her voice broke a little, she moved towards the door, and young Phipps, who was a youth of action rather than of words, sprang and opened it–proud to be first.
„She is sorely tro nike air max 1 premium ubled,“ said Dangle to Widgery. „We must do what we can for her.“
„She is a wonderful woman,“ said Dangle. „So subtle, so intricate, so many faceted. She feels this deeply.“
Young Phipps said nothing, but he felt the more.
And yet they say the age of chivalry is dead!
But this is only an Interlude, introduced to give our wanderers time to refresh themselves by good, honest sleeping. For the present, therefore, we will not concern ourselves with the starting of the Rescue Party, nor with Mrs. Milton’s simple but becoming grey dress, with the healthy Widgery’s Norfolk jacket and thick boots, with the slender Dangle’s energetic bearing, nor with the wonderful chequerings that set off the legs of the golf-suited Phipps. They are after us. In a little while they will be upon us. You must imagine as you best can the competitive nike air max 1 red raidings at Midhurst of Widgery, Dangle, and Phipps. How Widgery was great at questions, and Dangle good at inference, and Phipps so conspicuously inferior in everything that he felt it, and sulked with Mrs. Milton most of the day, after the manner of your callow youth the whole world over. Mrs. Milton stopped at the Angel and was very sad and charming and intelligent, and Widgery paid the bill. in the afternoon of Saturday, Chichester was attained. But by that time our fugitives–As you shall immediately hear.
Chapter 27
Mr. Hoopdriver stirred on his pillow, opened his eyes, and, staring unmeaningly, yawned. The bedclothes were soft and pleasant. He turned the peaked nose that overrides the insufficient moustache, up to the ceiling, a pinkish projection over the billow of white. You might see it wrinkle as he yawned again nike air max 1 grey , and then became quiet. So matters remained for a space. Very slowly recollection returned to him. Then a shock of indeterminate brown hair appeared, and first one watery grey eye a-wondering, and then two ; the bed upheaved, and you had him, his thin neck projecting abruptly from the clothes he held about him, his face staring about the room. He held the clothes about him, I hope I may explain, because his night-shirt was at Bognor in an American-cloth packet, derelict. He yawned a third time, rubbed his eyes, smacked his lips. He was recalling almost everything now. The pursuit, the hotel, the tremulous daring of his entry, the swift adventure of the inn yard, the moonlight–Abruptly he threw the clothes back and rose into a sitting position on the edge of the bed. Without was the noise of shutters being unfastened and nike air max 1 sale doors unlocked, and the passing of hoofs and wheels in the street. He looked at his watch. Half-past six. He surveyed the sumptuous room again.
„Lord!“ said Mr. Hoopdriver. „It wasn’t a dream, after all.“
„I wonder what they charge for these Juiced rooms!“ said Mr. Hoopdriver, nursing one rosy foot.
He became meditative, tugging at his insufficient moustache. Suddenly he gave vent to a noiseless laugh. „What a rush it was! Rushed in and off with his girl right under his nose. Planned it well too. Talk of highway robbery! Talk of brigands Up and off! How juiced SOLD he must be feeling It was a shave too–in the coach yard!“
Suddenly he became silent. Abruptly his eyebrows rose and his jaw fell. „I sa-a-ay!“ said Mr. Hoopdriver.
He had never thought of it before. Perhaps you will understand the whirl he had been in overnight. But one sees things clearer in the daylight. „I’m cheap air max 1 hanged if I haven’t been and stolen a blessed bicycle.“
„Who cares?“ said Mr. Hoopdriver, presently, and his face supplied the answer.
Then he thought of the Young Lady in Grey again, and tried to put a more heroic complexion on the business. But of an early morning, on an empty stomach (as with characteristic coarseness, medical men put it) heroics are of a more difficult growth than by moonlight. Everything had seemed exceptionally fine and brilliant, but quite natural, the evening before.
Mr. Hoopdriver reached out his hand, took his Norfolk jacket, laid it over his knees, and took out the money from the little ticket pocket. “ Fourteen and six-half,“ he said, holding the coins in his left hand and stroking his chin with his right. He verified, by patting, the presence of a pocketbook in the breast pocket. „Five, fourteen, six-half,“ said Mr. Hoopdriver. „Left.“
With the air max 1 Norfolk jacket still on his knees, he plunged into another silent meditation. „That wouldn’t matter,“ he said. „It’s the bike’s the bother.
„No good going back to Bognor.
„Might send it back by carrier, of course. Thanking him for the loan. Having no further use–“ Mr. Hoopdriver chuckled and lapsed into the silent concoction of a delightfully impudent letter. „Mr. J. Hoopdriver presents his compliments.“ But the grave note reasserted itself.
„Might trundle back there in an hour, of course, and exchange them. MY old crock’s so blessed shabby. He’s sure to be spiteful too. Have me run in, perhaps. Then she’d be in just the same old fix, only worse. You see, I’m her Knight-errant. It complicates things so.“
His eye, wandering loosely, rested on the sponge bath. „What the juice do they want with cream pans in a bedroom?“ said Mr. Hoopdriver, en passant.
„Best thing we can do is to set out of here as soon as possible, anyhow. I cheap air max 1 suppose she’ll go home to her friends. That bicycle is a juicy nuisance, anyhow. Juicy nuisance!“
He jumped to his feet with a sudden awakening of energy, to proceed with his toilet. Then with a certain horror he remembered that the simple necessaries of that process were at Bognor!“Lord!“ he remarked, and whistled silently for a space. „Rummy go! profit and loss; profit, one sister with bicycle complete, wot offers?–cheap for tooth and ‚air brush, vests, night-shirt, stockings, and sundries.
„Make the best of it,“ and presently, when it came to hair-brushing, he had to smooth his troubled locks with his hands. It was a poor result. „Sneak out and get a shave, I suppose, and buy a brush and so on. Chink again! Beard don’t show much.“
He ran his hand over his chin, looked at himself steadfastly for some time, and curled his insufficient moustache up with some care. Then he fell a-meditating on his beauty. He considered himself, three-quarter face, left and right. An expression of distaste crept over his features. „Looking won’t nike air max 1 ebay alter it, Hoopdriver,“ he remarked. „You’re a weedy customer, my man. Shoulders narrow. Skimpy, anyhow.“
He put his knuckles on the toilet table and regarded himself with his chin lifted in the air. „Good Lord!“ he said. „WHAT a neck! Wonder why I got such a thundering lump there.“
He sat down on the bed, his eye still on the glass. „If I’d been exercised properly, if I’d been fed reasonable, if I hadn’t been shoved out of a silly school into a silly shop–But there! the old folks didn’t know no better. The schoolmaster ought to have. But he didn’t, poor old fool!–Still, when it comes to meeting a girl like this–It’s ‚ARD.
„I wonder what Adam’d think of me–as a specimen. Civilisation, eigh? Heir of the ages! I’m nothing. I know nothing. I can’t do anything–sketch a bit. Why wasn’t I made an artist?
„Beastly cheap, after all, this suit does look, in the sunshine.“ ③

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