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    最稳澳洲幸运5高赔率群Further she did not get, for here now was John arriving — a somewhat greyer and leaner John than they had left, but advancing upon one, thought Mahony, with the same old air of: I am here; all is well. Having cordially embraced his sister, John wrung his brother-in — law’s hand: “It would be false to pretend surprise, my dear Mahony, at your decision to return to us.” On his heels came none other than Jerry and his wife: a fair, fragile slip of a girl this — Australian-born and showing it, in a skin pale as a white flower. Mary put her arms round the child — she was scarcely more — and kissed her warmly; while in one breath the little wife, who was all a-flutter and a-tremble, confided to her how very, very much afraid she had felt of this meeting, knowing Mary to be dear “Harry’s” favourite sister; and how she hoped dear Mary, please, wouldn’t mind her calling him Harry, but she had once had a dog named Jerry, a white dog with a black patch over one eye; and it seemed so droll, didn’t it? to call your husband by the same name as a dog, especially such a funny-looking dog; although if dear Mary wished it very, very much . . . all this gabbled off like a lesson got by heart. Mary promptly reassured her: it was her good right to call her husband by whatever name she chose, so long as he did not mind; and that — with a loving glance at Jerry — she would guarantee he didn’t. Then she turned to her brother. The same steady old sober-sides; but now grown quite the man: broad of shoulder, richly whiskered, and, as could be seen at a glance, the most devoted of husbands. Did his young wife speak to some one, he tried to overhear what she was saying; watched the effect of her words on the other; smiled in advance at her little jokes, to incite the listener to smile, too — for all the world after the fashion of a fond mother playing off her child. And when, sprite-like, the girl ran to the other side of the ship, he took the opportunity before following her to squeeze his sister’s hand and murmur: “WHAT do you say to my little Fanny, Mary? Isn’t she perfect?”


    Another thing that sent people’s eyebrows up was the supper to which Mary sat them down as the clock struck ten. At this date she had not been long enough in Buddlecombe to know it for an unalterable rule that, unless the invitation was to dinner, a heavy, stodgy dinner of one solid course after another, from which, if you happened to be a peckish eater, you rose feeling as though you could never look on food again; except in this case, the refreshment offered was of the lightest and most genteel: a biscuit; a jug of barley-water for the gouty, or lemon-water for the young — at most, a glass of inferior sherry, cellars not being tapped to any extent on such occasions. But Mary had gone at her supper in good old style, giving of her best. And Mahony was so used to leaving such matters entirely to her that it had never entered his head to inferfere. Not until the party was squeezed into the little dining-room, round a lengthened dinner-table on which jellies twinkled, cold fowls lay trussed, sandwiches were piled loaf-high — not till then and till he saw the amazed glances flying between the ladies, did he grasp how wrong Mary had gone. A laden supper-table was an innovation: and who were these newcomers, hailing from God knew where, to attempt to improve on the customs of Buddlecombe? It was also a trap for the gouty — and all were gouty more or less. Thirdly, such profusion constituted a cutting criticism on the meagre refreshments that were here the rule. He grew stiff with embarrassment; felt, if possible, even more uncomfortable than did poor Mary, at the refusals and head-shakings that went down one side of the table and up the other. For none broke more than the customary Abernethy, or crumpled a sandwich. Liver-wings and slices of breast, ham patties and sausage-rolls made the round, in vain. Mrs. Challoner gave the cue; and even the vicar, a hearty eater, followed her lead, the only person to indulge being the worthy gentleman who had caused half the trouble — and HIM Mahony caught being kicked by his wife under the table.
    He seemed to have this idea of dodging familiar faces on the brain. Did ever any one hear the like? . . . on his return, for the first time, to the place where he had spent a third of his life . . . where he had been so well known and sought after. But really JUST how odd Richard had become, Mary did not grasp till now. And before the following day was out, she was heartily sorry she had not left him at home. One of his worst bad nights did not help to mend matters. He vowed he had not missed the striking of a single hour; but had tossed and turned on a too hard bed, in a too light room, listening to the strange noises of a strange house, and wakened for good and all long before dawn, by the crowing of “a thousand infernal roosters.” Before any one else stirred he was up and out, on a long tramp bushwards.


    1.But with the crash came also the chance of revenge. Then it was Emmy’s turn; and she could say in all good faith: “Oh, DON’T let her — don’t let . . . Mamma go in to him, Aunt Mary! She worries him so.” As always, there was just the suspicion of a pause — a kind of intake of the breath — before she got the “Mamma” out; a name here bestowed for the third time, and only after a severe inward struggle, because HE had wished it.
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