Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees

By Maurice Hewlett | Go to book overview
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XVIIII
ENTER A. BIRD-CATCHER

OCTOBER was in, mild and languorous; the trees dripped all day, the mist seemed unable to lift itself from the low-lying city. Mary grew restless and discontented. The usual things happened, but had ceased to entertain. Mr. Bloxam, after taking her for excursions by water, had one day proposed that she should take tea with his people, prosperous hucksters in the town. She agreed -- to find out very soon that she was on exhibition, on approval, you might say. Mrs. Bloxam, the mother, addressed her particular ' inquiries, Mr. Bloxam, the father, gave her a carnation out of the conservatory. Shortly afterwards Mr.Bloxam, the son, made her another proposition, and was exceedingly surprised that she did not jump at it. Can such things be? he inquired, looking about. She had shaken her head at him very gently when. she told him that really she couldn't. It was charmingly done, with kindness, but complete finality. That he saw.

He told her that his heart was broken, that she saw before her a man beaten down. It is dreadful, he said. My mother liked you so much. She

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