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"OH, that's the way is it ?" said the
Doctor. " Well, I call that mean, paltry
remuneration. I'd be ashamed to offer it
to an apothecary! Meant for a snub, I see.
Take care, my good woman, and you, my
little master. So you'll go away, will you,
and on a foreign tour, will you? And you
won't ask me and Polly and Katey to the
Tabblues? We'll see." He sat down and
simply acknowledged Mr. Leader's note.
He had not looked for any remuneration
for his poor services; and he had such a
personal regard for Mr. Leader, and they
had all, in this house, begun to feel such a
liking for Mr. Cecil, that he had not
intended making any claim for professional
attendance. But he knew it was no use
raising a dispute on such a matter; and it
would save trouble to all parties not to
make a fuss about it. This was a very
diplomatic letter, as it was consistent with
whatever air he wished to impart to his
connexion with the young man. To him
he also wrote:

Be sure you come. We are going to
have one of the old jovial nights: Billy
Webber and the rest. If you're late, I'll
go up for you in the barouché, greys and
all, and startle your august mother. You
see I must have my joke.
Yours, PETER.

As the Doctor had anticipated, the
young man made his appearance at the
time named. He was a little sulky and
put out.

"I knew you'd come," said the Doctor;
"but you're a clever fellow, my dear boy,
to manage it in spite of them all."

"Such worry," said Mr. Cecil. "I am
harassed and persecuted on all sides. And
I wish you wouldn't be pressing me, and
forcing me. The way I am persecuted!
And they won't have it now. We must
wait, you know."

"Bad policy, my dear lad; you see the
thing must get wind. If it was myself I'd
wait till the crack o'doom. But you see,
my sweet bird, Katey. If you only knew
all she has done for you, chassy'd that
bothering parson's whelp, who'd just kill
you this moment." Then, seeing alarm
on the young man's face, he added: "Only
he stands in mortal terror of you. Hush!
here she is."

Here, indeed, was Katey, very sad and
tearful about her soft eyes, but ready for
any sacrifice, or series of sacrifices. She
seemed to think, poor child, that any
gratification of her own tastes and affections was
quite selfish, and even wicked; and that she
was brought into this world for the ascetic
practices of self-denial, and the good of her
family. Yet, as she entered, there was such
a look of interest and sympathy in her face,
that the young man's heart was irresistibly
drawn to her. Polly next presented
herself. Already that vivacious young lady
had accepted her situation with all its
awkwardness, and, as the Doctor said
privately, was prepared "to rectify her
frontiers in a new direction." An officer only
just returned from leave had already made
his entry on the Doctor's little stage; and
Captain Montague, a handsome gentleman,
with a sort of intellectual power that
contrasted favourably with that of his
comrades, was already much struck with Polly,
and had made a friendship with the Doctor,
whom he pronounced very fresh and original.