Mr. Troy walked on again. “Miss Isabel seems to have a good friend in you,” he said. He was (perhaps unconsciously) a little offended by the independent tone in which the steward spoke, after he had himself engaged to take the vindication of the girl’s innocence into his own hands.
“Miss Isabel has a devoted servant and slave in me!” Moody answered, with passionate enthusiasm.
“Very creditable; I haven’t a word to say against it,” Mr. Troy rejoined. “But don’t forget that the young lady has other devoted friends besides you. I am her devoted friend, for instance — I have promised to serve her, and I mean to keep my word. You will excuse me for adding that my experience and discretion are quite as likely to be useful to her as your enthusiasm. I know the world well enough to be careful in trusting strangers. It will do you no harm, Mr. Moody, to follow my example.”
Moody accepted his reproof with becoming patience and resignation. “If you have anything to propose, sir, that will be of service to Miss Isabel,” he said, “I shall be happy if I can assist you in the humblest capacity.”
“And if not?” Mr. Troy inquired, conscious of having nothing to propose as he asked the question.
Tips, opportunities to make money：How to make money on online broadcast online“In that case, sir, I must take my own course, and blame nobody but myself if it leads me astray.”
Mr. Troy said no more: he parted from Moody at the next turning.
Pursuing the subject privately in his own mind, he decided on taking the earliest opportunity of visiting Isabel at her aunt’s house, and on warning her, in her future intercourse with Moody, not to trust too much to the steward’s discretion. “I haven’t a doubt,” thought the lawyer, “of what he means to do next. The infatuated fool is going back to Old Sharon!”
RETURNING to his office, Mr. Troy discovered, among the correspondence that was waiting for him, a letter from the very person whose welfare was still the uppermost subject in his mind. Isabel Miller wrote in these terms:
“Dear Sir — My aunt, Miss Pink, is very desirous of consulting you professionally at the earliest opportunity. Although South Morden is within little more than half an hour’s railway ride from London, Miss Pink does not presume to ask you to visit her, being well aware of the value of your time. Will you, therefore, be so kind as to let me know when it will be convenient to you to receive my aunt at your office in London? Believe me, dear sir, respectfully yours, ISABEL MILLER. P.S. — I am further instructed to say that the regrettable event at Lady Lydiard’s house is the proposed subject of the consultation. The Lawn, South Morden. Thursday.”
Mr. Troy smiled as he read the letter. “Too formal for a young girl!” he said to himself. “Every word of it has been dictated by Miss Pink.” He was not long in deciding what course he should take. There was a pressing necessity for cautioning Isabel, and here was his opportunity. He sent for his head clerk, and looked at his list of engagements for the day. There was nothing set down in the book which the clerk was not quite as well able to do as the master. Mr. Troy consulted his railway-guide, ordered his cab, and caught the next train to South Mord en.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Suitable for boysSouth Morden was then (and remains to this day) one of those primitive agricultural villages, passed over by the march of modern progress, which are still to be found in the near neighborhood of London. Only the slow trains stopped at the station and there was so little to do that the station-master and his porter grew flowers on the embankment, and trained creepers over the waiting-room window. Turning your back on the railway, and walking along the one street of South Morden, you found yourself in the old England of two centuries since. Gabled cottages, with fast-closed windows; pigs and poultry in quiet possession of the road; the venerable church surrounded by its shady burial-ground; the grocer’s shop which sold everything, and the butcher’s shop which sold nothing; the scarce inhabitants who liked a good look at a stranger, and the unwashed children who were pictures of dirty health; the clash of the iron-chained bucket in the public well, and the thump of the falling nine-pins in the skittle-ground behind the public-house; the horse-pond on the one bit of open ground, and the old elm-tree with the wooden seat round it on the other — these were some of the objects that you saw, and some of the noises that you heard in South Morden, as you passed from one end of the village to the other.
Tips, opportunities to make money：How can I make a simple online online?About half a mile beyond the last of the old cottages, modern England met you again under the form of a row of little villas, set up by an adventurous London builder who had bought the land a bargain. Each villa stood in its own little garden, and looked across a stony road at the meadow lands and softly-rising wooded hills beyond. Each villa faced you in the sunshine with the horrid glare of new red brick, and forced its nonsensical name on your attention, traced in bright paint on the posts of its entrance gate. Consulting the posts as he advanced, Mr. Troy arrived in due course of time at the villa called The Lawn, which derived its name apparently from a circular patch of grass in front of the house. The gate resisting his efforts to open it, he rang the bell.
Admitted by a trim, clean, shy little maid-servant, Mr. Troy looked about him in amazement. Turn which way he might, he found himself silently confronted by posted and painted instructions to visitors, which forbade him to do this, and commanded him to do that, at every step of his progress from the gate to the house. On the side of the lawn a label informed him that he was not to walk on the grass. On the other side a painted hand pointed along a boundary-wall to an inscription which warned him to go that way if he had business in the kitchen. On the gravel walk at the foot of the housesteps words, neatly traced in little white shells, reminded him not to “forget the scraper”. On the doorstep he was informed, in letters of lead, that he was “Welcome!” On the mat in the passage bristly black words burst on his attention, commanding him to “wipe his shoes.” Even the hat-stand in the hall was not allowed to speak for itself; it had “Hats and Cloaks” inscribed on it, and it issued its directions imperatively in the matter of your wet umbrella —“Put it here!”
Giving the trim little servant his card, Mr. Troy was introduced to a reception-room on the lower floor. Before he had time to look round him the door was opened again from without, and Isabel stole into the room on tiptoe. She looked worn and anxious. When she shook hands with the old lawyer the charming smile that he remembered so well was gone.