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As a rule he walks from Henley Station, but on this occasion he arrived in a fly, he having a young woman with him, and she having a bag-his cook, as he explained to me. As a rule, I do everything for Mr. Parable, sleeping in the cottage when he is there; but to tell the truth, I was glad to see her. I never was much of a cook myself, as my poor dead husband has remarked on more than one occasion, and I don't pretend to be. Mr. Parable added, apologetic like, that he had been suffering lately from indigestion.
"I am only too pleased to see her," I "There are the two beds in my room, and we sha'n't quarrel." She was quite a sensible young woman, as I had judged from the first look at her, though suffering at the time from a cold. She hires a bicycle from Emma Tidd, who uses it only on a Sunday, and, taking a market-basket, off she starts for Henley, Mr. Parable saying he would go with her to show her the way.
They were gone a goodish time, which, seeing it's eight miles, did n't so much surprise me; and when they got back we all three had dinner together, Mr. Parable arguing that it made for what he called "labor-saving." Afterward I cleared away, leaving them talking together; and later on they had a walk round the garden, it being a moonlight night, but a bit too cold for my fancy.
In the morning I had a chat with her before he was down. She seemed a bit worried.
"I hope people won't get talking," she says. "He would insist on my coming."
"Well," I says, "surely a gent can bring his cook along with him to cook for him. And as for people talking, what I always say is, one may just as well give them something to talk about and save them the trouble of making it up."
"if you don't mind taking a bit of mo erly advice, you might remember t your place is the kitchen, and his the p lor. He's a dear good man, I know, I human nature is human nature, and it no good pretending it is n't."
She and I had our breakfast toget before he was up, so that when he ca down, he had to have his alone, but aft ward she comes into the kitchen a closes the door.
"He wants to show me the way High Wycombe," she says. "He will ha it there are better shops at Wycom What ought I to do?"
My experience is that advising folks do what they don't want to do is n't way to do it.
"What d' you think yourself?" I ask her.
"I feel like going with him," she sa "and making the most of every mil And then she began to cry. "What's harm?" she says. "I have heard h from a dozen platforms ridiculing cl distinctions. Besides," she says, "my p ple have been farmers for generatio What was Miss Bulstrode's father bu grocer? He ran a hundred shops inst of one. What difference does that make
"When did it all begin?" I sa "When did he first take notice of you "The day before yesterday," she "He had never seen me befor she says. "I was just cook-somethi in a cap and apron that he passed oc sionally on the stairs. On Thursday saw me in my best clothes, and fell love with me. He does n't know it hi self, poor dear, not yet; but that 's wh he's done."
Well, I could n't contradict her, after the way I had seen him looking her across the table.
"What are your feelings toward hin I says, "to be quite honest? He 's rath a good catch for a young person in yo position."
"That 's my trouble," she says; can't help thinking of that. And then be 'Mrs. John Parable'! That 's enou to turn a woman's head."
thought is a matter for conjecture; I can only speak to the facts. Mr. Parable looked at the lady once or twice. Indeed, one might say with truth that he kept on doing it. The lady, it must be admitted, behaved for a while with extreme propriety; but after a time, as I felt must happen, their eyes met, and then it was I heard her say:
"Good evening, Mr. Parable."
She accompanied the words with the same peculiar smile to which I have already referred. The exact words of Mr. Parable's reply I cannot remember, though it was to the effect that he had thought from the first that he had known her, but had not been quite sure.
It was at this point that, thinking I saw my colleague approaching, I went to meet him. I found I was mistaken, and slowly retraced my steps. I passed Mr. Parable and the lady. They were talking together with what I should describe as animation. I went as far as the southern extremity of the suspension-bridge, and must have waited there quite ten minutes before returning eastward. It was while I was passing behind them on the grass, partly screened by the rhododendrons, that I heard Mr. Parable say to the lady: "Why should n't we have it together?" To which the lady replied: "But what about Miss Clebb?"
taken particular notice of her. She had brown eyes, and was wearing a black hat supplemented with poppies.
ARTHUR HORTON, waiter at the Popular Café, states as follows:
I know Mr. John Parable by sight. Have often heard him speak at public meetings. Am a bit of a socialist myself. Remember his dining at the Popular Café on the evening of Thursday. Did n't recognize him immediately on his entrance for two reasons: one was his hat, and the other was his girl. I took it from him and hung it up. I mean, of course, the hat. It was a brand new bowler, a trifle ikey about the brim. Have always associated him with a soft gray felt, but never with girls. Females, yes, to any extent; but this was the real article. You know what I mean the sort of girl that you turn round to look after. It was she who selected the table in the corner behind the door. Been there before, I should say.
In the ordinary course of business I should have addressed Mr. Parable by name, such being our instructions in the case of customers known to us. But putting the hat and the girl together, I decided not to. Mr. Parable was all for our three and sixpenny table d'hôte, he evidently not wanting to think; but the lady would n't hear of it.
"Remember Miss Clebb," she said.
Of course, at the time, I did not know what was meant. She ordered thin soup, a grilled sole, and cutlets au gratin. It certainly could n't have been the dinner. With regard to the champagne, he would have his own way. I picked him out a dry '94 that you might have weaned a baby on. I suppose it was the whole thing combined.
It was after the sole that I heard Mr. Parable laugh. I could hardly credit my ears, but half-way through the cutlets he did it again.
There are two kinds of women: there is the woman who, the more she eats and drinks, the stodgier she gets; and the woman who lights up after it. I suggested a peach melba between them, and when I
returned with it, Mr. Parable was sitting with his elbows on the table, gazing across at her with an expression that I can only describe as quite human. It was when I brought the coffee that he turned to me and asked me what was doing.
"Nothing stuffy," he added. "Is there an exhibition anywhere-something in the open air?”
"You are forgetting Miss Clebb," the lady reminded him.
"For two pins," said Mr. Parable, "I would get up at the meeting and tell Miss Clebb what I really think about her."
I suggested the Earl's Court Exhibition, little thinking at the time what it was going to lead to; but the lady at first would n't hear of it; and the party at the next table calling for their bill (they had asked for it once or twice before, when I came to think of it), I had to go to them. When I got back, the argument had just concluded, and the lady was holding up her finger.
"On condition that we leave at halfpast nine, and that you go straight to Caxton Hall," she said.
"We'll see about it," said Mr. Parable, and offered me half a crown.
Tips being against the rules, I could n't take it. Besides, one of the jumpers had his eye on me. I explained to him, jocosely, that I was doing it for a bet. He was surprised when I handed him his hat, but, the lady whispering to him, he remembered himself in time.
As they went out together, I heard Mr. Parable say to the lady:
"It's funny what a shocking memory I have for names."
To which the lady replied: "You'll think it funnier still to-morrow." And then she laughed.
Mr. Horton thought he would know the lady again. He puts down her age as about twenty-six, describing her, to use his own piquant expression, as "a bit of all right." She had brown eyes and a taking way with her.
MISS IDA JENKS, in charge of the Eastern Cigarette Kiosk at the Earl's Court
Exhibition, gives the following particulars:
From where I generally stand I can easily command a view of the interior of the Victoria Hall; that is, of course, to say, when the doors are open, as on a warm night is usually the case.
On the evening of Thursday, the twenty-seventh, it was fairly well occupied, but not to any great extent. One couple attracted my attention by reason of the gentleman's erratic steering. Had he been my partner, I should have suggested a polka, the tango not being the sort of dance that can be picked up in an evening. What I mean to say is that he struck me as being more willing than experienced. Some of the bumps she got would have made me cross; but we all have our fancies, and so far as I could judge, they both appeared to be enjoying themselves. It was after the "Hitchy-coo" that they came outside.
The seat to the left of the door is popular by reason of its being partly screened by bushes, but by leaning forward a little, it is quite possible for me to see what goes on there. They were the first couple out, having had a bad collision near the bandstand, so easily secured it. The gentleman was laughing.
There was something about him from the first that made me think I knew him, and when he took off his hat to wipe his head it came to me all of a sudden, he being the exact image of his effigy at Madame Tussaud's, which by a curious coincidence I happened to have visited with a friend that very afternoon. The lady was what some people would call good-looking, and others might n't.
I was watching them, naturally a little interested. Mr. Parable, in helping the lady to adjust her cloak, drew her-it may have been by accident-toward him; and then it was that a florid gentleman, with a short pipe in his mouth, stepped forward and addressed the lady. He raised his hat, and, remarking "Good evening," added that he hoped she was "having a pleasant time." His tone I should explain was sarcastic.
The young woman, whatever else may be said of her, struck me as behaving quite correctly. Replying to his salutation with a cold and distant bow, she rose, and, turning to Mr. Parable, observed that she thought it was perhaps time for them to be going.
The gentleman, who had taken his pipe from his mouth, said, again in a sarcastic tone, that he thought so, too, and offered the lady his arm.
"I don't think we need trouble you," said Mr. Parable, and stepped between them.
To describe what followed, I, being a lady, am hampered for words. I remember seeing Mr. Parable's hat go up into the air; and then the next moment the florid gentleman's head was lying on my counter smothered in cigarettes. I naturally screamed for the police, but the crowd was dead against me; and it was only after what I believed in technical language would be termed "the fourth round" that they appeared upon the scene.
The last I saw of Mr. Parable he was shaking a young constable, who had lost his helmet, while three other policemen had hold of him from behind. The florid gentleman's hat I found on the floor of my kiosk, and returned to him; but after a useless attempt to get it on his head, he disappeared with it in his hand. The lady was nowhere to be seen.
Miss Jenks thinks she would know her again. She was wearing a hat trimmed. with black chiffon and a spray of poppies, and was slightly freckled.
SUPERINTENDENT S. WADE, in answer to questions put to him by our representative, vouchsafed the following replies:
Yes, I was in charge at the Vine Street Police Court on the night of Thursday, the twenty-seventh.
No, I have no recollection of a charge of any description being preferred against any gentleman of the name of Parable.
Yes, a gentleman was brought in about ten o'clock, charged with brawling at the Earl's Court Exhibition and assaulting a constable in the discharge of his duty.
The gentleman gave the name of Mr. Archibald Quincey, Harcourt Buildings, Temple.
No, the gentleman made no application respecting bail, electing to pass the night in the cells. A certain amount of discretion is permitted to us, and we made him as comfortable as possible.
Yes, a lady.
No, about a gentleman who had got himself into trouble at the Earl's Court Exhibition. She mentioned no name.
I showed her the charge-sheet. She thanked me, and went away.
That I cannot say. I can only tell you that at nine fifteen on Friday morning bail was tendered, and, after inquiries, accepted in the person of Julius Addison Tupp, of the Sunnybrook Steam Laundry, Twickenham.
That is no business of ours.
The accused, who, I had seen to it, had had a cup of tea and a little toast at seven thirty, left in company with Mr. Tupp soon after ten.
Superintendent Wade admitted he had known cases where accused parties, to avoid unpleasantness, had stated their names to be other than their own, but declined to discuss the matter further.
Superintendent Wade, while expressing his regret that he had no further time to bestow upon our representative, thought it highly probable that he would know the lady again if he saw her.
Without professing to be a judge of such matters, Superintendent Wade thinks she might be described as a highly intelligent young woman and of exceptionally prepossessing appearance.
FROM Mr. Julius Tupp, of the Sunnybrook Steam Laundry, Twickenham, upon whom our representative next called, we have been unable to obtain much assistance, Mr. Tupp replying to all questions put to him by the one formula, "Not talking."
Fortunately, our representative on his way out through the drying-ground was able to obtain a brief interview with Mrs. Tupp.