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CHAPTER III THE ASSEMBLY Thebe was no thought in Mr. Gerard
Mallory's head next morning that he had let hi9 tongue go
indiscreetly. Upon the contrary, he made a retrospect of the
previous evening with extraordinary complacency, pluming himself on
an excellent fine debut. " I have made my bow," he reflected. "
And, damn me, but I think it was no bad entrance I made. I will
learn those clodhoppers to respect one of my blood. They shall
admit me superior." He let his mind dwell upon the squire, and
laughed aloud at the ludicrous figure that gentleman cut. Then his
wilding fancies fluttered to the handsome and sinister person of
Sir Jeremy Lacon, and after that settled with no further vagrancy
upon the form and features of the lady. " Gad, I would I had her
name," he said, over his breakfast. " Is she wed ? I care not. She
is handsome enough for me, and of the most enticing proportion. I
will see her again. I believe she has a taste for me." He was no
more of a coxcomb than youth should be, and if he had
misinterpreted the lady's glances thewrong lay with her and those
sexual arts which women practise in all classes and at most ages.
Moreover, the young man knew his parts, and had been a pretty
favorite in Vermont, as he said. But if he was easily betrayed into
vanity he was not constant in that pleasant state; and now came out
of it to chatter to the innkeeper. This worthy man had now come by
his guest's name, and was full of wonder and respect, which he put
into a string of humble questions. " Was his honor related to the
Mallorys of St. Hill ?" " Indeed, not related, Mr. Host," says the
young man, " but one of 'emone of 'em." "What " says the innkeeper,
and forthwith he received the romantic tale in outline. " And, by
God," says young Mallory, cheerfully, ...
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