category:Racing racing


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    It was at the dinner-table where, in the course of talk, the burning question of spirits and spirit-phenomena had come up; and Mary — Mary, not he: it would never have occurred to him to dilate on the theme before such as Tilly! — had told of the raps and movements of furniture that were taking place at the house of a Mrs. Phayre, a prominent member of Melbourne society. Now Tilly knew very well he did NOT belong to those who dismissed such happenings with a smile and a shrug. Yet the mere mention of them was enough to send her off into an unmannerly guffaw.
    “How sweeping! And so conceited. But Tilly is NOT commonplace. In many ways, she’s just as capable as her mother was. But I don’t think we ought to be discussing her. While she’s our visitor.”


    1.From the chemist Mahony got all the information he wanted — and more. The object of his visit grasped, he was led into a dingy little parlour behind the shop, where, amid an overflow of jars and bottles and drawer-cases, Bealby carried on his ex-business life. And both doors noiselessly closed to ensure their privacy, the chemist — a rubicund, paunchy old man, with snow-white hair and whiskers — himself grew so private that he spoke only in a whisper, and accompanied his words with a forefinger laid flat along his nose. This mysterious air gave the impression that he was divulging dark secrets; though he had no secret to tell, nor would his hearer have thanked him for any. Plainly he was a rare old gossip, and as such made the most both of his subject and the occasion. Mahony could neither dam nor escape from his flow of talk. However, his account of the practice was so favourable that the rest had just to be swallowed — even disagreeable tittle-tattle about the old surgeon’s mode of life. At the plum kept to the last — Brocklebank, it appeared, had actually been called in professionally to the great house of the district, Castle Bellevue — Mahony could not repress a smile; Bealby alluding to it with a reverence that would have befitted a religious rite. Of more practical importance was the information that there were already two candidates for the practice in the field; but that to these, he, Mahony, would no doubt be preferred; for both were young men, just about to start. And: “We want no fledglings, no young sawbones in a position such as this, sir! Now with an elderly man like yourself. . .” Wincing, Mahony contrived soon after to let slip the fact that he was but a couple of years over forty.
    2.The ladies uttered rapturous exclamations; while the gentlemen, mostly without a note of music in them, declared: “‘pon my word, very remarkable, very remarkable indeed!” and Aunt Lizzie, from whom cuffy had picked up this song by ear, hailed him as an infant prodigy, and painted for him a future that made Mary’s heart swell with pride.
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