Northanger Abbey. Part 18

Northanger Abbey. In the evening

Northanger Abbey 18c

Catherine found Mrs. Allen just returned from all the

busy idleness of the morning, and was immediately greeted

with, ‘Well, my dear, here you are,’ a truth which she had no

greater inclination than power to dispute; ‘and I hope you

have had a pleasant airing?’

‘Yes, ma’am, I thank you; we could not have had a nicer day.’

‘So Mrs. Thorpe said; she was vastly pleased at your all going.’

‘You have seen Mrs. Thorpe, then?’

‘Yes, I went to the pump-room as soon as you were gone,

and there I met her, and we had a great deal of talk together.

She says there was hardly any veal to be got at market this

morning, it is so uncommonly scarce.’
Northanger Abbey 18a (1)Northanger Abbey 18a (2)

‘Did you see anybody else of our acquaintance?’

‘Yes; we agreed to take a turn in the Crescent, and there

we met Mrs. Hughes, and Mr. and Miss Tilney walking

with her.’

‘Did you indeed? And did they speak to you?’

‘Yes, we walked along the Crescent together for half an

hour. They seem very agreeable people. Miss Tilney was in a

very pretty spotted muslin, and I fancy, by what I can learn,

that she always dresses very handsomely. Mrs. Hughes talk-

ed to me a great deal about the family.’

‘And what did she tell you of them?’
Northanger Abbey 18b (1)Northanger Abbey 18b (2)

‘Oh! A vast deal indeed; she hardly talked of anything else.’

‘Did she tell you what part of Gloucestershire they come from?’

‘Yes, she did; but I cannot recollect now. But they are very

good kind of people, and very rich. Mrs. Tilney was a Miss

Drummond, and she and Mrs. Hughes were schoolfellows;

and Miss Drummond had a very large fortune; and, when

she married, her father gave her twenty thousand pounds,

and five hundred to buy wedding-clothes. Mrs. Hughes saw

all the clothes after they came from the warehouse.’

‘And are Mr. and Mrs. Tilney in Bath?’
Northanger Abbey 18c

‘Yes, I fancy they are, but I am not quite certain. Upon

recollection, however, I have a notion they are both dead; at

least the mother is; yes, I am sure Mrs. Tilney is dead, be-

cause Mrs. Hughes told me there was a very beautiful set of

pearls that Mr. Drummond gave his daughter on her wed-

ding-day and that Miss Tilney has got now, for they were

put by for her when her mother died.’

‘And is Mr. Tilney, my partner, the only son?’

‘I cannot be quite positive about that, my dear; I have

some idea he is; but, however, he is a very fine young man,

Mrs. Hughes says, and likely to do very well.’
Northanger Abbey 18d

Catherine inquired no further; she had heard enough

to feel that Mrs. Allen had no real intelligence to give, and

that she was most particularly unfortunate herself in having

missed such a meeting with both brother and sister. Could

she have foreseen such a circumstance, nothing should have

persuaded her to go out with the others; and, as it was, she

could only lament her ill luck, and think over what she had

lost, till it was clear to her that the drive had by no means

been very pleasant and that John Thorpe himself was quite

Northanger Abbey 18e (1)Northanger Abbey 18e (2)Northanger Abbey 18e (3)

To be continued

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