Northanger Abbey. Part 23

 Northanger Abbey. The silent observer

Northanger Abbey 23c

Soon after their reaching the bottom of the set, Catherine

perceived herself to be earnestly regarded by a gentleman

who stood among the lookers-on, immediately behind her

partner. He was a very handsome man, of a commanding

aspect, past the bloom, but not past the vigour of life; and

with his eye still directed towards her, she saw him pres-

ently address Mr. Tilney in a familiar whisper.
Northanger Abbey 23a

Confused by his notice, and blushing from the fear of its being

excited by something wrong in her appearance, she turned away

her head. But while she did so, the gentleman retreated, and

her partner, coming nearer, said, ‘I see that you guess what I

have just been asked. That gentleman knows your name, and

you have a right to know his. It is General Tilney, my father.’
Northanger Abbey 23b

In chatting with Miss Tilney before the evening con-

cluded, a new source of felicity arose to her. She had never

taken a country walk since her arrival in Bath. Miss Tilney,

to whom all the commonly frequented environs were famil-

iar, spoke of them in terms which made her all eagerness to

know them too; and on her openly fearing that she might

find nobody to go with her, it was proposed by the brother

and sister that they should join in a walk, some morning

or other.
Northanger Abbey 23c

‘I shall like it,’ she cried, ‘beyond anything in the

world; and do not let us put it off — let us go tomorrow.’ This

was readily agreed to, with only a proviso of Miss Tilney’s,

that it did not rain, which Catherine was sure it would not.

At twelve o’clock, they were to call for her in Pulteney Street;

and ‘Remember — twelve o’clock,’ was her parting speech to

her new friend. Of her other, her older, her more established

friend, Isabella, of whose fidelity and worth she had enjoyed

a fortnight’s experience, she scarcely saw anything during

the evening.
Northanger Abbey 23d

To be continued

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