As soon as divine service was over, the Thorpes and
Allens eagerly joined each other; and after staying long
enough in the pump-room to discover that the crowd was
insupportable, and that there was not a genteel face to be
seen, which everybody discovers every Sunday throughout
the season, they hastened away to the Crescent, to breathe
the fresh air of better company.
Here Catherine and Isabella, arm in arm, again tasted the
sweets of friendship in an unreserved conversation;
they talked much, and with much enjoyment; but again
was Catherine disappointed in her hope of reseeing her partner.
His name was not in the pump-room book, and curiosity could do no
more. He must be gone from Bath. Yet he had not mentioned that
his stay would be so short! This sort of mysteriousness, which is
always so becoming in a hero, threw a fresh grace in Catherine’s
imagination around his person and manners, and increased her
anxiety to know more of him.
It was a subject,
however, in which she often indulged with her fair friend,
from whom she received every possible encouragement to
continue to think of him; and his impression on her fancy
was not suffered therefore to weaken. Isabella was very sure
that he must be a charming young man, and was equally
sure that he must have been delighted with her dear Cath-
erine, and would therefore shortly return.
The progress of the friendship between Catherine and Is-
abella was quick as its beginning had been warm, and they
passed so rapidly through every gradation of increasing
tenderness that there was shortly no fresh proof of it to be
given to their friends or themselves. They called each oth-
er by their Christian name, were always arm in arm when
they walked, pinned up each other’s train for the dance, and
were not to be divided in the set; and if a rainy morning de-
prived them of other enjoyments, they were still resolute in
meeting in defiance of wet and dirt, and shut themselves
up, to read novels together.
To be continued
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