Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/157

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127
THE WATSONS

Watson, stealing a view of his own head in an opposite glass, said with equal civility, ‘You cannot be more in dishabille than myself We got here so late, that I had not time even to put a little fresh powder in my hair.’ Emma could not help entering into what she supposed her Sister-in-law’s feelings at that moment. When the Tea things were removed, Tom began to talk of his Carriage; but the old Card Table being set out, and the fish and counters with a tolerably clean pack brought forward from the beaufet by Miss Watson, the general voice was so urgent with him to join their party, that he agreed to allow himself another quarter of an hour. Even Emma was pleased that he would stay, for she was beginning to feel that a family party might be the worst of all parties; and the others were delighted. ‘What’s your Game?’ cried he, as they stood round the Table. ‘Speculation, I believe,’ said Elizabeth. ‘My Sister recommends it, and I fancy we all like it. I know you do, Tom.’ ‘It is the only round game played at Croydon now,’ said Mrs. Robert; ‘we never think of any other. I am glad it is a favourite with you.’ ‘Oh! me!’ cried Tom. ‘Whatever you decide on, will be a favourite with me. I have had some pleasant hours at Speculation in my time, but I have not been in the way of it now for a long while. Vingt-un is the game at Osborne Castle; I have played nothing but Vingt-un of late. You would be astonished to hear the noise we make there. The fine, old, lofty Drawing-room rings again. Lady Osborne sometimes declares she cannot hear herself speak. Lord Osborne enjoys it famously; he makes the best Dealer without exception that I ever beheld—such quickness and spirit! he lets nobody dream over their cards. I wish you could see him overdraw himself on both his own cards, it is worth anything in the World!’ ‘Dear me!’ cried Margaret, ‘why should not we play at Vingt-un? I think it is a much better game than