Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/208

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visible in other faces when the unknown mourner, whose name was understood to be Rigg, entered the wainscoted parlour and took his seat near the door to make part of the audience when the will should be read. Just then Mr Solomon and Mr Jonah were gone up-stairs with the lawyer to search for the will; and Mrs Waule, seeing two vacant seats between herself and Mr Borthrop Trumbull, had the spirit to move next to that great authority, who was handling his watch-seals and trimming his outlines with a determination not to show anything so compromising to a man of ability as wonder or surprise.

"I suppose you know everything about what my poor brother's done, Mr Trumbull," said Mrs Waule, in the lowest of her woolly tones, while she turned her crape-shadowed bonnet towards Mr Trumbull's ear.

"My good lady, whatever was told me was told in confidence," said the auctioneer, putting his hand up to screen that secret.

"Them who've made sure of their good-luck may be disappointed yet," Mrs Waule continued, finding some relief in this communication.

"Hopes are often delusive," said Mr Trumbull, still in confidence.

"Ah!" said Mrs Waule, looking across at the