Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/47

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37
BOOK III.—WAITING FOR DEATH.

be done this morning. Do you mind staying with me, while I finish my matters here?"

"But we needn't go on about Cincinnatus, need we?" said Ben, who had taken Fred's whip out of his hand, and was trying its efficiency on the cat.

"No, go out now. But put that whip down. How very mean of you to whip poor old Tortoise! Pray take the whip from him, Fred."

"Come, old boy, give it me," said Fred, putting out his hand.

"Will you let me ride on your horse to-day?" said Ben, rendering up the whip, with an air of not being obliged to do it.

"Not to-day—another time. I am not riding my own horse."

"Shall you see Mary to-day?"

"Yes, I think so," said Fred, with an unpleasant twinge.

"Tell her to come home soon, and play at forfeits, and make fun."

"Enough, enough, Ben! run away," said Mrs Garth, seeing that Fred was teased.

"Are Letty and Ben your only pupils now, Mrs Garth?" said Fred, when the children were gone and it was needful to say something that would pass the time. He was not yet sure whether he