Page:Leon Wilson - Ruggles of Red Gap.djvu/166

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152
RUGGLES OF RED GAP

me in the hall to say that I was to have anything in the way of equipment I liked to ask for. Belknap-Jackson also, arriving now in a smart trap to which he drove two cobs tandem, was at once impressed and made me compliments upon my tenue. I was aware that I appeared not badly beside him. I mean to say, I felt that I was vogue in the finest sense of the word.

Mrs. Effie waved us a farewell from the doorway, and I was conscious that from several houses on either side of the avenue we attracted more than a bit of attention. There were doors opened, blinds pushed aside, faces—that sort of thing.

At a leisurely pace we progressed through the main thoroughfares. That we created a sensation, especially along the commercial streets, where my host halted at shops to order goods, cannot be denied. Furore is perhaps the word. I mean to say, almost quite every one stared. Rather more like a parade it was than I could have wished, but I was again resolved to be a dead sportsman.

Among those who saluted us from time to time were several of the lesser townsmen to whom Cousin Egbert had presented me the evening before, and I now perceived that most of these were truly persons I must not know in my present station—hodmen, road-menders, grooms, delivery-chaps, that sort. In responding to the often florid salutations of such, I instilled into my barely perceptible nod a certain frigidity that I trusted might be informing. I mean to say, having now a position to keep up, it would never do at all to chatter and pal about loosely as Cousin Egbert did.

When we had done a fairish number of streets, both of