"Holmeskirk," broke in Percy, "why, he is a mere boy!"
"Good bye, dear, till this evening."
"I hope so, sir!" Dr. Ashleigh said haughtily; "but as I am not fond of secrets or mysteries, I would rather you went to some other medical man. Good morning!"
"My wife, Mr. Billow, as you may suppose by what you have heard, and by what you may remember of her pony carriage and piano which came up when we first came here fifteen months ago, was brought up a lady, and not accustomed to live in such a miserable little den as this."
"What is it?" Robert Gregory asked rather curiously, for his companion had the look of a well-to-do man, although perhaps rather of a sporting cut. He wore a good substantial great-coat with a velvet collar, a very good hat, put rather on one side of his head, and a quiet scarf, with a gold pin representing a jockey's cap and whip.
However, fortunately for these vaccillating creatures, and happily for the propriety and strict respectability of the town, the heads of the society, from whose dicta there was no appeal, sternly said that such a thing was, of course, out of the question; and society in general naturally followed suit, repressed a little sigh of regret, and agreed that it was quite out of the question. Had the population of Canterbury been differently proportioned to what it was, the answer might have been otherwise. Had there been young men in the place, who might have won the heiress, their mothers might have rebelled against the edict of exclusion, and for their sons' sake have called upon Sophy Needham; but, as I shall explain in its proper place, there were no young men in Canterbury, and therefore no motive for any one to rebel against constituted authority, or to outrage propriety by calling at Harmer Place.