badewanne bette pur
chapter i the day broke gray and dull.the clouds hung heavily, and there was a rawness in the air that suggested snow.a woman servant came into a room in which a child was sleeping and drew the curtains. she glanced mechanically at the houseopposite, a stucco house with a portico, and went to the child's bed."wake up, philip," she said. she pulled down the bed-clothes, took himin her arms, and carried him downstairs. he was only half awake."your mother wants you," she said. she opened the door of a room on the floorbelow and took the child over to a bed in
which a woman was lying.it was his mother. she stretched out her arms, and the childnestled by her side. he did not ask why he had been awakened. the woman kissed his eyes, and with thin,small hands felt the warm body through his white flannel nightgown.she pressed him closer to herself. "are you sleepy, darling?" she said. her voice was so weak that it seemed tocome already from a great distance. the child did not answer, but smiledcomfortably. he was very happy in the large, warm bed,with those soft arms about him.
he tried to make himself smaller still ashe cuddled up against his mother, and he kissed her sleepily. in a moment he closed his eyes and was fastasleep. the doctor came forwards and stood by thebed-side. "oh, don't take him away yet," she moaned. the doctor, without answering, looked ather gravely. knowing she would not be allowed to keepthe child much longer, the woman kissed him again; and she passed her hand down hisbody till she came to his feet; she held the right foot in her hand and felt the
five small toes; and then slowly passed herhand over the left one. she gave a sob."what's the matter?" said the doctor. "you're tired." she shook her head, unable to speak, andthe tears rolled down her cheeks. the doctor bent down."let me take him." she was too weak to resist his wish, andshe gave the child up. the doctor handed him back to his nurse."you'd better put him back in his own bed." "very well, sir." the little boy, still sleeping, was takenaway.
his mother sobbed now broken-heartedly."what will happen to him, poor child?" the monthly nurse tried to quiet her, andpresently, from exhaustion, the crying ceased. the doctor walked to a table on the otherside of the room, upon which, under a towel, lay the body of a still-born child.he lifted the towel and looked. he was hidden from the bed by a screen, butthe woman guessed what he was doing. "was it a girl or a boy?" she whispered tothe nurse. "another boy." the woman did not answer.in a moment the child's nurse came back.
she approached the bed."master philip never woke up," she said. there was a pause. then the doctor felt his patient's pulseonce more. "i don't think there's anything i can dojust now," he said. "i'll call again after breakfast." "i'll show you out, sir," said the child'snurse. they walked downstairs in silence.in the hall the doctor stopped. "you've sent for mrs. carey's brother-in-law, haven't you?" "yes, sir.""d'you know at what time he'll be here?"
"no, sir, i'm expecting a telegram." "what about the little boy?i should think he'd be better out of the way.""miss watkin said she'd take him, sir." "who's she?" "she's his godmother, sir.d'you think mrs. carey will get over it, sir?"the doctor shook his head. chapter ii it was a week later.philip was sitting on the floor in the drawing-room at miss watkin's house inonslow gardens.
he was an only child and used to amusinghimself. the room was filled with massive furniture,and on each of the sofas were three big cushions. there was a cushion too in each arm-chair. all these he had taken and, with the helpof the gilt rout chairs, light and easy to move, had made an elaborate cave in whichhe could hide himself from the red indians who were lurking behind the curtains. he put his ear to the floor and listened tothe herd of buffaloes that raced across the prairie.
presently, hearing the door open, he heldhis breath so that he might not be discovered; but a violent hand piled away achair and the cushions fell down. "you naughty boy, miss watkin will be crosswith you." "hulloa, emma!" he said. the nurse bent down and kissed him, thenbegan to shake out the cushions, and put them back in their places."am i to come home?" he asked. "yes, i've come to fetch you." "you've got a new dress on."it was in eighteen-eighty-five, and she wore a bustle.
her gown was of black velvet, with tightsleeves and sloping shoulders, and the skirt had three large flounces.she wore a black bonnet with velvet strings. she hesitated.the question she had expected did not come, and so she could not give the answer shehad prepared. "aren't you going to ask how your mammais?" she said at length. "oh, i forgot.how is mamma?" now she was ready. "your mamma is quite well and happy.""oh, i am glad."
"your mamma's gone away.you won't ever see her any more." philip did not know what she meant. "why not?""your mamma's in heaven." she began to cry, and philip, though he didnot quite understand, cried too. emma was a tall, big-boned woman, with fairhair and large features. she came from devonshire and,notwithstanding her many years of service in london, had never lost the breadth ofher accent. her tears increased her emotion, and shepressed the little boy to her heart. she felt vaguely the pity of that childdeprived of the only love in the world that
is quite unselfish. it seemed dreadful that he must be handedover to strangers. but in a little while she pulled herselftogether. "your uncle william is waiting in to seeyou," she said. "go and say good-bye to miss watkin, andwe'll go home." "i don't want to say good-bye," heanswered, instinctively anxious to hide his tears."very well, run upstairs and get your hat." he fetched it, and when he came down emmawas waiting for him in the hall. he heard the sound of voices in the studybehind the dining-room.
he paused. he knew that miss watkin and her sisterwere talking to friends, and it seemed to him--he was nine years old--that if he wentin they would be sorry for him. "i think i'll go and say good-bye to misswatkin." "i think you'd better," said emma."go in and tell them i'm coming," he said. he wished to make the most of hisopportunity. emma knocked at the door and walked in.he heard her speak. "master philip wants to say good-bye toyou, miss." there was a sudden hush of theconversation, and philip limped in.
henrietta watkin was a stout woman, with ared face and dyed hair. in those days to dye the hair excitedcomment, and philip had heard much gossip at home when his godmother's changedcolour. she lived with an elder sister, who hadresigned herself contentedly to old age. two ladies, whom philip did not know, werecalling, and they looked at him curiously. "my poor child," said miss watkin, openingher arms. she began to cry. philip understood now why she had not beenin to luncheon and why she wore a black dress.she could not speak.
"i've got to go home," said philip, atlast. he disengaged himself from miss watkin'sarms, and she kissed him again. then he went to her sister and bade hergood-bye too. one of the strange ladies asked if shemight kiss him, and he gravely gave her permission. though crying, he keenly enjoyed thesensation he was causing; he would have been glad to stay a little longer to bemade much of, but felt they expected him to go, so he said that emma was waiting forhim. he went out of the room.
emma had gone downstairs to speak with afriend in the basement, and he waited for her on the landing.he heard henrietta watkin's voice. "his mother was my greatest friend. i can't bear to think that she's dead.""you oughtn't to have gone to the funeral, henrietta," said her sister."i knew it would upset you." then one of the strangers spoke. "poor little boy, it's dreadful to think ofhim quite alone in the world. i see he limps.""yes, he's got a club-foot. it was such a grief to his mother."
then emma came back.they called a hansom, and she told the driver where to go. chapter iii when they reached the house mrs. carey haddied in--it was in a dreary, respectable street between notting hill gate and highstreet, kensington--emma led philip into the drawing-room. his uncle was writing letters of thanks forthe wreaths which had been sent. one of them, which had arrived too late forthe funeral, lay in its cardboard box on the hall-table.
"here's master philip," said emma.mr. carey stood up slowly and shook hands with the little boy.then on second thoughts he bent down and kissed his forehead. he was a man of somewhat less than averageheight, inclined to corpulence, with his hair, worn long, arranged over the scalp soas to conceal his baldness. he was clean-shaven. his features were regular, and it waspossible to imagine that in his youth he had been good-looking.on his watch-chain he wore a gold cross. "you're going to live with me now, philip,"said mr. carey.
"shall you like that?" two years before philip had been sent downto stay at the vicarage after an attack of chicken-pox; but there remained with him arecollection of an attic and a large garden rather than of his uncle and aunt. "yes.""you must look upon me and your aunt louisa as your father and mother."the child's mouth trembled a little, he reddened, but did not answer. "your dear mother left you in my charge."mr. carey had no great ease in expressing himself.
when the news came that his sister-in-lawwas dying, he set off at once for london, but on the way thought of nothing but thedisturbance in his life that would be caused if her death forced him to undertakethe care of her son. he was well over fifty, and his wife, towhom he had been married for thirty years, was childless; he did not look forward withany pleasure to the presence of a small boy who might be noisy and rough. he had never much liked his sister-in-law."i'm going to take you down to blackstable tomorrow," he said."with emma?" the child put his hand in hers, and shepressed it.
"i'm afraid emma must go away," said mr.carey. "but i want emma to come with me." philip began to cry, and the nurse couldnot help crying too. mr. carey looked at them helplessly."i think you'd better leave me alone with master philip for a moment." "very good, sir."though philip clung to her, she released herself gently.mr. carey took the boy on his knee and put his arm round him. "you mustn't cry," he said."you're too old to have a nurse now.
we must see about sending you to school.""i want emma to come with me," the child repeated. "it costs too much money, philip.your father didn't leave very much, and i don't know what's become of it.you must look at every penny you spend." mr. carey had called the day before on thefamily solicitor. philip's father was a surgeon in goodpractice, and his hospital appointments suggested an established position; so thatit was a surprise on his sudden death from blood-poisoning to find that he had left his widow little more than his lifeinsurance and what could be got for the
lease of their house in bruton street. this was six months ago; and mrs. carey,already in delicate health, finding herself with child, had lost her head and acceptedfor the lease the first offer that was made. she stored her furniture, and, at a rentwhich the parson thought outrageous, took a furnished house for a year, so that shemight suffer from no inconvenience till her child was born. but she had never been used to themanagement of money, and was unable to adapt her expenditure to her alteredcircumstances.
the little she had slipped through herfingers in one way and another, so that now, when all expenses were paid, not muchmore than two thousand pounds remained to support the boy till he was able to earnhis own living. it was impossible to explain all this tophilip and he was sobbing still. "you'd better go to emma," mr. carey said,feeling that she could console the child better than anyone.without a word philip slipped off his uncle's knee, but mr. carey stopped him. "we must go tomorrow, because on saturdayi've got to prepare my sermon, and you must tell emma to get your things ready today.you can bring all your toys.
and if you want anything to remember yourfather and mother by you can take one thing for each of them.everything else is going to be sold." the boy slipped out of the room. mr. carey was unused to work, and he turnedto his correspondence with resentment. on one side of the desk was a bundle ofbills, and these filled him with irritation. one especially seemed preposterous.immediately after mrs. carey's death emma had ordered from the florist masses ofwhite flowers for the room in which the dead woman lay.
it was sheer waste of money.emma took far too much upon herself. even if there had been no financialnecessity, he would have dismissed her. but philip went to her, and hid his face inher bosom, and wept as though his heart would break. and she, feeling that he was almost her ownson--she had taken him when he was a month old--consoled him with soft words. she promised that she would come and seehim sometimes, and that she would never forget him; and she told him about thecountry he was going to and about her own home in devonshire--her father kept a
turnpike on the high-road that led toexeter, and there were pigs in the sty, and there was a cow, and the cow had just had acalf--till philip forgot his tears and grew excited at the thought of his approachingjourney. presently she put him down, for there wasmuch to be done, and he helped her to lay out his clothes on the bed. she sent him into the nursery to gather uphis toys, and in a little while he was playing happily. but at last he grew tired of being aloneand went back to the bed-room, in which emma was now putting his things into a bigtin box; he remembered then that his uncle
had said he might take something toremember his father and mother by. he told emma and asked her what he shouldtake. "you'd better go into the drawing-room andsee what you fancy." "uncle william's there.""never mind that. they're your own things now." philip went downstairs slowly and found thedoor open. mr. carey had left the room.philip walked slowly round. they had been in the house so short a timethat there was little in it that had a particular interest to him.it was a stranger's room, and philip saw
nothing that struck his fancy. but he knew which were his mother's thingsand which belonged to the landlord, and presently fixed on a little clock that hehad once heard his mother say she liked. with this he walked again ratherdisconsolately upstairs. outside the door of his mother's bed-roomhe stopped and listened. though no one had told him not to go in, hehad a feeling that it would be wrong to do so; he was a little frightened, and hisheart beat uncomfortably; but at the same time something impelled him to turn thehandle. he turned it very gently, as if to preventanyone within from hearing, and then slowly
pushed the door open. he stood on the threshold for a momentbefore he had the courage to enter. he was not frightened now, but it seemedstrange. he closed the door behind him. the blinds were drawn, and the room, in thecold light of a january afternoon, was dark.on the dressing-table were mrs. carey's brushes and the hand mirror. in a little tray were hairpins.there was a photograph of himself on the chimney-piece and one of his father.
he had often been in the room when hismother was not in it, but now it seemed different.there was something curious in the look of the chairs. the bed was made as though someone weregoing to sleep in it that night, and in a case on the pillow was a night-dress. philip opened a large cupboard filled withdresses and, stepping in, took as many of them as he could in his arms and buried hisface in them. they smelt of the scent his mother used. then he pulled open the drawers, filledwith his mother's things, and looked at
them: there were lavender bags among thelinen, and their scent was fresh and pleasant. the strangeness of the room left it, and itseemed to him that his mother had just gone out for a walk.she would be in presently and would come upstairs to have nursery tea with him. and he seemed to feel her kiss on his lips.it was not true that he would never see her again.it was not true simply because it was impossible. he climbed up on the bed and put his headon the pillow.
he lay there quite still. chapter iv philip parted from emma with tears, but thejourney to blackstable amused him, and, when they arrived, he was resigned andcheerful. blackstable was sixty miles from london. giving their luggage to a porter, mr. careyset out to walk with philip to the vicarage; it took them little more thanfive minutes, and, when they reached it, philip suddenly remembered the gate. it was red and five-barred: it swung bothways on easy hinges; and it was possible,
though forbidden, to swing backwards andforwards on it. they walked through the garden to thefront-door. this was only used by visitors and onsundays, and on special occasions, as when the vicar went up to london or came back. the traffic of the house took place througha side-door, and there was a back door as well for the gardener and for beggars andtramps. it was a fairly large house of yellowbrick, with a red roof, built about five and twenty years before in anecclesiastical style. the front-door was like a church porch, andthe drawing-room windows were gothic.
mrs. carey, knowing by what train they werecoming, waited in the drawing-room and listened for the click of the gate. when she heard it she went to the door."there's aunt louisa," said mr. carey, when he saw her."run and give her a kiss." philip started to run, awkwardly, trailinghis club-foot, and then stopped. mrs. carey was a little, shrivelled womanof the same age as her husband, with a face extraordinarily filled with deep wrinkles,and pale blue eyes. her gray hair was arranged in ringletsaccording to the fashion of her youth. she wore a black dress, and her onlyornament was a gold chain, from which hung
a cross. she had a shy manner and a gentle voice."did you walk, william?" she said, almost reproachfully, as she kissed her husband."i didn't think of it," he answered, with a glance at his nephew. "it didn't hurt you to walk, philip, didit?" she asked the child. "no. i always walk."he was a little surprised at their conversation. aunt louisa told him to come in, and theyentered the hall. it was paved with red and yellow tiles, onwhich alternately were a greek cross and
the lamb of god. an imposing staircase led out of the hall.it was of polished pine, with a peculiar smell, and had been put in becausefortunately, when the church was reseated, enough wood remained over. the balusters were decorated with emblemsof the four evangelists. "i've had the stove lighted as i thoughtyou'd be cold after your journey," said mrs. carey. it was a large black stove that stood inthe hall and was only lighted if the weather was very bad and the vicar had acold.
it was not lighted if mrs. carey had acold. coal was expensive.besides, mary ann, the maid, didn't like fires all over the place. if they wanted all them fires they mustkeep a second girl. in the winter mr. and mrs. carey lived inthe dining-room so that one fire should do, and in the summer they could not get out ofthe habit, so the drawing-room was used only by mr. carey on sunday afternoons forhis nap. but every saturday he had a fire in thestudy so that he could write his sermon. aunt louisa took philip upstairs and showedhim into a tiny bed-room that looked out on
the drive. immediately in front of the window was alarge tree, which philip remembered now because the branches were so low that itwas possible to climb quite high up it. "a small room for a small boy," said mrs.carey. "you won't be frightened at sleepingalone?" "oh, no." on his first visit to the vicarage he hadcome with his nurse, and mrs. carey had had little to do with him.she looked at him now with some uncertainty.
"can you wash your own hands, or shall iwash them for you?" "i can wash myself," he answered firmly."well, i shall look at them when you come down to tea," said mrs. carey. she knew nothing about children. after it was settled that philip shouldcome down to blackstable, mrs. carey had thought much how she should treat him; shewas anxious to do her duty; but now he was there she found herself just as shy of himas he was of her. she hoped he would not be noisy and rough,because her husband did not like rough and noisy boys.
mrs. carey made an excuse to leave philipalone, but in a moment came back and knocked at the door; she asked him, withoutcoming in, if he could pour out the water then she went downstairs and rang the bellfor tea. the dining-room, large and well-proportioned, had windows on two sides of it, with heavy curtains of red rep; therewas a big table in the middle; and at one end an imposing mahogany sideboard with alooking-glass in it. in one corner stood a harmonium. on each side of the fireplace were chairscovered in stamped leather, each with an antimacassar; one had arms and was calledthe husband, and the other had none and was
called the wife. mrs. carey never sat in the arm-chair: shesaid she preferred a chair that was not too comfortable; there was always a lot to do,and if her chair had had arms she might not be so ready to leave it. mr. carey was making up the fire whenphilip came in, and he pointed out to his nephew that there were two pokers. one was large and bright and polished andunused, and was called the vicar; and the other, which was much smaller and hadevidently passed through many fires, was called the curate.
"what are we waiting for?" said mr. carey."i told mary ann to make you an egg. i thought you'd be hungry after yourjourney." mrs. carey thought the journey from londonto blackstable very tiring. she seldom travelled herself, for theliving was only three hundred a year, and, when her husband wanted a holiday, sincethere was not money for two, he went by he was very fond of church congresses andusually managed to go up to london once a year; and once he had been to paris for theexhibition, and two or three times to switzerland. mary ann brought in the egg, and they satdown.
the chair was much too low for philip, andfor a moment neither mr. carey nor his wife knew what to do. "i'll put some books under him," said maryann. she took from the top of the harmonium thelarge bible and the prayer-book from which the vicar was accustomed to read prayers,and put them on philip's chair. "oh, william, he can't sit on the bible,"said mrs. carey, in a shocked tone. "couldn't you get him some books out of thestudy?" mr. carey considered the question for aninstant. "i don't think it matters this once if youput the prayer-book on the top, mary ann,"
he said. "the book of common prayer is thecomposition of men like ourselves. it has no claim to divine authorship.""i hadn't thought of that, william," said aunt louisa. philip perched himself on the books, andthe vicar, having said grace, cut the top off his egg."there," he said, handing it to philip, "you can eat my top if you like." philip would have liked an egg to himself,but he was not offered one, so took what he could."how have the chickens been laying since i
went away?" asked the vicar. "oh, they've been dreadful, only one or twoa day." "how did you like that top, philip?" askedhis uncle. "very much, thank you." "you shall have another one on sundayafternoon." mr. carey always had a boiled egg at tea onsunday, so that he might be fortified for the evening service. chapter v philip came gradually to know the people hewas to live with, and by fragments of
conversation, some of it not meant for hisears, learned a good deal both about himself and about his dead parents. philip's father had been much younger thanthe vicar of blackstable. after a brilliant career at st. luke'shospital he was put on the staff, and presently began to earn money inconsiderable sums. he spent it freely. when the parson set about restoring hischurch and asked his brother for a subscription, he was surprised by receivinga couple of hundred pounds: mr. carey, thrifty by inclination and economical by
necessity, accepted it with mingledfeelings; he was envious of his brother because he could afford to give so much,pleased for the sake of his church, and vaguely irritated by a generosity whichseemed almost ostentatious. then henry carey married a patient, abeautiful girl but penniless, an orphan with no near relations, but of good family;and there was an array of fine friends at the wedding. the parson, on his visits to her when hecame to london, held himself with reserve. he felt shy with her and in his heart heresented her great beauty: she dressed more magnificently than became the wife of ahardworking surgeon; and the charming
furniture of her house, the flowers among which she lived even in winter, suggestedan extravagance which he deplored. he heard her talk of entertainments she wasgoing to; and, as he told his wife on getting home again, it was impossible toaccept hospitality without making some return. he had seen grapes in the dining-room thatmust have cost at least eight shillings a pound; and at luncheon he had been givenasparagus two months before it was ready in the vicarage garden. now all he had anticipated was come topass: the vicar felt the satisfaction of
the prophet who saw fire and brimstoneconsume the city which would not mend its way to his warning. poor philip was practically penniless, andwhat was the good of his mother's fine friends now? he heard that his father's extravagance wasreally criminal, and it was a mercy that providence had seen fit to take his dearmother to itself: she had no more idea of money than a child. when philip had been a week at blackstablean incident happened which seemed to irritate his uncle very much.
one morning he found on the breakfast tablea small packet which had been sent on by post from the late mrs. carey's house inlondon. it was addressed to her. when the parson opened it he found a dozenphotographs of mrs. carey. they showed the head and shoulders only,and her hair was more plainly done than usual, low on the forehead, which gave heran unusual look; the face was thin and worn, but no illness could impair thebeauty of her features. there was in the large dark eyes a sadnesswhich philip did not remember. the first sight of the dead woman gave mr.carey a little shock, but this was quickly
followed by perplexity.the photographs seemed quite recent, and he could not imagine who had ordered them. "d'you know anything about these, philip?"he asked. "i remember mamma said she'd been taken,"he answered. "miss watkin scolded her.... she said: i wanted the boy to havesomething to remember me by when he grows up."mr. carey looked at philip for an instant. the child spoke in a clear treble. he recalled the words, but they meantnothing to him.
"you'd better take one of the photographsand keep it in your room," said mr. carey. "i'll put the others away." he sent one to miss watkin, and she wroteand explained how they came to be taken. one day mrs. carey was lying in bed, butshe was feeling a little better than usual, and the doctor in the morning had seemedhopeful; emma had taken the child out, and the maids were downstairs in the basement: suddenly mrs. carey felt desperately alonein the world. a great fear seized her that she would notrecover from the confinement which she was expecting in a fortnight.
her son was nine years old.how could he be expected to remember her? she could not bear to think that he wouldgrow up and forget, forget her utterly; and she had loved him so passionately, becausehe was weakly and deformed, and because he was her child. she had no photographs of herself takensince her marriage, and that was ten years before.she wanted her son to know what she looked like at the end. he could not forget her then, not forgetutterly. she knew that if she called her maid andtold her she wanted to get up, the maid
would prevent her, and perhaps send for thedoctor, and she had not the strength now to struggle or argue. she got out of bed and began to dressherself. she had been on her back so long that herlegs gave way beneath her, and then the soles of her feet tingled so that she couldhardly bear to put them to the ground. but she went on. she was unused to doing her own hair and,when she raised her arms and began to brush it, she felt faint.she could never do it as her maid did. it was beautiful hair, very fine, and of adeep rich gold.
her eyebrows were straight and dark. she put on a black skirt, but chose thebodice of the evening dress which she liked best: it was of a white damask which wasfashionable in those days. she looked at herself in the glass. her face was very pale, but her skin wasclear: she had never had much colour, and this had always made the redness of herbeautiful mouth emphatic. she could not restrain a sob. but she could not afford to be sorry forherself; she was feeling already desperately tired; and she put on the furswhich henry had given her the christmas
before--she had been so proud of them and so happy then--and slipped downstairs withbeating heart. she got safely out of the house and droveto a photographer. she paid for a dozen photographs. she was obliged to ask for a glass of waterin the middle of the sitting; and the assistant, seeing she was ill, suggestedthat she should come another day, but she insisted on staying till the end. at last it was finished, and she drove backagain to the dingy little house in kensington which she hated with all herheart.
it was a horrible house to die in. she found the front door open, and when shedrove up the maid and emma ran down the steps to help her.they had been frightened when they found her room empty. at first they thought she must have gone tomiss watkin, and the cook was sent round. miss watkin came back with her and waswaiting anxiously in the drawing-room. she came downstairs now full of anxiety andreproaches; but the exertion had been more than mrs. carey was fit for, and when theoccasion for firmness no longer existed she gave way.
she fell heavily into emma's arms and wascarried upstairs. she remained unconscious for a time thatseemed incredibly long to those that watched her, and the doctor, hurriedly sentfor, did not come. it was next day, when she was a littlebetter, that miss watkin got some explanation out of her. philip was playing on the floor of hismother's bed-room, and neither of the ladies paid attention to him. he only understood vaguely what they weretalking about, and he could not have said why those words remained in his memory."i wanted the boy to have something to
remember me by when he grows up." "i can't make out why she ordered a dozen,"said mr. carey. "two would have done." chapter vi one day was very like another at thevicarage. soon after breakfast mary ann brought inthe times. mr. carey shared it with two neighbours. he had it from ten till one, when thegardener took it over to mr. ellis at the limes, with whom it remained till seven;then it was taken to miss brooks at the
manor house, who, since she got it late,had the advantage of keeping it. in summer mrs. carey, when she was makingjam, often asked her for a copy to cover the pots with. when the vicar settled down to his paperhis wife put on her bonnet and went out to do the shopping.philip accompanied her. blackstable was a fishing village. it consisted of a high street in which werethe shops, the bank, the doctor's house, and the houses of two or three coalshipowners; round the little harbor were shabby streets in which lived fishermen and poor
people; but since they went to chapel theywere of no account. when mrs. carey passed the dissentingministers in the street she stepped over to the other side to avoid meeting them, butif there was not time for this fixed her eyes on the pavement. it was a scandal to which the vicar hadnever resigned himself that there were three chapels in the high street: he couldnot help feeling that the law should have stepped in to prevent their erection. shopping in blackstable was not a simplematter; for dissent, helped by the fact that the parish church was two miles fromthe town, was very common; and it was
necessary to deal only with churchgoers; mrs. carey knew perfectly that the vicaragecustom might make all the difference to a tradesman's faith. there were two butchers who went to church,and they would not understand that the vicar could not deal with both of them atonce; nor were they satisfied with his simple plan of going for six months to oneand for six months to the other. the butcher who was not sending meat to thevicarage constantly threatened not to come to church, and the vicar was sometimesobliged to make a threat: it was very wrong of him not to come to church, but if he
carried iniquity further and actually wentto chapel, then of course, excellent as his meat was, mr. carey would be forced toleave him for ever. mrs. carey often stopped at the bank todeliver a message to josiah graves, the manager, who was choir-master, treasurer,and churchwarden. he was a tall, thin man with a sallow faceand a long nose; his hair was very white, and to philip he seemed extremely old. he kept the parish accounts, arranged thetreats for the choir and the schools; though there was no organ in the parishchurch, it was generally considered (in blackstable) that the choir he led was the
best in kent; and when there was anyceremony, such as a visit from the bishop for confirmation or from the rural dean topreach at the harvest thanksgiving, he made the necessary preparations. but he had no hesitation in doing allmanner of things without more than a perfunctory consultation with the vicar,and the vicar, though always ready to be saved trouble, much resented thechurchwarden's managing ways. he really seemed to look upon himself asthe most important person in the parish. mr. carey constantly told his wife that ifjosiah graves did not take care he would give him a good rap over the knuckles oneday; but mrs. carey advised him to bear
with josiah graves: he meant well, and it was not his fault if he was not quite agentleman. the vicar, finding his comfort in thepractice of a christian virtue, exercised forbearance; but he revenged himself bycalling the churchwarden bismarck behind his back. once there had been a serious quarrelbetween the pair, and mrs. carey still thought of that anxious time with dismay. the conservative candidate had announcedhis intention of addressing a meeting at blackstable; and josiah graves, havingarranged that it should take place in the
mission hall, went to mr. carey and toldhim that he hoped he would say a few words. it appeared that the candidate had askedjosiah graves to take the chair. this was more than mr. carey could put upwith. he had firm views upon the respect whichwas due to the cloth, and it was ridiculous for a churchwarden to take the chair at ameeting when the vicar was there. he reminded josiah graves that parson meantperson, that is, the vicar was the person of the parish. josiah graves answered that he was thefirst to recognise the dignity of the church, but this was a matter of politics,and in his turn he reminded the vicar that
their blessed saviour had enjoined upon them to render unto caesar the things thatwere caesar's. to this mr. carey replied that the devilcould quote scripture to his purpose, himself had sole authority over the missionhall, and if he were not asked to be chairman he would refuse the use of it fora political meeting. josiah graves told mr. carey that he mightdo as he chose, and for his part he thought the wesleyan chapel would be an equallysuitable place. then mr. carey said that if josiah gravesset foot in what was little better than a heathen temple he was not fit to bechurchwarden in a christian parish.
josiah graves thereupon resigned all hisoffices, and that very evening sent to the church for his cassock and surplice. his sister, miss graves, who kept house forhim, gave up her secretaryship of the maternity club, which provided the pregnantpoor with flannel, baby linen, coals, and five shillings. mr. carey said he was at last master in hisown house. but soon he found that he was obliged tosee to all sorts of things that he knew nothing about; and josiah graves, after thefirst moment of irritation, discovered that he had lost his chief interest in life.
mrs. carey and miss graves were muchdistressed by the quarrel; they met after a discreet exchange of letters, and made uptheir minds to put the matter right: they talked, one to her husband, the other to her brother, from morning till night; andsince they were persuading these gentlemen to do what in their hearts they wanted,after three weeks of anxiety a reconciliation was effected. it was to both their interests, but theyascribed it to a common love for their redeemer.the meeting was held at the mission hall, and the doctor was asked to be chairman.
mr. carey and josiah graves both madespeeches. when mrs. carey had finished her businesswith the banker, she generally went upstairs to have a little chat with hissister; and while the ladies talked of parish matters, the curate or the new bonnet of mrs. wilson--mr. wilson was therichest man in blackstable, he was thought to have at least five hundred a year, andhe had married his cook--philip sat demurely in the stiff parlour, used only to receive visitors, and busied himself withthe restless movements of goldfish in a bowl.
the windows were never opened except to airthe room for a few minutes in the morning, and it had a stuffy smell which seemed tophilip to have a mysterious connection with banking. then mrs. carey remembered that she had togo to the grocer, and they continued their way. when the shopping was done they often wentdown a side street of little houses, mostly of wood, in which fishermen dwelt (and hereand there a fisherman sat on his doorstep mending his nets, and nets hung to dry upon the doors), till they came to a smallbeach, shut in on each side by warehouses,
but with a view of the sea. mrs. carey stood for a few minutes andlooked at it, it was turbid and yellow, [and who knows what thoughts passed throughher mind?] while philip searched for flat stones to play ducks and drakes. then they walked slowly back.they looked into the post office to get the right time, nodded to mrs. wigram thedoctor's wife, who sat at her window sewing, and so got home. dinner was at one o'clock; and on monday,tuesday, and wednesday it consisted of beef, roast, hashed, and minced, and onthursday, friday, and saturday of mutton.
on sunday they ate one of their ownchickens. in the afternoon philip did his lessons, hewas taught latin and mathematics by his uncle who knew neither, and french and thepiano by his aunt. of french she was ignorant, but she knewthe piano well enough to accompany the old- fashioned songs she had sung for thirtyyears. uncle william used to tell philip that whenhe was a curate his wife had known twelve songs by heart, which she could sing at amoment's notice whenever she was asked. she often sang still when there was a tea-party at the vicarage. there were few people whom the careys caredto ask there, and their parties consisted
always of the curate, josiah graves withhis sister, dr. wigram and his wife. after tea miss graves played one or two ofmendelssohn's songs without words, and mrs. carey sang when the swallows homeward fly,or trot, trot, my pony. but the careys did not give tea-partiesoften; the preparations upset them, and when their guests were gone they feltthemselves exhausted. they preferred to have tea by themselves,and after tea they played backgammon. mrs. carey arranged that her husband shouldwin, because he did not like losing. they had cold supper at eight. it was a scrappy meal because mary annresented getting anything ready after tea,
and mrs. carey helped to clear away. mrs. carey seldom ate more than bread andbutter, with a little stewed fruit to follow, but the vicar had a slice of coldmeat. immediately after supper mrs. carey rangthe bell for prayers, and then philip went to bed. he rebelled against being undressed by maryann and after a while succeeded in establishing his right to dress and undresshimself. at nine o'clock mary ann brought in theeggs and the plate. mrs. carey wrote the date on each egg andput the number down in a book.
she then took the plate-basket on her armand went upstairs. mr. carey continued to read one of his oldbooks, but as the clock struck ten he got up, put out the lamps, and followed hiswife to bed. when philip arrived there was somedifficulty in deciding on which evening he should have his bath. it was never easy to get plenty of hotwater, since the kitchen boiler did not work, and it was impossible for two personsto have a bath on the same day. the only man who had a bathroom inblackstable was mr. wilson, and it was thought ostentatious of him.
mary ann had her bath in the kitchen onmonday night, because she liked to begin the week clean. uncle william could not have his onsaturday, because he had a heavy day before him and he was always a little tired aftera bath, so he had it on friday. mrs. carey had hers on thursday for thesame reason. it looked as though saturday were naturallyindicated for philip, but mary ann said she couldn't keep the fire up on saturdaynight: what with all the cooking on sunday, having to make pastry and she didn't know what all, she did not feel up to giving theboy his bath on saturday night; and it was
quite clear that he could not bath himself.mrs. carey was shy about bathing a boy, and of course the vicar had his sermon. but the vicar insisted that philip shouldbe clean and sweet for the lord's day. mary ann said she would rather go than beput upon--and after eighteen years she didn't expect to have more work given her,and they might show some consideration--and philip said he didn't want anyone to bathhim, but could very well bath himself. this settled it. mary ann said she was quite sure hewouldn't bath himself properly, and rather than he should go dirty--and not because hewas going into the presence of the lord,
but because she couldn't abide a boy who wasn't properly washed--she'd work herselfto the bone even if it was saturday night.