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Indeed, I respected the dead man's memory more than ever

2023-12-03 14:57:46 source:School of insects and fishauthor: news click:431Second-rate

"But does he want you to live on sausages?" persisted Ethelbertha.

Indeed, I respected the dead man's memory more than ever

"Oh, he doesn't say anything about it," explained Amenda; "but you know what it is, mum, when you marry a pork butcher; you're expected to eat what's left over. That's the mistake my poor cousin Eliza made. She married a muffin man. Of course, what he didn't sell they had to finish up themselves. Why, one winter, when he had a run of bad luck, they lived for two months on nothing but muffins. I never saw a girl so changed in all my life. One has to think of these things, you know."

Indeed, I respected the dead man's memory more than ever

But the most shamefully mercenary engagement that I think Amenda ever entered into, was one with a 'bus conductor. We were living in the north of London then, and she had a young man, a cheesemonger, who kept a shop in Lupus Street, Chelsea. He could not come up to her because of the shop, so once a week she used to go down to him. One did not ride ten miles for a penny in those days, and she found the fare from Holloway to Victoria and back a severe tax upon her purse. The same 'bus that took her down at six brought her back at ten. During the first journey the 'bus conductor stared at Amenda; during the second he talked to her, during the third he gave her a cocoanut, during the fourth he proposed to her, and was promptly accepted. After that, Amenda was enabled to visit her cheesemonger without expense.

Indeed, I respected the dead man's memory more than ever

He was a quaint character himself, this 'bus conductor. I often rode with him to Fleet Street. He knew me quite well (I suppose Amenda must have pointed me out to him), and would always ask me after her--aloud, before all the other passengers, which was trying- -and give me messages to take back to her. Where women were concerned he had what is called "a way" with him, and from the extent and variety of his female acquaintance, and the evident tenderness with which the majority of them regarded him, I am inclined to hope that Amenda's desertion of him (which happened contemporaneously with her jilting of the cheesemonger) caused him less prolonged suffering than might otherwise have been the case.

He was a man from whom I derived a good deal of amusement one way and another. Thinking of him brings back to my mind a somewhat odd incident.

One afternoon, I jumped upon his 'bus in the Seven Sisters Road. An elderly Frenchman was the only other occupant of the vehicle. "You vil not forget me," the Frenchman was saying as I entered, "I desire Sharing Cross."

"I won't forget yer," answered the conductor, "you shall 'ave yer Sharing Cross. Don't make a fuss about it."

"That's the third time 'ee's arst me not to forget 'im," he remarked to me in a stentorian aside; "'ee don't giv' yer much chance of doin' it, does 'ee?"

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