However, there they found themselves. And another extraordinary part of the matter was, that they seemed to have come there, by a silent understanding. Yet when they got there, they were a little confused by being there, which was the strangest part of all; because there is nothing naturally confusing in a Fountain. We all know that.
What a good old place it was! John said. With quite an earnest affection for it
'A pleasant place indeed,' said little Ruth. 'So shady!'
Oh wicked little Ruth!
They came to a stop when John began to praise it. The day was exquisite; and stopping at all, it was quite natural--nothing could be more so--that they should glance down Garden Court; because Garden Court ends in the Garden, and the Garden ends in the River, and that glimpse is very bright and fresh and shining on a summer's day. Then, oh, little Ruth, why not look boldly at it! Why fit that tiny, precious, blessed little foot into the cracked corner of an insensible old flagstone in the pavement; and be so very anxious to adjust it to a nicety!
If the Fiery-faced matron in the crunched bonnet could have seen them as they walked away, how many years' purchase might Fiery Face have been disposed to take for her situation in Furnival's Inn as laundress to Mr Westlock!
They went away, but not through London's streets! Through some enchanted city, where the pavements were of air; where all the rough sounds of a stirring town were softened into gentle music; where everything was happy; where there was no distance, and no time. There were two good-tempered burly draymen letting down big butts of beer into a cellar, somewhere; and when John helped her--almost lifted her--the lightest, easiest, neatest thing you ever saw-- across the rope, they said he owed them a good turn for giving him the chance. Celestial draymen!
Green pastures in the summer tide, deep-littered straw yards in the winter, no start of corn and clover, ever, to that noble horse who WOULD dance on the pavement with a gig behind him, and who frightened her, and made her clasp his arm with both hands (both hands meeting one upon the another so endearingly!), and caused her to implore him to take refuge in the pastry-cook's, and afterwards to peep out at the door so shrinkingly; and then, looking at him with those eyes, to ask him was he sure--now was he sure--they might go safely on! Oh for a string of rampant horses! For a lion, for a bear, for a mad bull, for anything to bring the little hands together on his arm again!
They talked, of course. They talked of Tom, and all these changes and the attachment Mr Chuzzlewit had conceived for him, and the bright prospects he had in such a friend, and a great deal more to the same purpose. The more they talked, the more afraid this fluttering little Ruth became of any pause; and sooner than have a pause she would say the same things over again; and if she hadn't courage or presence of mind enough for that (to say the truth she very seldom had), she was ten thousand times more charming and irresistible than she had been before.
'Martin will be married very soon now, I suppose?' said John.
She supposed he would. Never did a bewitching little woman suppose anything in such a faint voice as Ruth supposed that.
But seeing that another of those alarming pauses was approaching, she remarked that he would have a beautiful wife. Didn't Mr Westlock think so?
'Ye--yes,' said John, 'oh, yes.'
She feared he was rather hard to please, he spoke so coldly.
'Rather say already pleased,' said John. 'I have scarcely seen her. I had no care to see her. I had no eyes for HER, this morning.'
Oh, good gracious!
It was well they had reached their destination. She never could have gone any further. It would have been impossible to walk in such a tremble.
Tom had not come in. They entered the triangular parlour together, and alone. Fiery Face, Fiery Face, how many years' purchase NOW!
She sat down on the little sofa, and untied her bonnet-strings.