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The Bedford-Row Conspiracy William Makepeace Thackeray

II. Shows how the plot began to thicken in or about Bedford Row.

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He wrote hastily a few lines.

"Snooks, put on your bonnet," said he, "and carry this--YOU KNOW WHERE!" he added, in a hollow, heart-breaking tone of voice, that affected poor Snooks almost to tears. She went, however, with the note, which was to this purpose:--

"Lucy! Lucy! my soul's love--what, what has happened? I am writing this"--(a gulp of brandy-and-water)--"in a state bordering on distraction--madness--insanity"(another). "Why did you send me out of the coach in that cruel cruel way? Write to me a word, a line-- tell me, tell me, I may come to you--and leave me not in this agonising condition; your faithful"(glog--glog--glog--the whole glass)-- "J.P."

He never signed John Perkins in full--he couldn't, it was so unromantic.

Well, this missive was despatched by Mrs. Snooks, and Perkins, in a fearful state of excitement, haggard, wild, and with more brandy-and-water, awaited the return of his messenger.

When at length, after about an absence of forty years, as it seemed to him, the old lady returned with a large packet, Perkins seized it with a trembling hand, and was yet more frightened to see the handwriting of Mrs. or Miss Biggs.

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"MY DEAR MR. PERKINS," she began--"Although I am not your soul's adored, I performed her part for once, since I have read your letter, as I told her. You need not be very much alarmed, although Lucy is at this moment in bed and unwell: for the poor girl has had a sad scene at her grand uncle's house in Baker Street, and came home very much affected. Rest, however, will restore her, for she is not one of your nervous sort; and I hope when you come in the morning, you will see her as blooming as she was when you went out to-day on that unlucky walk.

"See what Sir George Gorgon says of us all! You won't challenge him, I know, as he is to be your uncle, and so I may show you his letter.

"Good-night, my dear John. Do not go QUITE distracted before
morning; and believe me your loving aunt,

"41 BAKER STREET: 11th December.

"MAJOR-GENERAL SIR GEORGE GORGON has heard with the utmost disgust and surprise of the engagement which Miss Lucy Gorgon has thought fit to form.

"The Major-General cannot conceal his indignation at the share which Miss Biggs has taken in this disgraceful transaction.

"Sir George Gorgon puts an absolute veto upon all further communication between his niece and the low-born adventurer who has been admitted into her society, and begs to say that Lieutenant Fitch, of the Lifeguards, is the gentleman who he intends shall marry Miss Gorgon.

"It is the Major-General's wish, that on the 28th Miss Gorgon should be ready to come to his house, in Baker Street, where she will be more safe from impertinent intrusions than she has been in Mucklebury Square.

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The Bedford-Row Conspiracy
William Makepeace Thackeray

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