But at the time of John Ingerfield's strange wooing she was the Anne Singleton of Sir Joshua's portrait, and John Ingerfield liked her the better that she was. He had no feeling of sentiment in the matter himself, and it simplified the case that she had none either. He offered her a plain bargain, and she accepted it.
"But what am I to do if I hav'n't the money?" John Ingerfield shrugs his shoulders. "You don't mean, my dear Jack, that you would put me in prison?" "Why not? Other people have to go there who can't pay their debts." Will Cathcart's alarm grows to serious proportions. "But our friendship," he cries, "our "
They lay him close to the porch, where, going in and out the church, their feet will pass near to him; and one among them who is cunning with the graver's chisel shapes the stone. At the head he carves in bas-relief the figure of the good Samaritan tending the brother fallen by the way, and underneath the letters, "In Remembrance of John Ingerfield."
At first it lurks there unnoticed, battening upon the rich, rank food it finds around it, until, grown too big to hide longer, it boldly shows its hideous head, and the white face of Terror runs swiftly through alley and street, crying as it runs, forces itself into John Ingerfield's counting-house, and tells its tale. John Ingerfield sits for a while thinking.
She will, of course, be virtuous and moderately pious, as it is fit and proper that women should be. It will also be well that her disposition be gentle and yielding, but that is of minor importance, at all events so far as he is concerned: the Ingerfield husbands are not the class of men upon whom wives vent their tempers.
Her beauty, her charm, her social tact even while he makes use of them for his own purposes, he despises as the weapons of a weak nature. So in their big, cold mansion John Ingerfield and Anne, his wife, sit far apart, strangers to one another, neither desiring to know the other nearer. About his business he never speaks to her, and she never questions him.
Replies Captain Ingerfield, "That is just what he will have to do before I give up one of my people," and fights the big frigate fights it so fiercely that after three hours Captain of King's frigate thinks it will be good to try argument again, and sends therefore a further message, courteously acknowledging Captain Ingerfield's courage and skill, and suggesting that, he having done sufficient to vindicate his honour and renown, it would be politic to now hand over the unimportant cause of contention, and so escape with his treasure.
"Certainly I will, my dear Jack!" answers the other, in a relieved voice. "Never thought about 'em in that way before. Daresay I shall come across the very girl to suit you. I'll keep my eyes open and let you know." "I shall be obliged to you if you will," replies John Ingerfield, quietly; "and it's your turn, I think, to oblige me, Will. I have obliged you, if you recollect."
"Where are you to take it?" she asks. "Down to the wharf, ma'am," answers the man: "Mr. Ingerfield is going to be there for a day or two." Then Anne sits in the great empty drawing-room, and takes her turn at thinking. John Ingerfield finds, on his return to Limehouse, that the evil has greatly increased during the short time he has been away.