"For curin a murrderer? Not likely."
Mrs. Maxley, who had shown signs of singular uneasiness during Sampson's explanation, now rose, and said in a very peculiar tone she must go home directly.
Mrs. Dodd seemed to enter into her feelings, and made her go in the fly, taking care to pay the fare and the driver out of her own purse. As the woman got into the fly, Sampson gave her a piece of friendly and practical advice. "Nixt time he has a mind to breakfast on strychnine, you tell me; and I'll put a pinch of arsenic in the salt-cellar, and cure him safe as the bank. But this time he'd have been did and stiff long before such a slow ajint as arsenic could get a hold on um."
They sat down to luncheon, but neither Alfred nor Julia fed much, except upon sweet stolen looks; and soon the active Sampson jumped up, and invited Alfred to go round his patients. Alfred could not decline, but made his adieux with regret so tender and undisguised, that Julia's sweet eyes filled, and her soft hand instinctively pressed his at parting to console him. She blushed at herself afterwards, but at the time she was thinking only of him.
Maxley and his wife came up in the evening with a fee. They had put their heads together, and proffered one guinea. "Man and wife be one flesh, you know, Doctor," said the rustic miser.
Sampson, whose natural choler was constantly checked by his humour, declined this profuse proposal. "Here's vanity!" said he. "Now do you really think your two lives are worth a guinea? Why, it's 252 pence! 1008 farthings!"
The pair affected disappointment--vilely.
At all events, he must accept this basket of gudgeons Maxley had brought along. Being poisoned was quite out of Maxley's daily routine, and had so unsettled him, that he had got up, and gone fishing--to the amazement of the parish.