The potted peas Committee sat on the Thursday, and he ought to have
been there. His absence, however, was unavoidable, as he could not
have left his friend's bed-side so soon after the accident. On the
Wednesday he had written to Lady Laura, and on the Thursday evening
he went first to Portman Square and then to Grosvenor Place.
"Of course he will kill himself some day," said the Earl,--with a
tear, however, in each eye.
"I hope not, my lord. He is a magnificent horseman; but accidents of
course will happen."
"How many of his bones are there not broken, I wonder?" said the
father. "It is useless to talk, of course. You think he is not in
"I should fear that he would be so liable to inflammation."
"The doctor says that there is none. He has been taking an enormous
deal of exercise," said Phineas, "and drinking no wine. All that is
in his favour."
"What does he drink, then?" asked the Earl.
"Nothing. I rather think, my lord, you are mistaken a little about
his habits. I don't fancy he ever drinks unless he is provoked to do
"Provoked! Could anything provoke you to make a brute of yourself?
But I am glad that he is in no danger. If you hear of him, let me
know how he goes on."
Lady Laura was of course full of concern.