en-fr  THE BISHOP’S SECRET by Fergus Hume, CHAPTER 3 Hard
Please note the use of quotation marks: I had to delete the ending ones, so that the sentences were separated from the following ones (advice from France). If you look at the next sentence you will see, if speech is closed or going on. Please use double quots without no spaces.
After the speach you have to put a comma in German, if the sentence goes on. Happy translating!

CHAPTER III. THE UNFORESEEN HAPPENS.

“I fear,” said Cargrim, with a gentle sigh, “I fear you are right about that public-house, Mrs Pansey.

The chaplain made this remark to renew the discussion, and if possible bring Gabriel into verbal conflict with the lady. He had a great idea of managing people by getting them under his thumb, and so far quite deserved Mrs Pansey’s epithet of a Jesuit. Of late—as Cargrim knew by a steady use of his pale blue eyes—the curate had been visiting The Derby Winner, ostensibly on parochial business connected with the ill-health of Mrs Mosk, the landlord’s wife. But there was a handsome daughter of the invalid who acted as barmaid, and Gabriel was a young and inflammable man; so, putting this and that together, the chaplain thought he discovered the germs of a scandal. Hence his interest in Mrs Pansey’s proposed reforms.

“Right!” echoed the archidiaconal widow, loudly, “of course I am right. The Derby Winner is a nest of hawks. William Mosk would have disgraced heathen Rome in its worst days; as for his daughter—well!

Mrs Pansey threw a world of horror into the ejaculation.

“Miss Mosk is a well-conducted young lady,” said Gabriel, growing red and injudicious.

“Lady!” bellowed Mrs Pansey, shaking her fan; “and since when have brazen, painted barmaids become ladies, Mr Pendle?

“She is most attentive to her sick mother,” protested the curate, wincing.

“No doubt, sir. I presume even Jezebel had some redeeming qualities. Rubbish! humbug! don’t tell me! Can good come out of Nazareth?

“Good did come out of Nazareth, Mrs Pansey.

“That is enough, Mr Pendle; do not pollute young ears with blasphemy. And you the son of a bishop—the curate of a parish! Remember what is to be the portion of mockers, sir. What happened to the men who threw stones at David?

“Oh, but really, dear Mrs Pansey, you know Mr Pendle is not throwing stones.

“People who live in glass houses dare not, my dear. I doubt your interest in this young person, Mr Pendle. She is one who tires her head and paints her face, lying in wait for comely youths that she may destroy them. She—” “Excuse me, Mrs Pansey!” cried Gabriel, with an angry look, “you speak too freely and too ignorantly. The Derby Winner is a well-conducted house, for Mrs Mosk looks after it personally, and her daughter is an excellent young woman. I do not defend the father, but I hope to bring him to a sense of his errors in time. There is a charity which thinketh no evil, Mrs Pansey,” and with great heat Gabriel, forgetting his manners, walked off without taking leave of either the lady or Miss Norsham.

Mrs Pansey tossed her turban and snorted, but seeing very plainly that she had gone too far, held for once her virulent tongue. Cargrim rubbed his hands and laughed softly.

“Our young friend talks warmly, Mrs Pansey. The natural chivalry of youth, my dear lady—nothing more.

“I’ll make it my business to assure myself that it is nothing more,” said Mrs Pansey, in low tones. “I fear very much that the misguided young man has fallen into the lures of this daughter of Heth. Do you know anything about her, Mr Cargrim?

Too wise to commit himself to speech, the chaplain cast up his pale eyes and looked volumes. This was quite enough for Mrs Pansey; she scented evil like a social vulture, and taking Cargrim’s arm dragged him away to find out all the bad she could about The Derby Winner and its too attractive barmaid.

Left to herself, Miss Norsham seized upon Dean Alder, to whom she had been lately introduced, and played with the artillery of her eyes on that unattractive churchman. Mr Dean was old and wizen, but he was unmarried and rich, so Miss Norsham thought it might be worth her while to play Vivien to this clerical Merlin. His weak point,—speedily discovered,—was archæology, and she was soon listening to a dry description of his researches into Beorminster municipal chronicles. But it was desperately hard work to fix her attention.

“Beorminster,” explained the pedantic dean, not unmoved by his listener’s artificial charms, “is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words—Bëorh a hill, and mynster the church of a monastery. Anciently, our city was called Bëorhmynster, “the church of the hill,” for, as you can see, my dear young lady, our cathedral is built on the top of a considerable rise, and thence gained its name. The townsfolk were formerly vassals, and even serfs, of the monastery which was destroyed by Henry VIII. ; but the Reformation brought about by that king put an end to the abbot’s power. The head of the Bëorhmynster monastery was a mitred abbot—” “And Bishop Pendle is a mitred bishop,” interposed the fair Daisy, to show the quickness of her understanding, and thereby displaying her ignorance.

“All bishops are mitred,” said Dr Alder, testily; “a crozier and a mitre are the symbols of their high office. But the Romish abbots of Bëorhmynster were not bishops although they were mitred prelates.

“Oh, how very, very amusing,” cried Daisy, suppressing a yawn. “And the name of the river, dear Mr Dean? Does Beorflete mean the church of the hill too?

“Certainly not, Miss Norsham. ‘Flete,’ formerly ‘fleot,’ is a Scandinavian word and signifies ‘a flood,’ ‘a stream,’ ‘a channel.’ Bëorhfleot, or—as we now erroneously call it—Beorflete, means, in the vulgar tongue, the flood or stream of the hill. Even in Normandy the word fleot has been corrupted, for the town now called Harfleur was formerly correctly designated ‘Havoflete.’ But I am afraid you find this information dull, Miss Norsham!

This last remark was occasioned by Daisy yawning. It is true that she held a fan, and had politely hidden her mouth when yawning; unfortunately, the fan was of transparent material, and Daisy quite forgot that Mr Dean could see the yawn, which he certainly did. In some confusion she extricated herself from an awkward situation by protesting that she was not tired but hungry, and suggested that Dr Alder should continue his instructive conversation at supper. Mollified by this dexterous evasion, which he saw no reason to disbelieve, the dean politely escorted his companion to the regions of champagne and chicken, both of which aided the lady to sustain further doses of dry-as-dust facts dug out of a monastic past by the persevering Dr Alder. It was in this artful fashion that the town mouse strove to ensnare the church mouse, and succeeded so well that when Mr Dean went home to his lonely house he concluded that it was just as well the monastic institution of celibacy had been abolished.

On leaving Mrs Pansey in disgust, Gabriel proceeded with considerable heat into the next room, where his mother held her court as hostess. Mrs Pendle was a pale, slight, small-framed woman with golden hair, languid eyes, and a languid manner. Owing to her delicate health she could not stand for any length of time, and therefore occupied a large and comfortable arm-chair. Her daughter Lucy, who resembled her closely in looks, but who had more colour in her face, stood near at hand talking to her lover. Both ladies were dressed in white silk, with few ornaments, and looked more like sisters than mother and daughter. Certainly Mrs Pendle appeared surprisingly young to be the parent of a grown-up family, but her continuance of youth was not due to art, as Mrs Pansey averred, but to the quiet and undisturbed life which her frail health compelled her to lead. The bishop was tenderly attached to her, and even at this late stage of their married life behaved towards her more like a lover than a husband. He warded off all worries and troubles from her; he surrounded her with pleasant people, and made her life luxurious and peaceful by every means obtainable in the way of money and influence. It was no wonder that Mrs Pendle, treading the Primrose Path with a devoted and congenial companion, appeared still young. She looked as fair and fragile as a peri, and as free from mortal cares.

“Is that you, Gabriel?” she said in a low, soft voice, smiling gently on her younger and favourite son. “You look disturbed, my dear boy!

“Mrs Pansey!” said Gabriel, and considering that the name furnished all necessary information, sat down near his mother and took one of her delicate hands in his own to smooth and fondle.

“Oh, indeed! Mrs Pansey!” echoed the bishop’s wife, smiling still more; and with a slight shrug cast an amused look at Lucy, who in her turn caught Sir Harry’s merry eyes and laughed outright.

“Old catamaran!” said Brace, loudly.

“Oh, Harry! Hush!” interposed Lucy, with an anxious glance, “You shouldn’t.

“Why not? But for the present company I would say something much stronger.

“I wish you would,” said Gabriel, easing his stiff collar with one finger; “my cloth forbids me to abuse Mrs Pansey properly.

“What has she been doing now, Gabriel?

“Ordering the bishop to have The Derby Winner removed, mother.

“The Derby Winner,” repeated Mrs Pendle, in puzzled tones; “is that a horse?

“A public-house, mother; it is in my district, and I have been lately visiting the wife of the landlord, who is very ill. Mrs Pansey wants the house closed and the woman turned out into the streets, so far as I can make out!

“The Derby Winner is my property,” said Sir Harry, bluffly, “and it shan’t be shut up for a dozen Mrs Panseys.

“Think of a dozen Mrs Panseys,” murmured Lucy, pensively.

“Think of Bedlam and Pandemonium, my dear! Thank goodness Mrs Pansey is the sole specimen of her kind. Nature broke the mould when that clacking nuisance was turned out. She— “Harry! you really must not speak so loud. Mrs Pansey might hear. Come with me, dear. I must look after our guests, for I am sure mother is tired.

“I am tired,” assented Mrs Pendle, with a faint sigh. “Thank you, Lucy, I willingly make you my representative. Gabriel will stay beside me.

“Here is Miss Tancred,” observed Harry Brace, in an undertone.

“Oh, she must not come near mother,” whispered Lucy, in alarm. “Take her to the supper-room, Harry.

“But she’ll tell me the story of how she lost her purse at the Army and Navy Stores, Lucy.

“You can bear hearing it better than mother can. Besides, she’ll not finish it; she never does.

Sir Harry groaned, but like an obedient lover intercepted a withered old dame who was the greatest bore in the town. She usually told a digressive story about a lost purse, but hitherto had never succeeded in getting to the point, if there was one. Accepting the suggestion of supper with alacrity, she drifted away on Sir Harry’s arm, and no doubt mentioned the famous purse before he managed to fill her mouth and stop her prosing.

Lucy, who had a quiet humour of her own in spite of her demure looks, laughed at the dejection and martyrdom of Sir Harry; and taking the eagerly-proffered arm of a callow lieutenant, ostentatiously and hopelessly in love with her, went away to play her part of deputy hostess. She moved from group to group, and everywhere received smiles and congratulations, for she was a general favourite, and, with the exception of Mrs Pansey, everyone approved of her engagement. Behind a floral screen a band of musicians, who called themselves the Yellow Hungarians, and individually possessed the most unpronounceable names, played the last waltz, a smooth, swinging melody which made the younger guests long for a dance. In fact, the callow lieutenant boldly suggested that a waltz should be attempted, with himself and Lucy to set the example; but his companion snubbed him unmercifully for his boldness, and afterwards restored his spirits by taking him to the supper-room. Here they found Miss Tancred in the full flow of her purse story; so Lucy, having pity on her lover, bestowed her escort on the old lady as a listener, and enjoyed supper at an isolated table with Sir Harry. The sucking Wellington could have murdered Brace with pleasure, and very nearly did murder Miss Tancred, for he plied her so constantly with delicacies that she got indigestion, and was thereby unable to finish about the purse.

Gabriel and his mother were not long left alone, for shortly there approached a brisk old lady, daintily dressed, who looked like a fairy godmother. She had a keen face, bright eyes like those of a squirrel, and in gesture and walk and glance was as restless as that animal. This piece of alacrity was Miss Whichello, who was the aunt of Mab Arden, the beloved of George Pendle. Mab was with her, and, gracious and tall, looked as majestic as any queen, as she paced in her stately manner by the old lady’s side. Her beauty was that of Juno, for she was imperial and a trifle haughty in her manner. With dark hair, dark eyes, and dark complexion, she looked like an Oriental princess, quite different in appearance to her apple-cheeked, silvery-haired aunt. There was something Jewish about her rich, eastern beauty, and she might have been painted in her yellow dress as Esther or Rebecca, or even as Jael who slew Sisera on the going down of the sun.

“Well, good folks,” said the brisk little lady in a brisk little voice, “and how are you both? Tired, Mrs Pendle? Of course, what else can you expect with late hours and your delicacies. I don’t believe in these social gatherings.

“Your presence here contradicts that assertion,” said Gabriel, giving up his chair.

“Oh, I am a martyr to duty. I came because Mab must be amused!

“I only hope she is not disappointed,” said Mrs Pendle, kindly, for she knew how things were between her eldest son and the girl. “I am sorry George is not here, my dear.

“I did not expect him to be,” replied Mab, in her grave, contralto voice, and with a blush; “he told me that he would not be able to get leave from his colonel.

“Ha! his colonel knows what is good for young men,” cried Miss Whichello; “work and diet both in moderate quantities. My dear Mrs Pendle, if you only saw those people in the supper-room!—simply digging their graves with their teeth. I pity the majority of them to-morrow morning.

“Have you had supper, Miss Whichello?” asked Gabriel.

“Oh, yes! a biscuit and a glass of weak whisky and water; quite enough, too. Mab here has been drinking champagne recklessly.

“Only half a glass, aunt; don’t take away my character!

“My dear, if you take half a glass, you may as well finish the bottle for the harm it does you. Champagne is poison; much or little, it is rank poison.

“Come away, Miss Arden, and let us poison ourselves,” suggested the curate.

“It wouldn’t do you any harm, Mrs Pendle,” cried the little old lady. “You are too pale, and champagne, in your case, would pick you up. Iron and slight stimulants are what you need. I am afraid you are not careful what you eat.” “I am not a dietitian, Miss Whichello.” “I am, my dear ma’am; and look at me—sixty-two, and as brisk as a bee. I don’t know the meaning of the word illness. In a good hour be it spoken,” added Miss Whichello, thinking she was tempting the gods. “By the way, what is this about his lordship being ill?” “The bishop ill!” faltered Mrs Pendle, half rising. “He was perfectly well when I saw him last. Oh, dear me, what is this?” “He’s ill now, in the library, at all events.” “Wait, mother,” said Gabriel, hastily. “I will see my father. Don’t rise; don’t worry yourself; pray be calm.” Gabriel walked quickly to the library, rather astonished to hear that his father was indisposed, for the bishop had never had a day’s illness in his life. He saw by the demeanour of the guests that the indisposition of their host was known, for already an uneasy feeling prevailed, and several people were departing. The door of the library was closed and locked. Cargrim was standing sentinel beside it, evidently irate at being excluded.

“You can’t go in, Pendle,” said the chaplain, quickly. “Dr Graham is with his lordship.” “Is this sudden illness serious?” “I don’t know. His lordship refuses to see anyone but the doctor. He won’t even admit me,” said Cargrim, in an injured tone.

“What has caused it?” asked Gabriel, in dismay.

“I don’t know!” replied Cargrim, a second time. “His lordship saw some stranger who departed ten minutes ago. Then he sent for Dr Graham! I presume this stranger is responsible for the bishop’s illness.”
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Happy translating!
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CHAPTER III.
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THE UNFORESEEN HAPPENS.
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Hence his interest in Mrs Pansey’s proposed reforms.
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The Derby Winner is a nest of hawks.
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Mrs Pansey threw a world of horror into the ejaculation.
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“No doubt, sir.
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I presume even Jezebel had some redeeming qualities.
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Rubbish!
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humbug!
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don’t tell me!
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Can good come out of Nazareth?
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“Good did come out of Nazareth, Mrs Pansey.
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“That is enough, Mr Pendle; do not pollute young ears with blasphemy.
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And you the son of a bishop—the curate of a parish!
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Remember what is to be the portion of mockers, sir.
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What happened to the men who threw stones at David?
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“People who live in glass houses dare not, my dear.
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I doubt your interest in this young person, Mr Pendle.
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Cargrim rubbed his hands and laughed softly.
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“Our young friend talks warmly, Mrs Pansey.
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The natural chivalry of youth, my dear lady—nothing more.
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Do you know anything about her, Mr Cargrim?
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But it was desperately hard work to fix her attention.
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“Oh, how very, very amusing,” cried Daisy, suppressing a yawn.
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“And the name of the river, dear Mr Dean?
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Does Beorflete mean the church of the hill too?
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“Certainly not, Miss Norsham.
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This last remark was occasioned by Daisy yawning.
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She looked as fair and fragile as a peri, and as free from mortal cares.
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“You look disturbed, my dear boy!
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“Oh, indeed!
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“Old catamaran!” said Brace, loudly.
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“Oh, Harry!
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Hush!” interposed Lucy, with an anxious glance, “You shouldn’t.
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“Why not?
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But for the present company I would say something much stronger.
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“What has she been doing now, Gabriel?
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“Ordering the bishop to have The Derby Winner removed, mother.
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“Think of a dozen Mrs Panseys,” murmured Lucy, pensively.
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“Think of Bedlam and Pandemonium, my dear!
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Thank goodness Mrs Pansey is the sole specimen of her kind.
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Nature broke the mould when that clacking nuisance was turned out.
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She— “Harry!
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you really must not speak so loud.
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Mrs Pansey might hear.
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Come with me, dear.
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I must look after our guests, for I am sure mother is tired.
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“I am tired,” assented Mrs Pendle, with a faint sigh.
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“Thank you, Lucy, I willingly make you my representative.
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Gabriel will stay beside me.
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“Here is Miss Tancred,” observed Harry Brace, in an undertone.
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“Oh, she must not come near mother,” whispered Lucy, in alarm.
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“Take her to the supper-room, Harry.
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“You can bear hearing it better than mother can.
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Besides, she’ll not finish it; she never does.
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Tired, Mrs Pendle?
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Of course, what else can you expect with late hours and your delicacies.
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I don’t believe in these social gatherings.
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“Oh, I am a martyr to duty.
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I came because Mab must be amused!
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“I am sorry George is not here, my dear.
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“Ha!
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I pity the majority of them to-morrow morning.
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“Have you had supper, Miss Whichello?” asked Gabriel.
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“Oh, yes!
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a biscuit and a glass of weak whisky and water; quite enough, too.
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Mab here has been drinking champagne recklessly.
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“Only half a glass, aunt; don’t take away my character!
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Champagne is poison; much or little, it is rank poison.
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“You are too pale, and champagne, in your case, would pick you up.
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Iron and slight stimulants are what you need.
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I don’t know the meaning of the word illness.
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“He was perfectly well when I saw him last.
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“I will see my father.
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The door of the library was closed and locked.
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“You can’t go in, Pendle,” said the chaplain, quickly.
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His lordship refuses to see anyone but the doctor.
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He won’t even admit me,” said Cargrim, in an injured tone.
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“What has caused it?” asked Gabriel, in dismay.
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“I don’t know!” replied Cargrim, a second time.
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“His lordship saw some stranger who departed ten minutes ago.
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Then he sent for Dr Graham!
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I presume this stranger is responsible for the bishop’s illness.”
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Please note the use of quotation marks: I had to delete the ending ones, so that the sentences were separated from the following ones (advice from France). If you look at the next sentence you will see, if speech is closed or going on. Please use double quots without no spaces.
After the speach you have to put a comma in German, if the sentence goes on. Happy translating!

CHAPTER III. THE UNFORESEEN HAPPENS.

“I fear,” said Cargrim, with a gentle sigh, “I fear you are right about that public-house, Mrs Pansey.

The chaplain made this remark to renew the discussion, and if possible bring Gabriel into verbal conflict with the lady. He had a great idea of managing people by getting them under his thumb, and so far quite deserved Mrs Pansey’s epithet of a Jesuit. Of late—as Cargrim knew by a steady use of his pale blue eyes—the curate had been visiting The Derby Winner, ostensibly on parochial business connected with the ill-health of Mrs Mosk, the landlord’s wife. But there was a handsome daughter of the invalid who acted as barmaid, and Gabriel was a young and inflammable man; so, putting this and that together, the chaplain thought he discovered the germs of a scandal. Hence his interest in Mrs Pansey’s proposed reforms.

“Right!” echoed the archidiaconal widow, loudly, “of course I am right. The Derby Winner is a nest of hawks. William Mosk would have disgraced heathen Rome in its worst days; as for his daughter—well!

Mrs Pansey threw a world of horror into the ejaculation.

“Miss Mosk is a well-conducted young lady,” said Gabriel, growing red and injudicious.

“Lady!” bellowed Mrs Pansey, shaking her fan; “and since when have brazen, painted barmaids become ladies, Mr Pendle?

“She is most attentive to her sick mother,” protested the curate, wincing.

“No doubt, sir. I presume even Jezebel had some redeeming qualities. Rubbish! humbug! don’t tell me! Can good come out of Nazareth?

“Good did come out of Nazareth, Mrs Pansey.

“That is enough, Mr Pendle; do not pollute young ears with blasphemy. And you the son of a bishop—the curate of a parish! Remember what is to be the portion of mockers, sir. What happened to the men who threw stones at David?

“Oh, but really, dear Mrs Pansey, you know Mr Pendle is not throwing stones.

“People who live in glass houses dare not, my dear. I doubt your interest in this young person, Mr Pendle. She is one who tires her head and paints her face, lying in wait for comely youths that she may destroy them. She—”

“Excuse me, Mrs Pansey!” cried Gabriel, with an angry look, “you speak too freely and too ignorantly. The Derby Winner is a well-conducted house, for Mrs Mosk looks after it personally, and her daughter is an excellent young woman. I do not defend the father, but I hope to bring him to a sense of his errors in time. There is a charity which thinketh no evil, Mrs Pansey,” and with great heat Gabriel, forgetting his manners, walked off without taking leave of either the lady or Miss Norsham.

Mrs Pansey tossed her turban and snorted, but seeing very plainly that she had gone too far, held for once her virulent tongue. Cargrim rubbed his hands and laughed softly.

“Our young friend talks warmly, Mrs Pansey. The natural chivalry of youth, my dear lady—nothing more.

“I’ll make it my business to assure myself that it is nothing more,” said Mrs Pansey, in low tones. “I fear very much that the misguided young man has fallen into the lures of this daughter of Heth. Do you know anything about her, Mr Cargrim?

Too wise to commit himself to speech, the chaplain cast up his pale eyes and looked volumes. This was quite enough for Mrs Pansey; she scented evil like a social vulture, and taking Cargrim’s arm dragged him away to find out all the bad she could about The Derby Winner and its too attractive barmaid.

Left to herself, Miss Norsham seized upon Dean Alder, to whom she had been lately introduced, and played with the artillery of her eyes on that unattractive churchman. Mr Dean was old and wizen, but he was unmarried and rich, so Miss Norsham thought it might be worth her while to play Vivien to this clerical Merlin. His weak point,—speedily discovered,—was archæology, and she was soon listening to a dry description of his researches into Beorminster municipal chronicles. But it was desperately hard work to fix her attention.

“Beorminster,” explained the pedantic dean, not unmoved by his listener’s artificial charms, “is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words—Bëorh a hill, and mynster the church of a monastery. Anciently, our city was called Bëorhmynster, “the church of the hill,” for, as you can see, my dear young lady, our cathedral is built on the top of a considerable rise, and thence gained its name. The townsfolk were formerly vassals, and even serfs, of the monastery which was destroyed by Henry VIII.; but the Reformation brought about by that king put an end to the abbot’s power. The head of the Bëorhmynster monastery was a mitred abbot—”

“And Bishop Pendle is a mitred bishop,” interposed the fair Daisy, to show the quickness of her understanding, and thereby displaying her ignorance.

“All bishops are mitred,” said Dr Alder, testily; “a crozier and a mitre are the symbols of their high office. But the Romish abbots of Bëorhmynster were not bishops although they were mitred prelates.

“Oh, how very, very amusing,” cried Daisy, suppressing a yawn. “And the name of the river, dear Mr Dean? Does Beorflete mean the church of the hill too?

“Certainly not, Miss Norsham. ‘Flete,’ formerly ‘fleot,’ is a Scandinavian word and signifies ‘a flood,’ ‘a stream,’ ‘a channel.’ Bëorhfleot, or—as we now erroneously call it—Beorflete, means, in the vulgar tongue, the flood or stream of the hill. Even in Normandy the word fleot has been corrupted, for the town now called Harfleur was formerly correctly designated ‘Havoflete.’ But I am afraid you find this information dull, Miss Norsham!

This last remark was occasioned by Daisy yawning. It is true that she held a fan, and had politely hidden her mouth when yawning; unfortunately, the fan was of transparent material, and Daisy quite forgot that Mr Dean could see the yawn, which he certainly did. In some confusion she extricated herself from an awkward situation by protesting that she was not tired but hungry, and suggested that Dr Alder should continue his instructive conversation at supper. Mollified by this dexterous evasion, which he saw no reason to disbelieve, the dean politely escorted his companion to the regions of champagne and chicken, both of which aided the lady to sustain further doses of dry-as-dust facts dug out of a monastic past by the persevering Dr Alder. It was in this artful fashion that the town mouse strove to ensnare the church mouse, and succeeded so well that when Mr Dean went home to his lonely house he concluded that it was just as well the monastic institution of celibacy had been abolished.

On leaving Mrs Pansey in disgust, Gabriel proceeded with considerable heat into the next room, where his mother held her court as hostess. Mrs Pendle was a pale, slight, small-framed woman with golden hair, languid eyes, and a languid manner. Owing to her delicate health she could not stand for any length of time, and therefore occupied a large and comfortable arm-chair. Her daughter Lucy, who resembled her closely in looks, but who had more colour in her face, stood near at hand talking to her lover. Both ladies were dressed in white silk, with few ornaments, and looked more like sisters than mother and daughter. Certainly Mrs Pendle appeared surprisingly young to be the parent of a grown-up family, but her continuance of youth was not due to art, as Mrs Pansey averred, but to the quiet and undisturbed life which her frail health compelled her to lead. The bishop was tenderly attached to her, and even at this late stage of their married life behaved towards her more like a lover than a husband. He warded off all worries and troubles from her; he surrounded her with pleasant people, and made her life luxurious and peaceful by every means obtainable in the way of money and influence. It was no wonder that Mrs Pendle, treading the Primrose Path with a devoted and congenial companion, appeared still young. She looked as fair and fragile as a peri, and as free from mortal cares.

“Is that you, Gabriel?” she said in a low, soft voice, smiling gently on her younger and favourite son. “You look disturbed, my dear boy!

“Mrs Pansey!” said Gabriel, and considering that the name furnished all necessary information, sat down near his mother and took one of her delicate hands in his own to smooth and fondle.

“Oh, indeed! Mrs Pansey!” echoed the bishop’s wife, smiling still more; and with a slight shrug cast an amused look at Lucy, who in her turn caught Sir Harry’s merry eyes and laughed outright.

“Old catamaran!” said Brace, loudly.

“Oh, Harry! Hush!” interposed Lucy, with an anxious glance, “You shouldn’t.

“Why not? But for the present company I would say something much stronger.

“I wish you would,” said Gabriel, easing his stiff collar with one finger; “my cloth forbids me to abuse Mrs Pansey properly.

“What has she been doing now, Gabriel?

“Ordering the bishop to have The Derby Winner removed, mother.

“The Derby Winner,” repeated Mrs Pendle, in puzzled tones; “is that a horse?

“A public-house, mother; it is in my district, and I have been lately visiting the wife of the landlord, who is very ill. Mrs Pansey wants the house closed and the woman turned out into the streets, so far as I can make out!

“The Derby Winner is my property,” said Sir Harry, bluffly, “and it shan’t be shut up for a dozen Mrs Panseys.

“Think of a dozen Mrs Panseys,” murmured Lucy, pensively.

“Think of Bedlam and Pandemonium, my dear! Thank goodness Mrs Pansey is the sole specimen of her kind. Nature broke the mould when that clacking nuisance was turned out. She—

“Harry! you really must not speak so loud. Mrs Pansey might hear. Come with me, dear. I must look after our guests, for I am sure mother is tired.

“I am tired,” assented Mrs Pendle, with a faint sigh. “Thank you, Lucy, I willingly make you my representative. Gabriel will stay beside me.

“Here is Miss Tancred,” observed Harry Brace, in an undertone.

“Oh, she must not come near mother,” whispered Lucy, in alarm. “Take her to the supper-room, Harry.

“But she’ll tell me the story of how she lost her purse at the Army and Navy Stores, Lucy.

“You can bear hearing it better than mother can. Besides, she’ll not finish it; she never does.

Sir Harry groaned, but like an obedient lover intercepted a withered old dame who was the greatest bore in the town. She usually told a digressive story about a lost purse, but hitherto had never succeeded in getting to the point, if there was one. Accepting the suggestion of supper with alacrity, she drifted away on Sir Harry’s arm, and no doubt mentioned the famous purse before he managed to fill her mouth and stop her prosing.

Lucy, who had a quiet humour of her own in spite of her demure looks, laughed at the dejection and martyrdom of Sir Harry; and taking the eagerly-proffered arm of a callow lieutenant, ostentatiously and hopelessly in love with her, went away to play her part of deputy hostess. She moved from group to group, and everywhere received smiles and congratulations, for she was a general favourite, and, with the exception of Mrs Pansey, everyone approved of her engagement. Behind a floral screen a band of musicians, who called themselves the Yellow Hungarians, and individually possessed the most unpronounceable names, played the last waltz, a smooth, swinging melody which made the younger guests long for a dance. In fact, the callow lieutenant boldly suggested that a waltz should be attempted, with himself and Lucy to set the example; but his companion snubbed him unmercifully for his boldness, and afterwards restored his spirits by taking him to the supper-room. Here they found Miss Tancred in the full flow of her purse story; so Lucy, having pity on her lover, bestowed her escort on the old lady as a listener, and enjoyed supper at an isolated table with Sir Harry. The sucking Wellington could have murdered Brace with pleasure, and very nearly did murder Miss Tancred, for he plied her so constantly with delicacies that she got indigestion, and was thereby unable to finish about the purse.

Gabriel and his mother were not long left alone, for shortly there approached a brisk old lady, daintily dressed, who looked like a fairy godmother. She had a keen face, bright eyes like those of a squirrel, and in gesture and walk and glance was as restless as that animal. This piece of alacrity was Miss Whichello, who was the aunt of Mab Arden, the beloved of George Pendle. Mab was with her, and, gracious and tall, looked as majestic as any queen, as she paced in her stately manner by the old lady’s side. Her beauty was that of Juno, for she was imperial and a trifle haughty in her manner. With dark hair, dark eyes, and dark complexion, she looked like an Oriental princess, quite different in appearance to her apple-cheeked, silvery-haired aunt. There was something Jewish about her rich, eastern beauty, and she might have been painted in her yellow dress as Esther or Rebecca, or even as Jael who slew Sisera on the going down of the sun.

“Well, good folks,” said the brisk little lady in a brisk little voice, “and how are you both? Tired, Mrs Pendle? Of course, what else can you expect with late hours and your delicacies. I don’t believe in these social gatherings.

“Your presence here contradicts that assertion,” said Gabriel, giving up his chair.

“Oh, I am a martyr to duty. I came because Mab must be amused!

“I only hope she is not disappointed,” said Mrs Pendle, kindly, for she knew how things were between her eldest son and the girl. “I am sorry George is not here, my dear.

“I did not expect him to be,” replied Mab, in her grave, contralto voice, and with a blush; “he told me that he would not be able to get leave from his colonel.

“Ha! his colonel knows what is good for young men,” cried Miss Whichello; “work and diet both in moderate quantities. My dear Mrs Pendle, if you only saw those people in the supper-room!—simply digging their graves with their teeth. I pity the majority of them to-morrow morning.

“Have you had supper, Miss Whichello?” asked Gabriel.

“Oh, yes! a biscuit and a glass of weak whisky and water; quite enough, too. Mab here has been drinking champagne recklessly.

“Only half a glass, aunt; don’t take away my character!

“My dear, if you take half a glass, you may as well finish the bottle for the harm it does you. Champagne is poison; much or little, it is rank poison.

“Come away, Miss Arden, and let us poison ourselves,” suggested the curate.

“It wouldn’t do you any harm, Mrs Pendle,” cried the little old lady. “You are too pale, and champagne, in your case, would pick you up. Iron and slight stimulants are what you need. I am afraid you are not careful what you eat.”

“I am not a dietitian, Miss Whichello.”

“I am, my dear ma’am; and look at me—sixty-two, and as brisk as a bee. I don’t know the meaning of the word illness. In a good hour be it spoken,” added Miss Whichello, thinking she was tempting the gods. “By the way, what is this about his lordship being ill?”

“The bishop ill!” faltered Mrs Pendle, half rising. “He was perfectly well when I saw him last. Oh, dear me, what is this?”

“He’s ill now, in the library, at all events.”

“Wait, mother,” said Gabriel, hastily. “I will see my father. Don’t rise; don’t worry yourself; pray be calm.”

Gabriel walked quickly to the library, rather astonished to hear that his father was indisposed, for the bishop had never had a day’s illness in his life. He saw by the demeanour of the guests that the indisposition of their host was known, for already an uneasy feeling prevailed, and several people were departing. The door of the library was closed and locked. Cargrim was standing sentinel beside it, evidently irate at being excluded.

“You can’t go in, Pendle,” said the chaplain, quickly. “Dr Graham is with his lordship.”

“Is this sudden illness serious?”

“I don’t know. His lordship refuses to see anyone but the doctor. He won’t even admit me,” said Cargrim, in an injured tone.

“What has caused it?” asked Gabriel, in dismay.

“I don’t know!” replied Cargrim, a second time. “His lordship saw some stranger who departed ten minutes ago. Then he sent for Dr Graham! I presume this stranger is responsible for the bishop’s illness.”