Matters went on pretty smoothly for several days, when an unlucky newspaper threw all into confusion. Mr. Chainmail received newspapers by the post, which came in three times a week. One morning, over their half-finished breakfast, the Captain had read half a newspaper very complacently, when suddenly he started up in a frenzy, hurled over the breakfast table, and, bouncing from the apartment, knocked down Harry Ap Heather, who was coming in at the door to challenge his supposed rival to a boxing-match.
Harry sprang up, in a double rage, and intercepted Mr. Chainmail's pursuit of the Captain, placing himself in the doorway, in a pugilistic attitude. Mr. Chainmail, not being disposed for this mode of combat, stepped back into the parlour, took the poker in his right hand, and displacing the loose bottom of a large elbow chair, threw it over his left arm as a shield. Harry, not liking the aspect of the enemy in this imposing attitude, retreated with backward steps into the kitchen, and tumbled over a cur, which immediately fastened on his rear.
Mr. Chainmail, half-laughing, half-vexed, anxious to overtake the Captain, and curious to know what was the matter with him, pocketed the newspaper, and sallied forth, leaving Harry roaring for a doctor and tailor, to repair the lacerations of his outward man.
Mr. Chainmail could find no trace of the Captain. Indeed, he sought him but in one direction, which was that leading to the farm; where he arrived in due time, and found Miss Susan alone. He laid the newspaper on the table, as was his custom, and proceeded to converse with the young lady: a conversation of many pauses, as much of signs as of words. The young lady took up the paper, and turned it over and over, while she listened to Mr. Chainmail, whom she found every day more and more agreeable, when suddenly her eye glanced on something which made her change colour, and dropping the paper on the ground, she rose from her seat, exclaiming: "Miserable must she be who trusts any of your faithless sex! never, never, never, will I endure such misery twice." And she vanished up the stairs. Mr. Chainmail was petrified. At length, he cried aloud: "Cornelius Agrippa must have laid a spell on this accursed newspaper;" and was turning it over, to look for the source of the mischief, when Mrs. Ap Llymry made her appearance.
MRS. AP LLYMRY. What have you done to poor dear Miss Susan? she is crying ready to break her heart.
MR. CHAINMAIL. So help me the memory of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, I have not the most distant notion of what is the matter.
MRS. AP LLYMRY. Oh, don't tell me, sir; you must have ill-used her. I know how it is. You have been keeping company with her, as if you wanted to marry her; and now, all at once, you have been insulting her. I have seen such tricks more than once, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
MR. CHAINMAIL. My dear madam, you wrong me utterly. I have none but the kindest feelings and the most honourable purposes towards her. She has been disturbed by something she has seen in this rascally paper.