June 7.—A dreadful annoyance. Met Mr. Franching, who
lives at Peckham, and who is a great swell in his way. I ventured
to ask him to come home to meat-tea, and take pot-luck. I did
not think he would accept such a humble invitation; but he did, saying,
in a most friendly way, he would rather “peck” with us than
by himself. I said: “We had better get into this blue ’bus.”
He replied: “No blue-bussing for me. I have had enough of
the blues lately. I lost a cool ‘thou’ over the Copper
Scare. Step in here.”
We drove up home in style, in a hansom-cab, and I knocked three times
at the front door without getting an answer. I saw Carrie, through
the panels of ground-glass (with stars), rushing upstairs. I told
Mr. Franching to wait at the door while I went round to the side.
There I saw the grocer’s boy actually picking off the paint on
the door, which had formed into blisters. No time to reprove him;
so went round and effected an entrance through the kitchen window.
I let in Mr. Franching, and showed him into the drawing-room.
I went upstairs to Carrie, who was changing her dress, and told her
I had persuaded Mr. Franching to come home. She replied: “How
can you do such a thing? You know it’s Sarah’s holiday,
and there’s not a thing in the house, the cold mutton having turned
with the hot weather.”
Eventually Carrie, like a good creature as she is, slipped down,
washed up the teacups, and laid the cloth, and I gave Franching our
views of Japan to look at while I ran round to the butcher’s to
get three chops.