The Gentleman in Charge
In which we at last meet the leader of the defensive action.
The butler opened the door. He said, “Welcome, Mr. Tilney,” and admitted him immediately. “Are all these gentlemen with you?” he asked as Mr. Ferrars, Mr. Bertram, and Mr. Collins filed past.
“Yes, for my sins,” said Henry. “Are they in the ballroom?”
“Yes, sir.” He led the way and opened the door to admit them.
The vast ballroom was in a bustle of activity. As the gentlemen of the cloth entered the room, a passing gentleman stopped and exclaimed, “Hullo, Tilney!”
“Hullo, Bingley!” said Henry, clasping his hand.
Mr. Bingley eyed Henry’s entourage. “Did your operation go off well?”
“Very well, indeed. We’re all the best of friends now, aren’t we, gentlemen?” said Henry with a grin. “Wouldn’t travel to Derbyshire without them.”