It is hot in the Ellicotts' dining-room--the butter was only brought in a
little while ago, but already it is yellow mush. There are little drops on
the backs of Mr. Ellicott's hands. Oliver wants to help Nancy take away the
dishes and bring in the fruit--they have started to make a game out of it
already when Mrs. Ellicott's voice enforces order.
"No, Oliver. No, please. Please sit still. It is so seldom we have a
_guest_ that Nancy and I are apt to forget our _manners_--"
Oliver looks to Nancy for guidance, receives it and subsides into his
chair. That's just the trouble, he thinks rather peevishly--if only Mrs.
Ellicott would stop acting as if he were a guest--and not exactly a guest
by choice at that but one who must be the more scrupulously entertained in
public, the less he is liked in private.
The fruit. Mrs. Ellicott apologizing for it--her voice implies that she is
quite sure Oliver doesn't think it good enough for him but that he ought
to feel himself very lucky indeed that it isn't his deserts instead. Mr.
Ellicott absent-mindedly squirting orange juice up his sleeve.