April 12.—Mustard-and-cress and radishes not come up yet.
Left Farmerson repairing the scraper, but when I came home found three
men working. I asked the meaning of it, and Farmerson said that
in making a fresh hole he had penetrated the gas-pipe. He said
it was a most ridiculous place to put the gas-pipe, and the man who
did it evidently knew nothing about his business. I felt his excuse
was no consolation for the expense I shall be put to.
In the evening, after tea, Gowing dropped in, and we had a smoke
together in the breakfast-parlour. Carrie joined us later, but
did not stay long, saying the smoke was too much for her. It was
also rather too much for me, for Gowing had given me what he called
a green cigar, one that his friend Shoemach had just brought over from
America. The cigar didn’t look green, but I fancy I must
have done so; for when I had smoked a little more than half I was obliged
to retire on the pretext of telling Sarah to bring in the glasses.
I took a walk round the garden three or four times, feeling the need
of fresh air. On returning Gowing noticed I was not smoking: offered
me another cigar, which I politely declined. Gowing began his
usual sniffing, so, anticipating him, I said: “You’re not
going to complain of the smell of paint again?” He said:
“No, not this time; but I’ll tell you what, I distinctly
smell dry rot.” I don’t often make jokes, but I replied:
“You’re talking a lot of dry rot yourself.”
I could not help roaring at this, and Carrie said her sides quite ached
with laughter. I never was so immensely tickled by anything I
have ever said before. I actually woke up twice during the night,
and laughed till the bed shook.