The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 278 pages of information about The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck.

Colonel Musgrave was, in a decorous fashion, the happiest of living persons.


Colonel Musgrave was, in a decorous fashion, the happiest of living persons....

As a token of this he devoted what little ready money he possessed to renovating Matocton, where he had not lived for twenty years.  He rarely thought of money, not esteeming it an altogether suitable subject for a gentleman’s meditations.  And to do him justice, the reflection that old Stapylton’s wealth would some day be at Rudolph Musgrave’s disposal was never more than an agreeable minor feature of Patricia’s entourage whenever, as was very often, Colonel Musgrave fell to thinking of how adorable Patricia was in every particular.

Yet there were times when he thought of Anne Charteris as well.  He had not seen her for a whole year now, for the Charterises had left Lichfield shortly after the Pendomer divorce case had been settled, and were still in Europe.

This was the evening during which Roger Stapylton had favorably received his declaration; and Colonel Musgrave was remembering the time that he and Anne had last spoken with a semblance of intimacy—­that caustic time when Anne Charteris had interrupted him in high words with her husband, and circumstances had afforded to Rudolph Musgrave no choice save to confess, to this too-perfect woman, of all created beings, his “true relations” with Clarice Pendomer.

Even as yet the bitterness of that humiliation was not savorless....

It seemed to him that he could never bear to think of the night when Anne had heard his stammerings through, and had merely listened, and in listening had been unreasonably beautiful.  So Godiva might have looked on Peeping Tom, with more of wonder than of loathing, just at first....

It had been very hard to bear.  But it seemed necessary.  The truth would have hurt Anne too much....

He noted with the gusto of a connoisseur how neatly the denouement of this piteous farce had been prepared.  His rage with Charteris; Anne’s overhearing, and misinterpretation of, a dozen angry words; that old affair with Clarice—­immediately before her marriage (one of how many pleasurable gallantries? the colonel idly wondered, and regretted that he had no Leporello to keep them catalogued for consultation)—­and George Pendomer’s long-smoldering jealousy of Rudolph Musgrave:  all fitted in as neatly as the bits of a puzzle.

It had been the simplest matter in the world to shield John Charteris.  Yet, the colonel wished he could be sure it was an unadulterated desire of protecting Anne which had moved him.  There had been very certainly an enjoyment all the while in reflecting how nobly Rudolph Musgrave was behaving for the sake of “the only woman he had ever loved.”  Yes, one had undoubtedly phrased it thus—­then, and until the time one met Patricia.

But Anne was different, and in the nature of things must always be a little different, from all other people—­even Patricia Stapylton.

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The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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