’But what has John done that there should be any question about all this?’
‘I suppose he was a little—just a little—what they call fast once.’
‘He got into debt when he was a boy,’ said the wife, ’and then paid off everything and a great deal more by his own industry. It seems to me that everybody ought to be proud of him.’
‘I don’t think your mother is proud of him, my dear.’
‘I hope he’ll go when he’s told to do so.’
’John! Of course he’ll go if I ask him. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to make me happy. But really when I talk to him about it at all, I am ashamed of myself. Poor mamma!’ The result of this visit was, however, very comforting. Mrs Daniel had seen Mrs. Bolton, and had herself been witness to the fact that Mrs. Bolton had mitigated the sternness of her denial when asked to receive her son-in-law at Puritan Grange. It was, said Mrs. Daniel, the settled opinion of the Bolton family that, in the course of another month or so, the woman would be induced to give way under the pressure put upon her by the family generally.
News from the Gold Mines
It was said at the beginning of the last chapter that things had gone on smoothly, or with apparent smoothness, at Folking since the return of the Caldigates from their wedding tour; but there had in truth been a small cloud in the Folking heavens over and beyond that Babington haze which was now vanishing, and the storm at Chesterton as to which hopes were entertained that it would clear itself away. It will perhaps be remembered that Caldigate’s offer for the sale of his interest in the Polueuka mine had been suddenly accepted by certain enterprising persons in Australia, and that the money itself had been absolutely forthcoming. This had been in every way fortunate, as he had been saved from the trouble of another journey to the colony; and his money matters had been put on such a footing as to make him altogether comfortable But just when he heard that the money had been lodged to his account,—and when the money actually had been so paid,—he received a telegram from Mr. Crinkett, begging that the matter might be for a time postponed. This, of course, was out of the question. His terms had been accepted,—which might have gone for very little had not the money been forthcoming. But the cash was positively in his hands. Who ever heard of a man ‘postponing’ an arrangement in such circumstances? Let them do what they might with Polyeuka, he was safe! He telegraphed back to say that there could be no postponement As far as he was concerned the whole thing was settled. Then there came a multiplicity of telegrams, very costly to the Crinkett interest;—costly also and troublesome to himself; for he, though the matter was so pleasantly settled as far as he was concerned, could not altogether ignore the plaints that were made to him. Then there came very long letters, long and loud; letters not only from Crinkett, but from others, telling him that the Polyeuka gold had come to an end, the lode disappearing altogether, as lodes sometimes do disappear The fact was that the Crinkett Company asked to have back half its money, offering him the Polyeuka mine in its entirety if he chose to accept it.