The Absentee eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about The Absentee.

‘Garraghty!’ repeated Lord Colambre; ’what sort of a person is he?  But I may take it for granted, that it cannot fall to the lot of one and the same absentee to have two such agents as Mr. Burke.’

Mr. Burke bowed, and seemed pleased by the compliment, which he knew he deserved—­but not a word did he say of Mr. Garraghty; and Lord Colambre, afraid of betraying himself by some other indiscreet question, changed the conversation.

That very night the post brought a letter to Mr. Burke, from Lord Clonbrony, which Mr. Burke gave to his wife as soon as he had read it, saying—­

‘See the reward of all my services!’

Mrs. Burke glanced her eye over the letter, and, being extremely fond of her husband, and sensible of his deserving far different treatment, burst into indignant exclamations—­

’See the reward of all your services, indeed!—­What an unreasonable, ungrateful man!—­So, this is the thanks for all you have done for Lord Clonbrony!’

’He does not know what I have done, my dear.  He never has seen what I have done.’

‘More shame for him!’

‘He never, I suppose, looks over his accounts, or understands them.’

‘More shame for him!’

He listens to foolish reports, or misrepresentations, perhaps.  He is at a distance, and cannot find out the truth.’

‘More shame for him!’

’Take it quietly, my dear; we have the comfort of a good conscience.  The agency may be taken from me by this lord; but the sense of having done my duty, no lord or man upon earth can give or take away.’

‘Such a letter!’ said Mrs. Burke, taking it up again.  ’Not even the civility to write with his own hand!—­only his signature to the scrawl—­looks as if it was written by a drunken man, does not it, Mr. Evans?’ said she, showing the letter to Lord Colambre, who immediately recognised the writing of Sir Terence O’Fay.

‘It does not look like the hand of a gentleman, indeed,’ said Lord Colambre.

‘It has Lord Clonbrony’s own signature, let it be what it will,’ said Mr. Burke, looking closely at it; ’Lord Clonbrony’s own writing the signature is, I am clear of that.’

Lord Clonbrony’s son was clear of it also; but he took care not to give any opinion on that point.

‘Oh, pray, read it, sir, read it,’ said Mrs. Burke, pleased by his tone of indignation; ’read it, pray; a gentleman may write a bad hand, but no gentleman could write such a letter as that to Mr. Burke—­pray read it, sir; you who have seen something of what Mr. Burke has done for the town of Colambre, and what he has made of the tenantry and the estate of Lord Clonbrony.’

Lord Colambre read, and was convinced that his father had never written or read the letter, but had signed it, trusting to Sir Terence O’Fay’s having expressed his sentiments properly.

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The Absentee from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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