’Do it, sir, this minute; I have read them; I will be answerable to my father.’
‘Oh, as to that, my lord, I have power to sign for your father.’ He signed the leases; they were duly witnessed by Lord Colambre.
‘I deliver this as my act and deed,’ said Mr. Garraghty;—’My lord,’ continued he, ’you see, at the first word from you; and had I known sooner the interest you took in the family, there would have been no difficulty; for I’d make it a principle to oblige you, my lord.’
‘Oblige me!’ said Lord Colambre, with disdain.
‘But when gentlemen and noblemen travel incognito, and lodge in cabins,’ added St. Dennis, with a satanic smile, glancing his eye on Grace, ’they have good reasons, no doubt.’
‘Do not judge my heart by your own, sir,’ said Lord Colambre, coolly; ’no two things in nature can, I trust, be more different. My purpose in travelling incognito has been fully answered: I was determined to see and judge how my father’s estates were managed; and I have seen, compared, and judged. I have seen the difference between the Clonbrony and the Colambre property; and I shall represent what I have seen to my father.’
’As to that, my lord, if we are to come to that but I trust your lordship will suffer me to explain these matters.—Go about your business, my good friends; you have all you want;—and, my lord, after dinner, when you are cool, I hope I shall be able to make you sensible that things have been represented to your lordship in a mistaken light; and I flatter myself I shall convince you I have not only always acted the part of a friend to the family, but am particularly willing to conciliate your lordship’s goodwill,’ said he, sweeping the rouleaus of gold into a bag; ‘any accommodation in my power, at any time.’
’I want no accommodation, sir,—were I starving, I would accept of none from you. Never can you conciliate my goodwill; for you can never deserve it.’
’If that be the case, my lord, I must conduct myself accordingly; but it’s fair to warn you, before you make any representation to my Lord Clonbrony, that if he should think of changing his agent, there are accounts to be settled between us—that may be a consideration.’
’No, sir; no consideration—my father never shall be the slave of such a paltry consideration.’
’Oh, very well, my lord; you know best. If you choose to make an assumpsit, I’m sure I shall not object to the security. Your lordship will be of age soon, I know—I’m sure I’m satisfied—but,’ added he with a malicious smile, ’I rather apprehend you don’t know what you undertake; I only premise that the balance of accounts between us is not what can properly be called a paltry consideration.’
‘On that point, perhaps, sir, you and I may differ.’
’Very well, my lord, you will follow your own principles, if it suits your convenience.’
‘Whether it does or not, sir, I shall abide by my principles.’