“He can object all he wants to, and you can represent him all you want to. It won’t make the slightest difference.”
“I can appear at the ceremony and show cause why it should not proceed.”
“Her guardian objects. The parson would hardly proceed in face of my objection.”
“I think you’ll find he would. However, we’ll go and ask him presently. We’ll pay a visit to the Seigneur also.”
“Who’s the Seigneur?”
“Lord Paramount of the island. His word goes. If he chooses, as he probably will, to tell you to go also, you’ll have to go.”
“Demn’d if I will!”
“He’ll see to that. He’ll put the Senechal and the Greffier and the Prevot and the two constables and the Vingtenier on to you, and bundle you out like a sack of potatoes.”
“Oh, come, Graeme! This is the twentieth century!”
“That’s another of your little mistakes, my friend. I can’t tell you just exactly what year it is here, but it’s somewhere between 1066 and, say, 1200 A.D.”
“Afraid I don’t quite catch on.”
“Exactly! That’s why you’ll be off in this scene. We’re under feudal law here, with a mixture of Home Rule. We don’t care twopence for your English courts, and as for English lawyers, they’re not much liked here, I believe.”
“Rum hole!” mused Charles Svendt.
“Rum hole to make yourself a nuisance in. Jolly place to be happy in.”
“H’m!” And presently he asked, “Where are you stopping?”
“I’ll go along and tell the girls you’re here—”
“Miss Penny came with Margaret—”
“You’d better have your lunch here. They’ll give you lobsters fresh from the kettle, and I’ll stroll round later on and we’ll get this matter settled up. So long!” and he went away up the Avenue and across the fields home.
And he went thoughtfully. It was annoying this man cropping up like this at the eleventh hour. Nothing, he felt sure, would come of his interference, but it might disturb Margaret and the general harmony of to-morrow’s proceedings.
Her wedding-day is a somewhat nervous time for a girl, under the best of circumstances, he supposed. And though Margaret was as little given to nerves as anyone he had ever met, the possibility of a public attempt to stop her wedding might be fairly calculated to upset her.
Feudal as were the laws of the island, he could hardly knock Pixley on the head, as would have happened in less anachronistic times. And so he went thoughtfully.
Margaret and Miss Penny were lying in long chairs on the verandah when he came over the green wall into the Red House garden, by the same gap as he had used that first morning when he came upon Margaret standing in the hedge.
They were resting from labours, joyful, but none the less tiring.