CHAPTER THE FIFTEENTH.
GEOFFREY IN THE MARRIAGE MARKET.
THE interval of eight-and-forty hours passed—without the occurrence of any personal communication between the two brothers in that time.
Julius, remaining at his father’s house, sent brief written bulletins of Lord Holchester’s health to his brother at the hotel. The first bulletin said, “Going on well. Doctors satisfied.” The second was firmer in tone. “Going on excellently. Doctors very sanguine.” The third was the most explicit of all. “I am to see my father in an hour from this. The doctors answer for his recovery. Depend on my putting in a good word for you, if I can; and wait to hear from me further at the hotel.”
Geoffrey’s face darkened as he read the third bulletin. He called once more for the hated writing materials. There could be no doubt now as to the necessity of communicating with Anne. Lord Holchester’s recovery had put him back again in the same critical position which he had occupied at Windygates. To keep Anne from committing some final act of despair, which would connect him with a public scandal, and ruin him so far as his expectations from his father were concerned, was, once more, the only safe policy that Geoffrey could pursue. His letter began and ended in twenty words:
“DEAR ANNE,—Have only just heard that my father is turning the corner. Stay where you are. Will write again.”
Having dispatched this Spartan composition by the post, Geoffrey lit his pipe, and waited the event of the interview between Lord Holchester and his eldest son.