In Luck at Last eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about In Luck at Last.

“You have not seen the young lady.”

“No; he is to bring her to-morrow.”

“And what sort of a man is this American?  Is he a gentleman?”

“Well, I do not quite know.  Perhaps Americans are different from Englishmen.  If he was an Englishman, I should say without any hesitation that he is not a gentleman, as we count good breeding and good manners.  He is a big man, handsome and burly, and he seems good-tempered.  When I told him what was the full amount of Iris’s inheritance—­”

“Iris’s inheritance!” Arnold repeated.  “I beg your pardon, Clara; pray go on; but it seems like a dream.”

“He only laughed, and said he was glad she would have so much.  The utmost they hoped, he said, was that it might be a farm, or a house or two, or a few hundreds in the stocks.  He is to bring her to-morrow, and of course I shall make her stay with me.  As for himself, he says that he is only anxious to get back home to his wife and his practice.”

“He wants nothing for himself, then?  That seems a good sign.”

“I asked him that question, and he said that he could not possibly take money for what he and his family had done for Iris; that is to say, her education and maintenance.  This was very generous of him.  Perhaps he is really a gentleman by birth, but has provincial manners.  He said, however, that he had no objection to receiving the small amount of money spent on the voyage and on Iris’s outfit, because they were not rich people, and it was a serious thing to fit out a young lady suitably.  So of course I gave him what he suggested, a check for two hundred pounds.  No one, he added with true feeling, would grudge a single dollar that had been spent upon the education of the dear girl; and this went to my heart.”

“She is well educated, then?”

“She sings well,” he says, “and has had a good plain education.  He said I might rest assured that she was ladylike, because she had been brought up among his own friends.”

“That is a very safe guarantee,” said Arnold, laughing.  “I wonder if she is pretty?”

“I asked him that question too, and he replied very oddly that she had a most splendid figure, which fetched everybody.  Is not that rather a vulgar expression?”

“It is, in England.  Perhaps in America it belongs to the first circles, and is a survival of the Pilgrim Fathers.  So you gave him a check for two hundred pounds?”

“Yes; surely I was not wrong, Arnold.  Consider the circumstances, the outfit and the voyage, and the man’s reluctance and delicacy of feeling.”

“I dare say you were quite right, but—­well, I think I should have seen the young lady first.  Remember, you have given the money to a stranger, on his bare word.”

“Oh, Arnold, this man is perfectly honest.  I would answer for his truth and honesty.  He has frank, honest eyes.  Besides, he brought me all those letters.  Well, dear, you are not going to desert me because you are engaged, are you, Arnold?  I want you to be present when she comes to-morrow morning.”

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In Luck at Last from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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