So, apparently, did the colonel regard him. So, too, did several of the officers of the cavalry. So, too, would most of the youngsters of his own regiment if he would only give them half a chance. In any event, the score was wiped out now; he could afford to take a wife if a woman learned to love him, and what wealth of tenderness and devotion was he not ready to lavish on one who would! But he would offer no one a tarnished name. First and foremost he must now stand up and fight that calumny,—“come out of his shell,” as Waldron had said, and give people a chance to see what manner of man he was. God helping him, he would, and that without delay.
“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley.” Mrs. Rayner, ill in mind and body, had yielded to her lord’s entreaties and determined to start eastward with her sister without delay. Packing was already begun. Miss Travers had promised herself that she would within thirty-six hours put Mr. Hayne in possession of certain facts or theories which in her opinion bore strongly upon the “clearing up” of the case against him; Mr. Hayne had determined that he would see Major Waldron on the coming day and begin active efforts towards the restoration of his social rights; the doctor had about decided on a new project for inducing Clancy to unbosom himself of what he knew; Captain Rayner—tired of the long struggle—was almost ready to welcome anything which should establish his subaltern’s innocence, and was on the point of asking for six months’ leave just as soon as he had arranged for Clancy’s final discharge from service: he had reasons for staying at the post until that Hibernian household was fairly and squarely removed; and Mrs. Clancy’s plan was to take Mike to the distant East, “where she had frinds.” There were other schemes and projects, no doubt, but these mainly concerned our leading characters, and one and all they were put to the right-about by the events of the following day.