Mary’s eager protest was drowned in Selina’s shrill torrent of thanks. Lord Arranmore beckoned to his coachman, and the brougham, with its pair of strong horses, drew up against the pavement. The footman threw open the door. Selina entered in a fever for fear a cab which her father was signalling should, after all, respond to his summons. Mr. Bullsom found his breath taken away.
“We couldn’t possibly take your lordship’s carriage,” he protested.
“I have only a few steps to go, Mr. Bullsom, and it would be a kindness, for my horses are never more than half exercised. At 10:30 to-morrow then.”
He stood bareheaded upon the pavement for a moment, and Selina’s eyes and smile had never worked harder. Mary leaned back, too angry to speak. Selina and Mr. Bullsom sat well forward, and pulled both windows down.
THE HECKLING OF HENSLOW
“The long and short of it is, then, Mr. Henslow, that you decline to fulfil your pledges given at the last election?” Brooks asked, coldly.
“Nothing of the sort,” Mr. Henslow declared, testily. “You have no right to suggest anything of the sort.”
“Certainly not. You are my agent, and you ought to work with me instead—”
“I have already told you,” Brooks interrupted, ’"that I am nothing of the sort. I should not dream of acting for you again, and if you think a formal resignation necessary, I will post you one to-morrow. I am one of your constituents, nothing more or less. But as I am in some measure responsible for your presence here, I consider myself within my rights in asking you these questions.”
“I’m not going to be hectored!” Mr. Henslow declared.
“Nobody wants to hector you! You gave certain pledges to us, and you have not fulfilled one of them.”
“They won’t let me. I’m not here as an independent Member. I’m here as a Liberal, and Sir Henry himself struck out my proposed question and motion. I must go with the Party.”
“You know quite well,” Brooks said, “that you are within your rights in keeping the pledges you made to the mass meeting at Medchester.”
Henslow shook his head.
“It would be no good,” he declared. “I’ve sounded lots of men about it. I myself have not changed. I believe in some measure of protection. I am a firm believer in it. But the House wouldn’t listen to me. The times are not ripe for anything of the sort yet.”
“How do you know until you try?” Brooks protested. “Your promise was to bring the question before Parliament in connection with the vast and increasing number of unemployed. You are within your rights in doing so, and to speak frankly we insist upon it, or we ask for your resignation.”
“Are you speaking with authority, young man?” Mr. Henslow asked.
“Of course I am. I am the representative of the Liberal Parliamentary Committee, and I am empowered to say these things to you, and more.