Phineas Finn eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 986 pages of information about Phineas Finn.
grave and more sour than usual;—­and now his own countenance also became a little solemn.  It was impossible that he should use Lady Laura’s name, and yet he must, in some way, let his persecuting friend know that no further invitation would be of any use;—­that there was something beyond mere chance in his not going to Grosvenor Place.  But how was he to do this?  The difficulty was so great that he could not see his way out of it.  So he sat silent with a solemn face.  Mr. Kennedy then asked him another question, which made the difficulty ten times greater.  “Has my wife asked you not to come to our house?”

It was necessary now that he should make a rush and get out of his trouble in some way.  “To tell you the truth, Kennedy, I don’t think she wants to see me there.”

“That does not answer my question.  Has she asked you not to come?”

“She said that which left on my mind an impression that she would sooner that I did not come.”

“What did she say?”

“How can I answer such a question as that, Kennedy?  Is it fair to ask it?”

“Quite fair,—­I think.”

“I think it quite unfair, and I must decline to answer it.  I cannot imagine what you expect to gain by cross-questioning me in this way.  Of course no man likes to go to a house if he does not believe that everybody there will make him welcome.”

“You and Lady Laura used to be great friends.”

“I hope we are not enemies now.  But things will occur that cause friendships to grow cool.”

“Have you quarrelled with her father?”

“With Lord Brentford?—­no.”

“Or with her brother,—­since the duel I mean?”

“Upon my word and honour I cannot stand this, and I will not.  I have not as yet quarrelled with anybody; but I must quarrel with you, if you go on in this way.  It is quite unusual that a man should be put through his facings after such a fashion, and I must beg that there may be an end of it.”

“Then I must ask Lady Laura.”

“You can say what you like to your own wife of course.  I cannot hinder you.”

Upon that Mr. Kennedy formally shook hands with him, in token that there was no positive breach between them,—­as two nations may still maintain their alliance, though they have made up their minds to hate each other, and thwart each other at every turn,—­and took his leave.  Phineas, as he sat at his window, looking out into the park, and thinking of what had passed, could not but reflect that, disagreeable as Mr. Kennedy had been to him, he would probably make himself much more disagreeable to his wife.  And, for himself, he thought that he had got out of the scrape very well by the exhibition of a little mock anger.

CHAPTER LIX

The Earl’s Wrath

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Phineas Finn from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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