The Patrician eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 339 pages of information about The Patrician.
and go for bad brain fever just avoided!  Lord Miltoun’s constitution was extremely sound.  Yes, he would certainly favour a removal.  His rooms were too confined in this weather.  Well nursed—­(decidedly) Oh; yes!  Quite!  And the doctor’s eyes became perhaps a trifle more intense.  Not a professional, he understood.  It might be as well to have another nurse, if they were making the change.  They would have this lady knocking up.  Just so!  Yes, he would see to that.  An ambulance carriage he thought advisable.  That could all be arranged for this afternoon—­at once—­he himself would look to it.  They might take Lord Miltoun off just as he was; the men would know what to do.  And when they had him at Valleys House, the moment he showed interest in his food, down to the sea-down to the sea!  At this time of year nothing like it!  Then with regard to nourishment, he would be inclined already to shove in a leetle stimulant, a thimbleful perhaps four times a day with food—­not without—­mixed with an egg, with arrowroot, with custard.  A week would see him on his legs, a fortnight at the sea make him as good a man as ever.  Overwork—­burning the candle—­a leetlemore would have seen a very different state of things!  Quite so! quite so!  Would come round himself before dinner, and make sure.  His patient might feel it just at first!  He bowed Lady Valleys out; and when she had gone, sat down at his telephone with a smile flickering on his clean-cut lips,

Greatly fortified by this interview, Lady Valleys rejoined her daughter in the ear; but while it slid on amongst the multitudinous traffic, signs of unwonted nervousness began to start out through the placidity of her face.

“I wish, my dear,” she said suddenly, “that someone else had to do this.  Suppose Eustace refuses!”

“He won’t,” Barbara answered; “she looks so tired, poor dear.  Besides——­”

Lady Valleys gazed with curiosity at that young face, which had flushed pink.  Yes, this daughter of hers was a woman already, with all a woman’s intuitions.  She said gravely: 

“It was a rash stroke of yours, Babs; let’s hope it won’t lead to disaster.”

Barbara bit her lips.

“If you’d seen him as I saw him!  And, what disaster?  Mayn’t they love each other, if they want?”

Lady Valleys swallowed a grimace.  It was so exactly her own point of view.  And yet——!

“That’s only the beginning,” she said; “you forget the sort of boy Eustace is.”

“Why can’t the poor thing be let out of her cage?” cried Barbara.  “What good does it do to anyone?  Mother, if ever, when I am married, I want to get free, I will!”

The tone of her voice was so quivering, and unlike the happy voice of Barbara, that Lady Valleys involuntarily caught hold of her hand and squeezed it hard.

“My dear sweet,” she said, “don’t let’s talk of such gloomy things.”

“I mean it.  Nothing shall stop me.”

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The Patrician from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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