The Patrician eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about The Patrician.
Devil!  Her eyes were searching for something; and following the direction of that glance, Lord Dennis found himself observing Miltoun.  What a difference between those two!  Both no doubt in the great trouble of youth; which sometimes, as he knew too well, lasted on almost to old age.  It was a curious look the child was giving her brother, as if asking him to help her.  Lord Dennis had seen in his day many young creatures leave the shelter of their freedom and enter the house of the great lottery; many, who had drawn a prize and thereat lost forever the coldness of life; many too, the light of whose eyes had faded behind the shutters of that house, having drawn a blank.  The thought of ‘little’ Babs on the threshold of that inexorable saloon, filled him with an eager sadness; and the sight of the two men watching for her, waiting for her, like hunters, was to him distasteful.  In any case, let her not, for Heaven’s sake, go ranging as far as that red fellow of middle age, who might have ideas, but had no pedigree; let her stick to youth and her own order, and marry the—­young man, confound him, who looked like a Greek god, of the wrong period, having grown a moustache.  He remembered her words the other evening about these two and the different lives they lived.  Some romantic notion or other was working in her!  And again he looked at Courtier.  A Quixotic type—­the sort that rode slap-bang at everything!  All very well—­but not for Babs!  She was not like the glorious Garibaldi’s glorious Anita!  It was truly characteristic of Lord Dennis—­and indeed of other people—­that to him champions of Liberty when dead were far dearer than champions of Liberty when living.  Yes, Babs would want more, or was it less, than just a life of sleeping under the stars for the man she loved, and the cause he fought for.  She would want pleasure, and, not too much effort, and presently a little power; not the uncomfortable after-fame of a woman who went through fire, but the fame and power of beauty, and Society prestige.  This, fancy of hers, if it were a fancy, could be nothing but the romanticism of a young girl.  For the sake of a passing shadow, to give up substance?  It wouldn’t do!  And again Lord Dennis fixed his shrewd glance on his great-niece.  Those eyes, that smile!  Yes!  She would grow out of this.  And take the Greek god, the dying Gaul—­whichever that young man was!

CHAPTER XXI

It was not till the morning of polling day itself that Courtier left Monkland Court.  He had already suffered for some time from bad conscience.  For his knee was practically cured, and he knew well that it was Barbara, and Barbara alone, who kept him staying there.  The atmosphere of that big house with its army of servants, the impossibility of doing anything for himself, and the feeling of hopeless insulation from the vivid and necessitous sides of life, galled him greatly.  He felt a very genuine pity for

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The Patrician from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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