The Last Chronicle of Barset eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,014 pages of information about The Last Chronicle of Barset.

‘He did nothing of the kind, Lily,’ said her mother.  ’He was going to Guestwick, and was very good-natured, and brought me back a postage-stamp that I wanted.’

’Of course he’s good-natured, I know that.  And there’s my cousin Bertram.  He’s Captain Dale, you know.  But he prefers to be called Mr Dale, because he has left the army, and has set up as junior squire of the parish.  Uncle Christopher is the real squire; only Bertram does all the work.  And now you know all about us.  I’m afraid you’ll find us dull enough—­unless you can take a fancy to Mr Green.’

‘Does Mr Green live here?’

’No; he does not live here.  I never heard of his living anywhere.  He was something once, but I don’t know what; and I don’t think he’s anything now in particular.  But he’s Bertram’s friend, and like most men, as one sees them, he never has much to do.  Does Major Grantly ever go forth to fight his country’s battles?’ This last question she asked in a low whisper, so that the words did not reach her mother.  Grace blushed up to her eyes, however, as she answered—­’I think Major Grantly has left the army.’

‘We shall get round her in a day or two, mamma,’ said Lily Dale to her mother that night.  ’I’m sure it will be the best thing to force her out of her troubles.’

‘I would not use too much force on her, dear.’

’Things are better when they are talked about.  I’m sure they are.  And it will be good to make her accustomed to speak of Major Grantly.  From what Mary Walker tells me, he certainly means it.  And if so, she should be ready for it when it comes.’

‘Do not make her ready for what may never come.’

’No, mamma; but she is at present such a child that she knows nothing of her powers.  She should be made to understand that it is possible that even a Major Grantly may think himself fortunate in being allowed to love her.’

‘I should leave that to Nature, if I were you,’ said Mrs Dale.

CHAPTER X

DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURT

Lord Lufton, as he drove home to Framley after the meeting of the magistrates at Silverbridge, discussed the matter with his brother-in-law, Mark Robarts, the clergyman.  Lord Lufton was driving a dog-cart, and went along the road at the rate of twelve miles an hour.  ‘I’ll tell you what it is, Mark,’ he said, ’that man is innocent; but if he won’t employ lawyers at his trial, the jury will find him guilty.’

‘I don’t know what to think about it,’ said the clergyman.

’Were you in the room when he protested so vehemently that he did not know where he got the money?’

‘I was in the room all the time.’

‘And you did not believe him when he said that?’

‘Yes, I think I did.’

’Anybody must have believed him—­except old Tempest, who never believes anybody, and Fothergill, who always suspects everybody.  The truth is, that he found the cheque and put it by, and did not remember anything about it.’

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The Last Chronicle of Barset from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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