He would see, he would see! It might be out of the question; he was not going to pay a fancy price, but if it could be done, why, perhaps he would do it!
And still more secretly he knew that he could not refuse her.
But he did not commit himself. He would think it over—he said to June.
Old Jolyon was not given to hasty decisions; it is probable that he would have continued to think over the purchase of the house at Robin Hill, had not June’s face told him that he would have no peace until he acted.
At breakfast next morning she asked him what time she should order the carriage.
“Carriage!” he said, with some appearance of innocence; “what for? I’m not going out!”
She answered: “If you don’t go early, you won’t catch Uncle James before he goes into the City.”
“James! what about your Uncle James?”
“The house,” she replied, in such a voice that he no longer pretended ignorance.
“I’ve not made up my mind,” he said.
“You must! You must! Oh! Gran—think of me!”
Old Jolyon grumbled out: “Think of you—I’m always thinking of you, but you don’t think of yourself; you don’t think what you’re letting yourself in for. Well, order the carriage at ten!”
At a quarter past he was placing his umbrella in the stand at Park Lane—he did not choose to relinquish his hat and coat; telling Warmson that he wanted to see his master, he went, without being announced, into the study, and sat down.
James was still in the dining-room talking to Soames, who had come round again before breakfast. On hearing who his visitor was, he muttered nervously: “Now, what’s he want, I wonder?”
He then got up.
“Well,” he said to Soames, “don’t you go doing anything in a hurry. The first thing is to find out where she is—I should go to Stainer’s about it; they’re the best men, if they can’t find her, nobody can.” And suddenly moved to strange softness, he muttered to himself, “Poor little thing, I can’t tell what she was thinking about!” and went out blowing his nose.
Old Jolyon did not rise on seeing his brother, but held out his hand, and exchanged with him the clasp of a Forsyte.
James took another chair by the table, and leaned his head on his hand.
“Well,” he said, “how are you? We don’t see much of you nowadays!”
Old Jolyon paid no attention to the remark.
“How’s Emily?” he asked; and waiting for no reply, went on “I’ve come to see you about this affair of young Bosinney’s. I’m told that new house of his is a white elephant.”
“I don’t know anything about a white elephant,” said James, “I know he’s lost his case, and I should say he’ll go bankrupt.”
Old Jolyon was not slow to seize the opportunity this gave him.