Nor had Willits’s people made any complaint; nor, so far as he could ascertain, had any one connected with either the town or county government started an investigation. It was outside the precincts of Kennedy Square, and, therefore, the town prosecuting attorney (who had heard every detail at the Chesapeake from St. George) had not been called upon to act, and it was well known that no minion of the law in and about Moorlands would ever dare face the Lord of the Manor in any official capacity.
Why, then, had he been so severely punished?
While all this talk filled the air it is worthy of comment that after his denunciation of Pancoast’s views at the club, St. George never again discussed the duel and its outcome. His mind was filled with more important things:—one in particular—a burning desire to bring the lovers together, no matter at what cost nor how great the barriers. He had not, despite his silence, altered a hair-line of the opinion he had held on the night he ordered the gig, fastened Harry’s heavy coat around the young man’s shoulders, and started back with him through the rain to his house on Kennedy Square; nor did he intend to. This, summed up, meant that the colonel was a tyrant, Willits a vulgarian, and Harry a hot-headed young knight, who, having been forced into a position where he could neither breathe nor move, had gallantly fought his way out.
The one problem that gave him serious trouble was the selection of the precise moment when he should make a strategic move on Kate’s heart; lesser problems were his manner of approaching her and the excuses he would offer for Harry’s behavior. These not only kept him awake at night, but pursued him like an avenging spirit when he sought the quiet paths of the old square, the dogs at his heels. The greatest of all barriers, he felt assured, would be Kate herself. He had seen enough of her in that last interview, when his tender pleading had restored the harmonies between herself and Harry, to know that she was no longer the child whose sweetness he loved, or the girl whose beauty he was proud of—but the woman whose judgment he must satisfy. Nor could he see that any immediate change in her mental attitude was likely to occur. Some time had now passed since Harry’s arrival at his house, and every day the boy had begged for admission at Kate’s door, only to be denied by Ben, the old butler. His mother, who had visited her exiled son almost daily, had then called on her, bearing two important pieces of news—one being that after hours of pleading Harry had consented to return to Moorlands and beg his father’s pardon, provided that irate gentleman should send for him, and the other the recounting of a message of condolence and sympathy which Willits had sent Harry from his sick-bed, in which he admitted that he had been greatly to blame. (An admission which fairly bubbled out of him when he learned that Harry had assisted Teackle in dressing his wound.)