“And if she declines the honour?”
“If, as you say and as I believe, she loves, or has loved you, I don’t think she’ll do so. She’ll submit to a little parleying, and then she’ll capitulate. But it will be much better that you should see her, if possible, without writing at all.”
“I don’t like the idea of calling at Grey Abbey. I wonder whether they’ll go to London this season?”
“If they do, you can go after them. The truth is simply this, Ballindine; Miss Wyndham will follow her own fancy in the matter, in spite of her guardian; but, if you make no further advances to her, of course she can make none to you. But I think the game is in your own hand. You haven’t the head to play it, or I should consider the stakes as good as won.”
“But then, about these horses, Dot. I wish I could sell them, out and out, at once.”
“You’ll find it very difficult to get anything like the value for a horse that’s well up for the Derby. You see, a purchaser must make up his mind to so much outlay: there’s the purchase-money, and expense of English training, with so remote a chance of any speedy return.”
“But you said you’d advise me to sell them.”
“That’s if you can get a purchaser:—or else run them in another name. You may run them in my name, if you like it; but Scott must understand that I’ve nothing whatever to do with the expense.”
“Would you not buy them yourself, Blake?”
“No. I would not.”
“If I gave you anything like the value for them, the bargain would not suit me; and if I got them for what they’d be worth to me, you’d think, and other people would say, that I’d robbed you.”
Then followed a lengthened and most intricate discourse on the affairs of the stable. Frank much wanted his friend to take his stud entirely off his hands, but this Dot resolutely refused to do. In the course of conversation, Frank owned that the present state of his funds rendered it almost impracticable for him to incur the expense of sending his favourite, Brien Boru, to win laurels in England. He had lost nearly three hundred pounds the previous evening which his account at his banker’s did not enable him to pay; his Dublin agent had declined advancing him more money at present, and his tradesmen were very importunate. In fact, he was in a scrape, and Dot must advise him how to extricate himself from it.
“I’ll tell you the truth, Ballindine,” said he; “as far as I’m concerned myself, I never will lend money, except where I see, as a matter of business, that it is a good speculation to do so. I wouldn’t do it for my father.”
“Who asked you?” said Frank, turning very red, and looking very angry.