“What a dolt he is.”
“Oh, Adolphus!” said Selina, “don’t speak so of your father.”
“So he is: how on earth can you undertake that I shall leave the house?”
“I can ask you to give me your word that you will do so; and I can take back the check if you refuse,” said Lady Selina, conceiving it utterly impossible that one of her own family could break his word.
“Well, Selina, I’ll answer you fairly. If that bit of paper is a cheque for five hundred pounds, I will leave this place in two hours. If it is not—”
“It is,” said Selina. “It is a cheque for five hundred pounds, and I may then give it to you?”
“I thought as much,” said Lord Kilcullen; “I thought he’d alter his mind. Yes, you may give it me, and tell my father I’ll dine in London to-morrow evening.”
“He says, Adolphus, he’ll not see you before you go.”
“Well, there’s comfort in that, anyhow.”
“Oh, Adolphus! how can you speak in that manner now?—how can you speak in that wicked, thoughtless, reckless manner?” said his sister.
“Because I’m a wicked, thoughtless, reckless man, I suppose. I didn’t mean to vex you, Selina; but my father is so pompous, so absurd, and so tedious. In the whole of this affair I have endeavoured to do exactly as he would have me; and he is more angry with me now, because his plan has failed, than he ever was before, for any of my past misdoings.—But let me get up now, there’s a good girl; for I’ve no time to lose.”
“Will you see your mother before you go, Adolphus?”
“Why, no; it’ll be no use—only tormenting her. Tell her something, you know; anything that won’t vex her.”
“But I cannot tell her anything about you that will not vex her.”
“Well, then, say what will vex her least. Tell her—tell her. Oh, you know what to tell her, and I’m sure I don’t.”
“And Fanny: will you see her again?”
“No,” said Kilcullen. “I have bid her good bye. But give her my kindest love, and tell her that I did what I told her I would do.”
“She told me what took place between you yesterday.”
“Why, Selina, everybody tells you everything! And now, I’ll tell you something. If you care for your cousin’s happiness, do not attempt to raise difficulties between her and Lord Ballindine. And now, I must say good bye to you. I’ll have my breakfast up here, and go directly down to the yard. Good bye, Selina; when I’m settled I’ll write to you, and tell you where I am.”
“Good bye, Adolphus; God bless you, and enable you yet to retrieve your course. I’m afraid it is a bad one;” and she stooped down and kissed her brother.
He was as good as his word. In two hours’ time he had left Grey Abbey. He dined that day in Dublin, the next in London, and the third in Boulogne; and the sub-sheriff of County Kildare in vain issued half-a-dozen writs for his capture.