“And the Major, Grantham; did he behave well on the occasion?”
“Gallantly. It was the Major that cut down the only man I had dangerously wounded in the affair, and he would have struck another fatally, had I not disarmed him. While in the act of doing so, I was treacherously shot (in the arm only, fortunately,) by the younger scoundrel Desborough, who in turn I saved from Sambo’s vengeance, in order that he might receive a more fitting punishment. And now, gentlemen, you have the whole history.”
“Yes, as far as regards the men portion,” said De Courcy, with a malicious smile; “but what became of the lady all this time, my conquering hero? Did you find her playing a very active part in the skirmish?”
“Active, no;” replied Gerald, slightly coloring, as he remarked all eyes directed to him at this demand, “but passively courageous she was to a degree I could not have supposed possible in woman. She sat calm and collected amid the din of conflict, as if she had been accustomed to the thing all her life, nor once moved from the seat which she occupied in the stern, except to make an effort to prevent me from disarming her uncle. I confess that her coolness astonished me, while it excited my warmest admiration.
“A hope it may be noothing beyoond admeeration,” observed the Captain of Grenadiers, “a tell ye as a freend, Geerald, a do not like this accoont ye gi’ of her coonduct. A wooman who could show no ageetation in sooch a scene, must have either a domn’d coold, or a domn’d block hairt, and there’s but leetle claim to admeeration there.”
“Upon my word, Captain Cranstoun,” and the handsome features of Gerald crimsoned with a feeling not unmixed with serious displeasure, “I do not quite understand you—you appear to assume something between Miss Montgomerie and myself, that should not be imputed to either—and certainly, not thus publicly.”
“Hoot toot mon, there’s no use in making a secret of the maitter,” returned the positive grenadier. “The soobject was discoosed after dinner yeesterday, and there was noobody preesent who didn’t agree that if you had won her hairt you had geevin your own in exchange.”
“God forbid,” said Henry Grantham with unusual gravity of manner, while he looked affectionately on the changing and far from satisfied countenance of his conscious brother, “for I repeat, with Captain Cranstoun, I like her not. Why, I know not; still I like her not, and I shall be glad, Gerald, when you have consigned her to the place of her destination.”