The Imperialist eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 394 pages of information about The Imperialist.

From this point of view they did not know what to make of Lorne.  It was not as if their brother were in any way ill calculated to attract that interest which gave to youthful existence in Elgin almost the only flavour that it had.  Looks are looks, and Lorne had plenty of them; taller by an inch than Alec, broader by two than Oliver, with a fine square head and blue eyes in it, and features which conveyed purpose and humour, lighted by a certain simplicity of soul that pleased even when it was not understood.  “Open,” people said he was, and “frank”—­so he was, frank and open, with horizons and intentions; you could see them in his face.  Perhaps it was more conscious of them than he was.  Ambition, definitely shining goals, adorn the perspectives of young men in new countries less often than is commonly supposed.  Lorne meant to be a good lawyer, squarely proposed to himself that the country should hold no better; and as to more selective usefulness, he hoped to do a little stumping for the right side when Frank Jennings ran for the Ontario House in the fall.  It wouldn’t be his first electioneering:  from the day he became chairman of the Young Liberals the party had an eye on him, and when occasion arose, winter or summer, by bobsleigh or buggy, weatherbeaten local bosses would convey him to country schoolhouses for miles about to keep a district sound on railway policy, or education, or tariff reform.  He came home smiling with the triumphs of these occasions, and offered them, with the slow, good-humoured, capable drawl that inspired such confidence in him, to his family at breakfast, who said “Great!” or “Good for you, Lorne!” John Murchison oftenest said nothing, but would glance significantly at his wife, frowning and pursing his lips when she, who had most spirit of them all, would exclaim, “You’ll be Premier yet, Lorne!” It was no part of the Murchison policy to draw against future balances:  they might believe everything, they would express nothing; and I doubt whether Lorne himself had any map of the country he meant to travel over in that vague future, already defining in local approbation, and law business coming freely in with a special eye on the junior partner.  But the tract was there, subconscious, plain in the wider glance, the alerter manner; plain even in the grasp and stride which marked him in a crowd; plain, too, in the preoccupation with other issues, were it only turning over a leader in the morning’s Dominion, that carried him along indifferent to the allurements I have described.  The family had a bond of union in their respect for Lorne, and this absence of nugatory inclinations in him was among its elements.  Even Stella who, being just fourteen, was the natural mouthpiece of family sentiment, would declare that Lorne had something better to do than go hanging about after girls, and for her part she thought all the more of him for it.

Chapter IV

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The Imperialist from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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