The Imperialist eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 394 pages of information about The Imperialist.
is indeed the touchstone for character in a new people, for character acquired as apart from that inherited; it sometimes reveals surprises.  Neither Lorne Murchison nor Elmore Crow illustrates this point very nearly.  Lorne would have gone into the law in any case, since his father was able to send him, and Elmore would inevitably have gone back to the crops since he was early defeated by any other possibility.  Nevertheless, as they walk together in my mind along the Elgin market square, the Elgin Collegiate Institute rises infallibly behind them, a directing influence and a responsible parent.  Lorne was telling his great news.

“You don’t say!” remarked Elmore in response to it.  “Lumbago is it?  Pa’s subject to that too; gets an attack most springs.  Mr Fulke’ll have to lay right up—­it’s the only thing.”

“I’m afraid he will.  And Warner never appeared in court in his life.”

“What d’ye keep Warner for, then?”

“Oh, he does the conveyancing.  He’s a good conveyancer, but he isn’t any pleader and doesn’t pretend to be.  And it’s too late to transfer the case; nobody could get to the bottom of it as we have in the time.  So it falls on me.”

“Caesar, his ghost!  How d’ye feel about it, Lorne?  I’d be scared green.  Y’don’t talk nervous.  Now I bet you get there with both feet.”

“I hope to get there,” the young lawyer answered; and as he spoke a concentration came into his face which drove the elation and everything else that was boyish out of it.  “It’s bigger business than I could have expected for another five years.  I’m sorry for the old man, though—­he’s nervous, if you like.  They can hardly keep him in bed.  Isn’t that somebody beckoning to you?”

Elmore looked everywhere except in the right direction among the carts.  If you had. been “to the Collegiate,” relatives among the carts selling squashes were embarrassing.

“There,” his companion indicated.

“It’s Mother,” replied Mr Crow, with elaborate unconcern; “but I don’t suppose she’s in anything of a hurry.  I’ll just go along with you far’s the post-office.”  He kept his glance carefully from the spot at which he was signalled, and a hint of copper colour crawled up the back of his neck.

“Oh, but she is.  Come along, Elmore; I can go that way.”

“It’ll be longer for you.”

“Not a bit.”  Lorne cast a shrewd glance at his companion.  “And as we’re passing, you might just introduce me to your mother; see?”

“She won’t expect it, Lorne.”

“That’s all right, my son.  She won’t refuse to meet a friend of yours.”  He led the way as he spoke to the point of vantage occupied by Mrs Crow, followed, with plain reluctance, by her son.  She was a frail-looking old woman, with a knitted shawl pinned tightly across her chest, and her bonnet, in the course of commercial activity, pushed so far back as to be almost falling off.

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The Imperialist from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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