Kilmeny of the Orchard eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 120 pages of information about Kilmeny of the Orchard.

“Oh, if you are going to mount your dearly beloved hobby of heredity I am not going to argue with you, David, man.  But as for the matter of urging me to hasten and marry me a wife, why don’t you”—­It was on Eric’s lips to say, “Why don’t you get married to a girl of the right sort yourself and set me a good example?” But he checked himself.  He knew that there was an old sorrow in David Baker’s life which was not to be unduly jarred by the jests even of privileged friendship.  He changed his question to, “Why don’t you leave this on the knees of the gods where it properly belongs?  I thought you were a firm believer in predestination, David.”

“Well, so I am, to a certain extent,” said David cautiously.  “I believe, as an excellent old aunt of mine used to say, that what is to be will be and what isn’t to be happens sometimes.  And it is precisely such unchancy happenings that make the scheme of things go wrong.  I dare say you think me an old fogy, Eric; but I know something more of the world than you do, and I believe, with Tennyson’s Arthur, that ’there’s no more subtle master under heaven than is the maiden passion for a maid.’  I want to see you safely anchored to the love of some good woman as soon as may be, that’s all.  I’m rather sorry Miss Campion isn’t your lady of the future.  I liked her looks, that I did.  She is good and strong and true—­and has the eyes of a woman who could love in a way that would be worth while.  Moreover, she’s well-born, well-bred, and well-educated—­three very indispensable things when it comes to choosing a woman to fill your mother’s place, friend of mine!”

“I agree with you,” said Eric carelessly.  “I could not marry any woman who did not fulfill those conditions.  But, as I have said, I am not in love with Agnes Campion—­and it wouldn’t be of any use if I were.  She is as good as engaged to Larry West.  You remember West?”

“That thin, leggy fellow you chummed with so much your first two years in Queenslea?  Yes, what has become of him?”

“He had to drop out after his second year for financial reasons.  He is working his own way through college, you know.  For the past two years he has been teaching school in some out-of-the-way place over in Prince Edward Island.  He isn’t any too well, poor fellow—­never was very strong and has studied remorselessly.  I haven’t heard from him since February.  He said then that he was afraid he wasn’t going to be able to stick it out till the end of the school year.  I hope Larry won’t break down.  He is a fine fellow and worthy even of Agnes Campion.  Well, here we are.  Coming in, David?”

“Not this afternoon—­haven’t got time.  I must mosey up to the North End to see a man who has got a lovely throat.  Nobody can find out what is the matter.  He has puzzled all the doctors.  He has puzzled me, but I’ll find out what is wrong with him if he’ll only live long enough.”

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Kilmeny of the Orchard from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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