“My belief is, I shall sleep for a week,” he said, as he turned in. But he didn’t begin his sleep quite at once. “I am very glad I went into Maryborough,” he said to his wife, rising up from his pillow. “I’ve sworn an information against Nokes and two of the Brownbies, and the police will be after them this afternoon. They won’t catch Nokes, and they can’t convict the other fellows. But it will be something to clear the country of such a fellow, and something also to let them know that detection is possible.”
“Do sleep now, dear.” she said.
“Yes, I will; I mean to. But look here, Mary; if any of the police should come here, mind you wake me at once. And, Mary, look here; do you know I shouldn’t be a bit surprised if that fellow was to be making up to Kate.”
Mrs. Heathcote, with some little inward chuckle at her husband’s assumed quickness of apprehension, reminded herself that the same idea had occurred to her some time ago. Mrs. Heathcote gave her husband full credit for more than ordinary intelligence in reference to affairs appertaining to the breeding of sheep and the growing of wool, but she did not think highly of his discernment in such an affair as this. She herself had been much quicker. When she first saw Mr. Medlicot, she had felt it a godsend that such a man, with the look of a gentleman, and unmarried, should come into the neighborhood; and, in so feeling, her heart had been entirely with her sister. For herself it mattered nothing who came or did not come, or whether a man were a bachelor, or possessed of a wife and a dozen children. All that a girl had a right to want was a good husband. She was quite satisfied with her own lot in that respect, but she was anxious enough on behalf of Kate. And when a young man did come, who might make matters so pleasant for them, Harry quarreled with him because he was a free-selector. “A free fiddle-stick!” she had once said to Kate—not, however, communicating to her innocent sister the ambition which was already filling her own bosom. “Harry does take things up so—as though people weren’t to live, some in one way and some in another! As far as I can see, Mr. Medlicot is a very nice fellow.” Kate had remarked that he was “all very well,” and nothing more had been said.
But Mrs. Heathcote, in spite of Harry’s aversion, had formed her little project—a project which, if then declared, would have filled Harry with dismay. And now the young aristocrat, as he turned himself in his bed, made the suggestion to his wife as though it were all his own!
“I never like to think much of these things beforehand,” she said, innocently.
“I don’t know about thinking,” said Harry; “but a girl might do worse. If it should come up, don’t set yourself against it.”
“Kate, of course, will please herself,” said Mrs. Heathcote. “Now do lie down and rest yourself.”