Probable Sons eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about Probable Sons.

Probable Sons eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about Probable Sons.


“Children!  They are a nuisance to everyone—­my abomination, as you know, Jack.  Why on earth they can not be kept out of sight altogether till they reach a sensible age is what puzzles me!  And I suppose if anything could make the matter worse, it is that this is a girl.”

The tone of disgust with which the last word was uttered brought a laugh from Sir Edward Wentworth’s companion, who replied, as he took his cigar from his mouth and gazed critically into the worried, perplexed face of his host—­

“My dear fellow, she is not of an age yet to trouble you much.  Wait till she gets a bit older.  When her education is finished, and she takes possession of you and your house, will be the time for you to look to us for pity!”

“Look here, Sir Edward,” said a bright looking youth from the other side of the room, “I’ll give you a bit of advice.  Send the child straight off to school.  Is she coming to-day?  Good.  Then pack her off to-morrow, and keep her there as long as is needful.  Then I will go down and inspect her, and if she grows up to be a moderately decent-looking girl, I will do you a good turn by taking her off your hands.  She will have a nice little fortune, you informed us, and if you will give her something in addition, out of gratitude to me for relieving you of all responsibility concerning her, upon my word I think I should not do badly!”

But Sir Edward was not in a mood to joke.  He looked gloomily around upon his friends as they gathered around the smoking-room fire after a hard day’s shooting, and remarked—­

“I know what is before me.  I have seen it in my sister’s family, and have heard something of all her toils and troubles.  How thankful I was when she and hers were translated to Australia, and the sea came between us!  It is first the nurses, who run off with one’s butler, make love to the keepers, and bring all kinds of followers about the house, who sometimes make off with one’s plate.  Then it’s the governesses, who come and have a try at the guests, or most likely in my case they would set their affections on me, and get the reins of government entirely into their hands.  If it is school, then there is a mass of correspondence about the child’s health and training; and, in addition, I shall have all the ladies in the neighborhood coming to mother the child and tell me how to train it.  It is a bad look-out for me, I can tell you, and not one of you would care to be in my shoes.”

“What is the trouble, Ned?” asked a new-comer, opening the door and glancing at the amused faces of those surrounding Sir Edward, all of whom seemed to be keenly enjoying their host’s perplexity.

“He has received a legacy to-day, that is all,” was the response; “he has had an orphan niece and nurse sent to him from some remote place in the Highlands.  Come, give us your case again, old fellow, for the benefit of your cousin.”

Project Gutenberg
Probable Sons from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.