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got waxed, my long-hoped-for political career could be

source:sluggish netedit:computertime:2023-12-06 00:11:19

It is quite indispensable for the happiness of everybody, particularly that of myself and Sir Harry that you should come down here on the twentieth. Nina will be here on her farewell visit before her return to her mother. Of course you have heard that it is all arranged between her and Lord George Bideford, and this will be the last opportunity which any of us will have of seeing her once again before her martyrdom. The world is to be told that he is to follow her to Rome, where they are to be married -- no doubt by the Pope himself under the dome of St Peter's. But my belief is that Lord George is going to travel with her all the way. If he is the man I take him to be he will do so, but of course it would be very improper.

got waxed, my long-hoped-for political career could be

You, however, must of course come and say pretty things to your friend; and, as you cannot go to Rome to see her married, you must throw your old shoe after her when she takes her departure from Stalham. I have written a line to your aunt to press my request for this visit. This she will no doubt show to you, and you, if you please, can show her mine in return.

got waxed, my long-hoped-for political career could be

And now, my dear, I must explain to you one or two other arrangements. A certain gentleman will certainly not be here. It was not my fault that a certain gentleman went to Kingsbury Crescent. The certain gentleman is, as you are aware, a great friend of ours, and was entitled to explain himself if it so seemed good to him; but the certain gentleman was not favoured in that enterprise by the Stalham interest. At any rate, the certain gentleman will not be at Stalham on this occasion. So much for the certain gentleman. Colonel Stubbs will be here, and, as he will be coming down on the twentieth, would be glad to travel by the same train, so that he may look after your ticket and your luggage, and be your slave for the occasion. He will leave the Paddington Station by the 4 P.M. train if that will suit you.

got waxed, my long-hoped-for political career could be

We all think that he behaved beautifully in that little affair at the Haymarket theatre. I should not mention it only that everybody has heard of it. Almost any other man would have struck the poor fellow again; but he is one of the very few who always know what to do at the moment without taking time to think of it.

Mind you come like a good girl.

It was in this way that Ayala heard what had taken place between her cousin Tom and Colonel Stubbs. Some hint of a fracas between the two men had reached her ears; but now she asked various questions of her aunt, and at last elicited the truth. Tom had attacked her other lover in the street -- had attacked Colonel Stubbs because of his injured love, and had grossly misbehaved himself. As a consequence he would have been locked up by the police had not the Colonel himself interfered on his behalf. This to Ayala seemed to be conduct worthy almost of an Angel of Light.

Then the question of the proposed visit was discussed -- first with her aunt, and then with herself. Mrs Dosett was quite willing that her niece should go to Stalham. To Mrs Dosett's thinking, a further journey to Stalham would mean an engagement with Colonel Stubbs. When she had read Lady Albury's letter she was quite sure that that had been Lady Albury's meaning. Captain Batsby was not to receive the Stalham interest -- but that interest was to be used on the part of Colonel Stubbs. She had not the slightest objection. It was clear to her that Ayala would have to be married before long. It was out of the question that one man after another should fall in love with her violently, and that nothing should come of it. Mrs Dosett had become quite despondent about Tom. There was an amount of dislike which it would be impossible to overcome. And as for Captain Batsby there could be no chance for a man whom the young lady could not be induced even to see. But the other lover, whom the lady would not admit that she loved -- as to whom she had declared that she could never love him -- was held in very high favour. "I do think it was so noble not to hit Tom again," she had said. Therefore, as Colonel Stubbs had a sufficient income, there could be no reason why Ayala should not go again to Stalham. So it was that Mrs Dosett argued with herself, and such was the judgment which she expressed to Ayala. But there were difficulties. Ayala's little stock of cash was all gone. She could not go to Stalham without money, and that money must come out of her Uncle Reginald's pocket. She could not go to Stalham without some expenditure, which, as she well knew, it would be hard for him to bear. And then there was that terrible question of her clothes! When that suggestion had been made of a further transfer of the nieces a cheque had come from Sir Thomas. "If Ayala comes to us she will want a few things," Sir Thomas had said in a note to Mrs Dosett. But Mr Dosett had chosen that the cheque should be sent back when it was decided that the further transfer should not take place. The cheque had been sent back, and there had been an end of it. There must be a morning dress, and there must be another hat, and there must be boots. So much Mrs Dosett acknowledged. Let them do what they might with the old things, Mrs Dosett acknowledged that so much as that would at least be necessary. "We will both go to work," Mrs Dosett said, "and we will ask your uncle what he can do for us." I think she felt that she had received some recompense when Ayala kissed her.

It was after this that Ayala discussed the matter with herself. She had longed to go once again to Stalham -- "dear Stalham", as she called it to herself. And as she thought of the place she told herself that she loved it because Lady Albury had been so kind to her, and because of Nina, and because of the hunting, and because of the general pleasantness and luxury of the big comfortable house. And yes; there was something to be said, too, of the pleasantness of Colonel Stubbs. Till he had made love to her he had been, perhaps, of all these fine new friends the pleasantest. How joyous his voice had sounded to her! How fraught with gratification to her had been his bright ugly face! How well he had known how to talk to her, and to make her talk, so that everything had been easy with her! How thoroughly she remembered all his drollery on that first night at the party in London -- and all his keen sayings at the theatre -- and the way he had insisted that she should hunt! She thought of little confidences she had had with him, almost as though he had been her brother! And then he had destroyed it all by becoming her lover!

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