|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||Love's Conquest|
CHAPTER XVII. 'It is enough to try the patience of a saint, the way Adola gobs on,' exclaimed Lord Tressilian, as he entered his fatber's room one morning. 'She is the most obstinate, unmanageable and pE verse piece of goods I ever know, even for a woman l'-sana he uttered an imprecation' that startled the Earl. 'I'll trouble you to speak more olvilly of my daughter and your sister,' said the old nobleman resentfully. 'You are always abusing Adela ; and with all the hectoring and badgering she gets from you, I'm sure it's no wonder if she does turn crusty sometimes. What hes she done now 1'
' What has she done I' fumed Tressilian. 'You shall hear what she has done; and we shall see if you lik, it any better than I do. She has rejected Blunt-that is all.' 'That is all,' thundered Lord OCstlehursb, quite as much mnv-d as his stn had exp-ct-id. ' Sh has ,ej-cted Blunt! Non ensel 8he cannot have been such a fool; and tbeides she cannot have had the opportunity yet.' 'Oh, hasn't she 7 I tell you I know letter. The last time he was hete he followed her to the far end of the drawing-room after dininer, and I took good care that thei, teeea-tete ehould not be disturbed. She fainted, you remember. Well, from that I suspectedr something was up; and when I met Blunt in the billiard room at the ' Swan' last night, I led up to the subject. Then he had to own up and it all came out. He propose3 to her and she refused; and then,, when be was' urging ler to reconsider it, and he thought; she was going to say yes, she wet off in that' foolish swoon.' ' Does Blunt intend to give it up then 1' inquired the Earl anxiously. 'Of course. Wbab else can he dot He has got it into his head that it was the idea of marrying him that overcame her. He is awfully cut up about it-more than I should have supposed it possible for a man like him -but he swears he won't be a party to com passion, and he won't have her badgered about him, neither will he be a party to any cou.pulsion. Nothing that I could say h..l the least effect upon him. I told him that it was a way she had of not knowing her own mind, and did what I could to smooths things over ; but it was no go.. He won't come forward again ; and I'm hanged if I know what to do.' 'You do nothing,' said the Earl with sudden eaergy. 'You only rough-ride and blnnder as you did both times before. You leave it to me and I will take the matter up and manage it, in my own way. I'll go and see Blu-it. I flatter myself that I shall he able to make it all right with him again; and I will bake care that Adela does not miss her che.nce this time. But you keep out of it. You have no more idea of finess ing than a three legged elephant has of dancing.' Lord Cattlehurst was not wi-hout grounds for con3dence in his own diplomacy. In that as in a great many other things, he was-far superior to his son, and when he chose to control his temper and exe t his ingenuity. he could act with tact and discretion. He was exceedingly a.axious to se- his daughter well married; he wished the event to take place soon, as much perhaps from the wish to show his contempt for Sir Patrick as on account of the poverty of his own resources; and he therefore lost no time in seeking out the rich man to whom he was bent upon marrying his daughter. Mt Blunt lip- d in a fine new house, murroundel by fairly extensive grounds in spick and sp an orler, about two miles ,he t.ther side of Bridgeford. It was a three miles drive from Castlehurse, and in ordinary circumstances the Erl would have gri tabled ah the distance. But on this occ. sion he did not murmur; and on the very day that his son had enlightened him-it was the afternoon of L'Eatrange tennis-party-he o, dered out a close carriage and was driven to Heron Hill, the residence of his prospective son in-law. He found Mr Blunt at home, and, with an air of frank friendliness, at once entered upon the subject which was the cause of his visit. 'It was only this morning that I knew anything about it,' the Earl said with genuine earnestness. ' I have learned from my son what has passed, and I must frankly own that I am deeply concerned and disappointed at the issue I should have welcomed you as a son-in-law as much on account of your own worth and personal qualities as for the wealth with which you are endowed. I should have feltconfida it that in your hands my daughter's happiness would have been assured ; and I cannot btll how it has annoyed and provoked me to learn how she has treated you.' ' She is not in the least to blame,' respon ded Mr Blunt, in his most business-like manner. 'Pray do not think so. She per. sonally has never givent me any encourag ment, and, as it seems her affections have been bestowed elsewhere, she was perfectly right in refusing my offer.' [TO. BE OoNTINU D1