The American Senator
25. The Last Morning At Rufford Hall
"Well, my love?" said Lady Augustus, as soon as her daughter had joined her in
her bedroom. On such occasions there was always a quarter of an hour before
going to bed in which the mother and daughter discussed their affairs, while the
two lady's maids were discussing their affairs in the other room. The two maids
probably did not often quarrel, but the mother and daughter usually did.
"I wish that stupid man hadn't got himself hurt."
"Of course, my dear; we all wish that. But I really don't see that it has stood much
in your way.
"Yes it has. After all there is nothing like dancing, and we shouldn't all have been
sent to bed at two o'clock."
"Then it has come to nothing?"
"I didn't say that at all, mamma. I think I have done uncommonly well. Indeed I
know I have. But then if everything had not been upset, I might have done so
"What have you done?" asked Lady Augustus, timidly. She knew perfectly well
that her daughter would tell her nothing, and yet she always asked these
questions and was always angry when no information was given to her. Any
young woman would have found it very hard to give the information needed.
"When we were alone he sat for five minutes with his arm round my waist, and
then he kissed me. He didn't say much, but then I knew perfectly well that he
would be on his guard not to commit himself by words. But I've got him to
promise that he'll write to me, and of course I'll answer in such a way that he
must write again. I know he'll want to see me, and I think I can go very near doing
it. But he's an old stager and knows what he's about: and of course there'll be
ever so many people to tell him I'm not the sort of girl he ought to marry. He'll
hear about Colonel de B--, and Sir C. D--, and Lord E. F--, and there are ever so
many chances against me. But I've made up my mind to try it. It's taking the long
odds. I can hardly expect to win, but if I do pull it off I'm made for ever!" A
daughter can hardly say all that to her mother. Even Arabella Trefoil could not
say it to her mother,--or, at any rate, she would not. "What a question that is to
ask, mamma?" she did say tossing her head.
"Well, my dear, unless you tell me something how can I help you?"
"I don't know that I want you to help me,--at any rate not in that way."
"In what way?"
"Oh, mamma, you are so odd."
"Has he said anything?"
"Yes, he has. He said he liked dry champagne and that he never ate supper."
"If you won't tell me how things are going you may fight your own battles by
"That's just what I must do. Nobody else can fight my battles for me."
"What are you going to do about Mr. Morton?"