The Warden's Decision
The meeting between Eleanor and her father was not so stormy as that described in the
last chapter, but it was hardly more successful. On her return from Bold's house she
found her father in a strange state. He was not sorrowful and silent as he had been on that
memorable day when his son-in-law lectured him as to all that he owed to his order; nor
was he in his usual quiet mood. When Eleanor reached the hospital, he was walking to
and fro upon the lawn, and she soon saw that he was much excited.
'I am going to London, my dear,' he said as soon as he saw her.
'Yes, my dear, to London; I will have this matter settled some way; there are some things,
Eleanor, which I cannot bear.'
'Oh, papa, what is it?' said she, leading him by the arm into the house. 'I had such good
news for you, and now you make me fear I am too late. And then, before he could let her
know what had caused this sudden resolve, or could point to the fatal paper which lay on
the table, she told him that the lawsuit was over, that Bold had commissioned her to
assure her father in his name that it would be abandoned,--that there was no further cause
for misery, that the whole matter might be looked on as though it had never been
discussed. She did not tell him with what determined vehemence she had obtained this
concession in his favour, nor did she mention the price she was to pay for it.
The warden did not express himself peculiarly gratified at this intelligence, and Eleanor,
though she had not worked for thanks, and was by no means disposed to magnify her
own good offices, felt hurt at the manner in which her news was received. 'Mr Bold can
act as he thinks proper, my love,' said he; 'if Mr Bold thinks he has been wrong, of course
he will discontinue what he is doing; but that cannot change my purpose.'
'Oh, papa!' she exclaimed, all but crying with vexation; 'I thought you would have been
so happy--I thought all would have been right now.'
'Mr Bold,' continued he, 'has set great people to work--so great that I doubt they are now
beyond his control. Read that, my dear.' The warden, doubling up a number of The
Jupiter, pointed to the peculiar article which she was to read. It was to the last of the three
leaders, which are generally furnished daily for the support of the nation, that Mr Harding
directed her attention. It dealt some heavy blows on various clerical delinquents; on
families who received their tens of thousands yearly for doing nothing; on men who, as
the article stated, rolled in wealth which they had neither earned nor inherited, and which
was in fact stolen from the poorer clergy. It named some sons of bishops, and grandsons
of archbishops; men great in their way, who had redeemed their disgrace in the eyes of
many by the enormity of their plunder; and then, having disposed of these leviathans, it
descended to Mr Harding.