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14. Deportment
Richard left us on the very next evening to begin his new career, and committed Ada to
my charge with great love for her and great trust in me. It touched me then to reflect,
and it touches me now, more nearly, to remember (having what I have to tell) how they
both thought of me, even at that engrossing time. I was a part of all their plans, for the
present and the future, I was to write Richard once a week, making my faithful report of
Ada, who was to write to him every alternate day. I was to be informed, under his own
hand, of all his labours and successes; I was to observe how resolute and persevering
he would be; I was to be Ada's bridesmaid when they were married; I was to live with
them afterwards; I was to keep all the keys of their house; I was to be made happy for
ever and a day.
"And if the suit should make us rich, Esther--which it may, you know!" said Richard to
crown all.
A shade crossed Ada's face.
"My dearest Ada," asked Richard, "why not?"
"It had better declare us poor at once," said Ada.
"Oh! I don't know about that," returned Richard, "but at all events, it won't declare
anything at once. It hasn't declared anything in heaven knows how many years."
"Too true," said Ada.
"Yes, but," urged Richard, answering what her look suggested rather than her words,
"the longer it goes on, dcar cousin, the nearer it must be to a settlement one way or
other. Now, is not that reasonable?"
"You know best, Richard. But I am afraid if we trust to it, it will make us unhappy."
"But, my Ada, we are not going to trust to it!" cried Richard gaily. "We know it better than
to trust to it. We only say that if it should make us rich, we have no constitutional
objection to being rich. The court is, by solemn settlement of law, our grim old guardian,
and we are to suppose that what it gives us (when it gives us anything) is our right. It is
not necessary to quarrel with our right."
"No," Said Ada, "but it may be better to forget all about it."
"Well, well," cried Richard, "then we will forget all about it! We consign the whole thing
to oblivion. Dame Durden puts on her approving face, and it's done!"