The American Senator HTML version

II.8. Chowton Farm for Sale.
John Morton had returned to town soon after his walk into Dillsborough and had there
learned from different sources that both Arabella Trefoil and Lord Rufford had gone or
were going to Mistletoe. He had seen Lord Augustus who, though he could tell him
nothing else about his daughter, had not been slow to inform him that she was going to
the house of her noble uncle. When Morton had spoken to him very seriously about the
engagement he declared that he knew nothing about it,--except that he had given his
consent if the settlements were all right. Lady Augustus managed all that. Morton had
then said that under those circumstances he feared he must regard the honour which he
had hoped to enjoy as being beyond his reach. Lord Augustus had shrugged his shoulders
and had gone back to his whist, this interview having taken place in the strangers' room
of his club. That Lord Rufford was also going to Mistletoe he heard from young Glossop
at the Foreign Office. It was quite possible that Glossop had been instructed to make this
known to Morton by his sister Lady Penwether. Then Morton declared that the thing was
over and that he would trouble himself no more about it. But this resolution did not make
him at all contented, and in his misery he went again down to his solitude at Bragton.
And now when he might fairly consider himself to be free, and when he should surely
have congratulated himself on a most lucky escape from the great danger into which he
had fallen, his love and admiration for the girl returned to him in a most wonderful
manner. He thought of her beauty and her grace, and the manner in which she would sit
at the head of his table when the time should come for him to be promoted to some great
capital. To him she had fascinations which the reader, who perhaps knows her better than
he ever did, will not share. He could forgive the coldness of her conduct to himself--he
himself not being by nature demonstrative or impassioned,--if only she were not more
kind to any rival. It was the fact that she should be visiting at the same house with Lord
Rufford after what he had seen at Rufford Hall which had angered him. But now in his
solitude he thought that he might have been wrong at Rufford Hall. If it were the case that
the girl feared that her marriage might be prevented by the operations of lawyers and
family friends, of course she would be right not to throw herself into his arms,--even
metaphorically. He was a cold, just man who, when he had loved, could not easily get rid
of his love, and now he would ask himself whether he was not hard upon the girl. It was
natural that she should be at Mistletoe; but then why should Lord Rufford be there with
His prospects at Patagonia did not console him much. No doubt it was a handsome
mission for a man of his age and there were sundry Patagonian questions of importance at
the present moment which would give him a certain weight. Patagonia was repudiating a
loan, and it was hoped that he might induce a better feeling in the Patagonian Parliament.
There was the Patagonian railway for joining the Straits to the Cape the details of which
he was now studying with great diligence. And then there was the vital question of
boundary between Patagonia and the Argentine Republic by settling which, should he be