The American Senator HTML version

20. There are Convenances
Before the Monday came the party to Rufford Hall had become quite a settled
thing and had been very much discussed. On the Saturday the Senator had been
driven to the meet, a distance of about ten miles, on purpose that he might see
Lord Rufford and explain his views about Goarly. Lord Rufford had bowed and
stared, and laughed, and had then told the Senator that he thought he would
"find himself in the wrong box." "That's quite possible, my Lord. I guess, it won't
be the first time I've been in the wrong box, my Lord. Sometimes I do get right.
But I thought I would not enter your lordship's house as a guest without telling
you what I was doing." Then Lord Rufford assured him that this little affair about
Goarly would make no difference in that respect. Mr. Gotobed again scrutinised
the hounds and Tony Tuppett, laughed in his sleeve because a fox wasn't found
in the first quarter of an hour, and after that was driven back to Bragton.
The Sunday was a day of preparation for the Trefoils. Of course they didn't go to
church. Arabella indeed was never up in time for church and Lady Augustus only
went when her going would be duly registered among fashionable people. Mr.
Gotobed laughed when he was invited and asked whether anybody was ever
known to go to church two Sundays running at Bragton. "People have been
known to refuse with less acrimony," said Morton. "I always speak my mind, sir,"
replied the Senator. Poor John Morton, therefore, went to his parish church
There were many things to be considered by the Trefoils. There was the question
of dress. If any good was to be done by Arabella at Rufford it must be done with
great despatch. There would be the dinner on Monday, the hunting on Tuesday,
the ball, and then the interesting moment of departure. No girl could make better
use of her time; but then, think of her difficulties! All that she did would have to be
done under the very eyes of the man to whom she was engaged, and to whom
she wished to remain engaged,--unless, as she said to herself, she could "pull off
the other event." A great deal must depend on appearance. As she and her
mother were out on a lengthened cruise among long-suffering acquaintances,
going to the De Brownes after the Gores, and the Smijthes after the De Brownes,
with as many holes to run to afterwards as a four-year-old fox,-- though with the
same probability of finding them stopped,--of course she had her wardrobe with
her. To see her night after night one would think that it was supplied with all that
wealth would give. But there were deficiencies and there were make-shifts, very
well known to herself and well understood by her maid. She could generally
supply herself with gloves by bets, as to which she had never any scruple in
taking either what she did win or did not, and in dunning any who might chance
to be defaulters. On occasions too, when not afraid of the bystanders, she would
venture on a hat, and though there was difficulty as to the payment, not being
able to give her number as she did with gloves, so that the tradesmen could send
the article, still she would manage to get the hat,--and the trimmings. It was said
of her that she once offered to lay an Ulster to a sealskin jacket, but that the