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for Mabel's sake. It might be that we were proud, unsociable, discourteous to those we did not like. The pertinacity of Mr. Rivers brought out in us all these sins, and he departed, cognisant of the fact that all were glad to see him
go. As soon as Ferdy discovered that our father was entirely on Mabel's side, and deprecated Mr. Rivers's attempt to command her favour, he also turned, and was as noisy in abusing his friend as he had been before in praising him.
“ It was certainly his fault that we were not married long ago, darling," he whispered to Pamela.
Oh, Ferdy, could he be so cruel ?” “Yes, he was.
But I'll tell you what we will do.
We won't wait ; we'll be married directly."
And in pursuance of this idea Ferdy talked to my father.
"Be it as you wish, Ferdy; but one thing you must concede to me.
Let me 66 And
know your debts, and let them be paid before you are married.”
" You shall know them all, Linton. What a pity Rivers is gone; he could have made out the amount at once; he knows them all."
don't ?" “No, not I; I haven't the least idea. Rivers managed everything for me.”
“Then do this; write to Mr. Rivers."
“ Write to him! he won't pay any attention; he'll do nothing for me now, I fear.”
“I should be sorry to think so ill of him. No; if we have no affection for him, at least let us accord him all other things, and give him our full confidence. It is now the 6th of January. leave us—and the sooner you do so the sooner you can be married—you shall take with you a cheque from me. I will not fill it up, but you shall give it to Mr. Rivers, and request him to do so, and give
When you you a full discharge of all claim upon him. . When you bring me back this discharge, we will have the wedding immediately. It will please me to see you happy.”
Acting upon this advice, Ferdy left us about the middle of January, taking my father's blank cheque with him, signed, but not filled up. For once, Ferdy appeared to be in earnest, for as early as it could arrive by post came a letter from Mr. Rivers, to the following effect :
“I am this day put in possession of a cheque signed by you, but not filled up. I await your instructions regarding it, as, without doubting the word of Mr. F. Home, the affair is too serious for me to act without written instructions from you. “I have the honour to remain, 6. Your obedient servant,
“ ALGERNON RIVERS."
To this my father replied himself, as
much that no further irritation might rankle in Mr. Rivers's mind by the sight of my sister's handwriting, as because he desired no delay in the conclusion of the business.
" DEAR SIR,
“ While I thank you for your caution, let me urge on you the expediency of using the cheque signed, but not filled up, as speedily as possible, for the payment of Mr. Ferdinand Home's debts. “I beg to remain, yours, &c.,
6 LINTON LOVEL.”
By return of post arrived this letter :
“I should be glad to see you on two accounts. The first is, that Mr. Ferdinand Home's debts are of greater magnitude than you imagine.
“2ndly. The whole business can be more quickly arranged by a bill or bills from
you, which can be negotiated immediately. But your cheque will require a certain notice to be delivered in, and a certain time to elapse, before it can be cashed. I await your reply to attend you at Lovel-Leigh.
Your obedient servant,
" ALGERNON RIVERS."
My father, dreading his coming, again wrote himself, to the following effect:“6 DEAR SIR,
6. Send me a bill, with the stamp affixed that
think will be sufficient for the sum that is to free Mr. Ferdinand Home entirely from debt. If
you can put the sum on it I shall be glad; for though I would give all I am worth into the keeping of the man to whom I have entrusted the happiness of my daughter, prizing the former as nothing in comparison, yet I wish to be certain of the sum that will be chargeable on my estate. 6. Your sincere servant,
66 LINTON LOVEL.”