The next train was due in ten minutes and the depot was a mile away. We sent Crawford down. He was trying for the distance runs anyway.
Crawford took his hand warmly, the fine lines of his stern old face softening genially. "I was mighty glad when Argyl told me that she had asked you over. Sit down, sit down. Have something to smoke. Tell us about yourself, and how" the deep-set eyes twinkling "you like the work?"
That Miss Crawford should endeavour to secure a meeting between him and Mrs. Rushworth, was all in her worst line of conduct, and grossly unkind and ill-judged; but she hoped he would not be actuated by any such degrading curiosity. He acknowledged no such inducement, and his sister ought to have given him credit for better feelings than her own.
Fanny was most civil in her assurances, though she could not give them in a very steady voice. "Have you ever happened to look at the part I mean?" continued Miss Crawford, opening her book. "Here it is. I did not think much of it at first but, upon my word. There, look at that speech, and that, and that. How am I ever to look him in the face and say such things? Could you do it?
At this point we were overtaken by Jack Crawford, familiarly known as "Captain Jack, the Poet Scout of the Black Hills," and right here I will insert the following lines, written by him, just after the "Custer Massacre," upon receiving from me the following dispatch: "Jack, old boy, have you heard of the death of Custer?" Did I hear the news from Custer?
"Well, then," replied Miss Crawford, laughing, "I must suppose it to be purely for the pleasure of conveying your brother, and of talking of you by the way." Fanny was confused, but it was the confusion of discontent; while Miss Crawford wondered she did not smile, and thought her over-anxious, or thought her odd, or thought her anything rather than insensible of pleasure in Henry's attentions.
He caught the scarecrow by the shoulder, venting his rage upon the helpless bundle of rags, shaking it even out of its ridiculous resemblance to its master, until it fell to bits about his feet. He flung down the miniature upon the heap of rags and, followed by Janet, walked away across the field. Anthony Crawford stood looking after him, never offering a word.
Will not it be right for me to go too?" but they were no sooner through the door than Henry Crawford undertook to answer the anxious inquiry, and, encouraging him by all means to pay his respects to Sir Thomas without delay, sent him after the others with delighted haste. Fanny was left with only the Crawfords and Mr. Yates.
"I had a note from Miss Halstead, saying that her mother was ill," said Miss Crawford, recognizing a stranger's face as the door was opened. "Yes," said Josephine. "Miss Mary Crawford, I presume? Pray, come in." "Where is Mrs. Halstead?" asked the visitor, perhaps a little surprised that she should not at least have been received by one of the family.
When their enthusiasm was at high flood, and each was endeavouring to say something to enhance the dear remembrance of Scotland, it received a new impulse from the arrival of Lord Crawford, who, as Le Balafre had well prophesied, sat as it were on thorns at the royal board, until an opportunity occurred of making his escape to the revelry of his own countrymen.