Although you introduce a strangely inappropriate subject, I must say your intelligence grieves me, for I like Guy Elersley exceedingly well, and should be heartily sorry were I given to credit your statements with the slightest suspicion of truth."
There were only a few little unavoidable words afloat, by which the curious public of Ottawa could surmise why Honor Edgeworth had so coldly rejected her handsome suitor at the last moment, and why Guy Elersley had come back in the nick of time, to be reinstated in his uncle's favor.
No one knew anything of his antecedents, but somehow, he carried an acceptable sort of reputation on his face. Guy Elersley had done many foolish things, but foremost among them all was, his having made a friend of a man who was as obscure and incomprehensible to him as the most profound ethical mystery. They got on very well together, however.
"Yes, I saw her face in church under the ugliest bonnet you ever saw, and I met her on the Richmond Road the other day, driving Mr Rayne's ponies. She looked reserved, but perhaps she is a nice girl. Hardly the kind that Guy Elersley would like though, he's such a flirt, he flirted with me once till mamma thought "
If any man ever looked thoroughly disgusted with himself in his life, Guy Elersley surely did, on this eventful morning, as he sauntered along from his boarding-house to Mr. Rayne's.
"You ought to know," continued Standish "whether at any time of her life she has met with some-one she preferred to any other. Do you think for instance," and his voice lowered so that Guy could scarcely catch its accents "that there was anything between her and your nephew, Guy Elersley?"
Guy Elersley had many qualities, both good and evil, but he was as innocent of church- going, as he was of murder; of that, at least no one had ever yet accused him, nevertheless there was a dormant religious enthusiasm in that young breast, which needed but the touch of the right hand on the yielding chords of a full heart, to call forth the melodious strains of an impromptu chant of praise from the creature to his Creator.
No, indeed, and that very night, under the immediate impulse of his new-born emotions, Guy Elersley made up his mind. We cannot be surprised at this sudden change in Guy, although it was the most unexpected and unlooked for circumstance that could possibly have come to him. Falling in and out of love is almost so certain a portion of our destiny, that we should never be surprised by it.
This awoke him to the actual state of things; he straightened his oars, and made sundry other preparations to start, but as he leaned forward to take the first backward stroke, he looked steadily into her face and said in a husky, almost defiant tone, "Dust, like this, can never blind my eyes, but resign yourself, for Guy Elersley and you will never meet again."
John Prim, that that was the 'Montagu' style; so excuse me for contradicting you." "Oh! don't mention it, the name almost redeems the folly of the thing. By the way Elersley, you have been 'going it' in rather a pronounced way with Miss Mountainhead to-night. Is it too soon to be the first to congratulate?" "Oh Lord!" Guy smothers the exclamation under his heavy moustache.