*For the humours of the time see the parliamentary return of Railway Subscribers, published 1846: Francis's British Railway: Evan's Commercial Crisis; and the pamphlets and journals of the day. Richard Hardie had some money in existing railways, but he declined to invest his hard cash upon hypotheticals. He was repeatedly solicited to be a director, but always declined.
Prince Albert was convinced that, as the law then stood, Francis's execution, notwithstanding the verdict of the jury, would have been nothing less than a judicial murder, as it was essential that the act should be committed with intent to kill or wound, and in Francis's case this, to all appearance, was not the fact; at least it was open to grave doubt.
He presented himself, therefore, punctually enough, in the pleasant private room which looked out upon the river flowing black and oily so far beneath; where the portrait of the father of the two men hung above Sir Francis's head as he stood upon the hearthrug. "Oh, there you are, Reggie! Good-morning." "Here I am. Sharp as a new pin, and bright as a button."
So when an invitation came from the mother of Esther Francis, that all the young ones should join a party of pleasure that were going to spend the day in Westchester, it was a very unlooked for variety in the general course of things. Of course they would go. The young people were to eat strawberries and do everything else that was pleasant, at General Francis's place. Mrs.
To which she had rejoined that "At least she knew thus much, that the first military duty was obedience," and Francis's instant submission proved that she had made a good shot. Of the Major she had heard much more. Everything was referred to him, both by mother and children, and Alison was the more puzzled as to his exact connexion with them.
A farmer tried to force his tired horses through the drifts; a little boy with a milk-pail plodded bravely from door to door, sometimes laying down his burden to blow his breath on his stinging fingers. The only sound that disturbed the quiet of the afternoon in Mrs. Francis's sitting room was the regular rub-rub of the wash-board in the kitchen below. "Mrs.
Whatsoever God has made, praises God; there is only sin, of which He is not the author, which does not praise Him." It was Francis's desire that all his brethren should learn his canticle, and recite it daily, and that Brother Pacificus, the famous poet, of whom we have before spoken, and who was then in France or in the Low Countries, should put it into well-sounding verse.
Boult also will be in the way? If we can do anything we will." "It's all right, Deleah," Reggie said. "I told you it would be all right." "And, remember," Sir Francis adjured her, "that what I do, I do for you and for you alone." Her petition, she understood, was granted; her clasped hands fell from their attitude of prayer, but her strained eyes still clung to Sir Francis's face.
His mother and Charles's aunt met at Cambrai, and concluded, in 1529, what was called the Ladies' Peace, which bore as hardly on France as the peace of Madrid, excepting that Charles gave up his claim to Burgundy. Still Francis's plans were not at an end.
"Come," he whispered, with his lips to Francis's ear, when the King yielded as if he were a portion of the speaker's self, walking with him silently till they were half across the gallery, when all at once a bright light threw up into bold relief the figure of the sentry at the far limit of his tramp, and the two fugitives stood out plainly before Saint Simon like two black silhouettes upon the distant glow.