The leaded lines announced that Hollingford Liberalism was at length waking up, that a campaign was being quietly but vigorously organised, and that a meeting of active politicians would shortly be held for the purpose of confirming a candidature which had already met with approval in influential circles. The same post brought a letter from Mr.
The grandeur of being an invited guest to dinner at the Towers from time to time, gave him but little pleasure for many years, but it was a form to be gone through in the way of his profession, without any idea of social gratification. But when Lord Hollingford returned to make the Towers his home, affairs were altered. Mr.
Again his thoughts had turned to suicide. It would be easier to obtain poison here than at Hollingford. Laudanum? Death under laudanum must be very easy, mere falling asleep in a sort of intoxication. But he must leave behind him something in writing, something which would excite attention when it appeared in all the newspapers. Addressed to the coroner? No; to his committee.
At evening, the coachman drove him to Hollingford, where he alighted at Mr. Breakspeare's newspaper office. The editor received him in a large, ill-kept, barely furnished room, the floor littered with journals. "How will that do, Mr. Lashmar?" was his greeting, as he held out a printed slip.
Their talking aroused Molly, who sate up on the bed, and tried to push back the hair from her hot forehead, and to remember where she was. She dropped down on her feet by the side of the bed, to the astonishment of the women, and said, 'Please, how soon are we going away? 'Bless us and save us! who'd ha' thought of any one being in the bed? Are you one of the Hollingford ladies, my dear?
The whole town of Hollingford came to congratulate and inquire into particulars. Some indeed Mrs. Goodenough at the head of this class of malcontents thought that they were defrauded of their right to a fine show by Cynthia's being married in London. Even Lady Cumnor was moved into action.
But he did not see her at all, and, as Lady Ogram had suggested, he found himself obliged to return to Hollingford in Constance's company. They drove in the landau. On the way, Dyce made known to his companion Lady Ogram's generous intentions. "I knew she would do that," said Constance, regarding him with the smile which betrayed her inmost thoughts.
She had always wished to come into direct contact with a love-story: here she was, and she only found it very uncomfortable; there was a sense of concealment and uncertainty about it all; and her honest straightforward father, her quiet life at Hollingford, which, even with all its drawbacks, was above-board, and where everybody knew what everybody was doing, seemed secure and pleasant in comparison.
He spoke absently, his eyes still upwards. "It is pretty certain that the Conservative side gives me more chance. It enrages me to think how I should have triumphed at Hollingford! I could have roused the place to such enthusiasm as it never knew! The great mistake of my life but what choice had I? Lady Ogram was fatal to me." He groaned, and let his eyelids droop.
If the old lady didn't like it, let her learn patience. Dymchurch sat bending forward. The dry leaf crackled between his fingers; he was crushing it to powder. "Who," he asked, "is the lady Miss Bride was speaking of, in connection with the servant's training-school?" "Mrs. Gallantry. A good, active sort of woman at Hollingford." "That scheme doesn't interest you much?" "Not very much, I confess.