Jackson where Colonel Stapleton was severely handled and another and more important one at Ballynahinch, under Henry Munro, on the 13th, where Nugent, the district General, commanded in person.
For the first time since the engagement Miss Nugent almost approved of it. "Why not let him know your wishes?" she said, gently. "Surely that would be sufficient." "But you don't want them to marry?" said Hardy, ignoring the remark. "I don't want my brother to do anything shabby," replied the girl; "but I shouldn't be sorry, of course, if they did not." "Very good," said Hardy.
She hurried into the drawing-room, but was keenly alive to what passed in the hall after she had done so. She heard him, with his usual courtly manner, apologise to Lady Mary Nugent for his non-appearance at the dinner-table, and attribute his accident to his having stood so long on her lawn, in the heat, watching the poor people at their dinner.
'She was clear-sighted, repeated Miss Nugent; 'but if you mean that she was vain, and apt to fancy people in love with her, I can assure you that you are mistaken. Never was woman, young or old, more clear-sighted to the views of those by whom she was addressed. No flattery, no fashion, could blind her judgment. 'She knew how to choose a friend well, I am sure, said Lord Colambre.
I know she's often distressed for odd money to lend me, and that makes her anxious. 'Is not Miss Nugent very much admired, ma'am, in London? 'Of course in the company she is in, you know, she has every advantage.
The secret of Captain Nugent's whereabouts, he declared, was not to be told to everybody, but was to be confided by a man of insinuating address and appearance here he looked at himself in a hand-glass to Miss Nugent. To be broken to her by a man with no ulterior motives for his visit; a man in the prime of life, but not too old for a little tender sympathy.
'I was wrong, said Miss Nugent, 'to call myself a friend to Ireland; I meant to say, that Ireland had been a friend to me; that I found Irish friends, when I had no other; an Irish home, when I had no other; that my earliest and happiest years, under your kind care, had been spent there; and that I can never forget THAT my dear aunt I hope you do not wish that I should.
Not for weeks at a time. Rather a nuisance." However, it was solved in the event by Nugent being prostrate from the time they left the Tyne. Between his spasms he urged his mother to explain that Lord Nelson was always seasick. But Lancelot was very magnanimous about it.
They were well provided with supplies of all kinds; and there was a general hope that they might be holding out. A new expedition was sent and sent vainly in search of them overland. Rewards were offered to whaling vessels to find them, and were never earned. We wore mourning for Nugent; we were a melancholy household. Two more years passed before the fate of the expedition was discovered.
My excuses roused a new alarm in her. "Us?" she repeated. "Who is with you?" "Nugent is with me." The result of the deplorable misunderstanding which had taken place, instantly declared itself. She turned deadly pale under the horror of feeling that she was in the presence of the man with the blue face. "Take me near enough to speak to him, but not to touch him," she whispered.
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