Why, ma'am, I don't know who you are, and what your position is, or anything about you." "I am the widow of the late vicar, Lord Stapledean; and when he died " "I was fool enough to give the living to his son. I remember all about it. He was an imprudent man, and lived beyond his means, and there was nothing left for any of you wasn't that it?" "Yes, my lord," said Mrs.
"Oh, yes, Lord Stapledean is at home, safe enough. He's never very far away from it to the best of my belief." "It's only a mile or so, is it?" said Mrs. Wilkinson. "Seven long miles, ma'am," said the landlady. "Seven miles! dear, dear. I declare I never was so tired in my life. You can put the box somewhere behind in the post-chaise, can't you?" "Yes, ma'am; we can do that.
Lord Stapledean had said nothing of entertaining him at the Lodge had only begged him, if it were not too much trouble, to do him the honour of calling on him.
Wilkinson, always excepting what care she may have had for her son's ill health, had not been unhappy during his absence. She had reigned the female vicaress, without a drawback, praying daily, and in her heart almost hourly, for the continuance in the land of such excellent noblemen as Lord Stapledean.
And Arthur also blushed, not thinking then of Adela Gauntlet, but of that pledge which he had given to Lord Stapledean a pledge of which he had repented every day since he had given it.
"The woman's mad," said Lord Stapledean, looking again to the carpet, but speaking quite out loud. "Stark mad. I think you'd better go home, ma'am; a great deal better." "My lord, if you'd only give yourself the trouble to understand me " "I don't understand a word you say. I have nothing to do with the income, or the house, or with you, or with your son." "Oh, yes, my lord, indeed you have."
She had threatened, indeed, to appeal to Lord Stapledean; but that very threat showed how conscious she was that she had no power of her own to hold her place where she was. He ought to have been satisfied; but he was not so. And now he had to wait for his answer from Adela.
In one sense he has a living; for, situated as things at present are, of course I cannot hold it in my own hands. But in real truth he has not a living not of his own. Lord Stapledean, whom I shall always regard as the very first nobleman in the land, and a credit to the whole peerage, expressly gave the living to me." "To you, aunt?" "Yes, expressly to me.
"He got his, you know, from the bishop. But do you dislike being Lord Stapledean's nominee?" "It would be ungrateful to say that; but I certainly do not like Lord Stapledean. However, I have taken his living, and should not complain." "I did not know that there was anything disagreeable." "There is this, Adela.
Lord Stapledean turned suddenly at the bell-rope, and gave it a tremendous pull then another and then a third, harder than the others. Down came the rope about his ears, and the peal was heard ringing through the house. "Thompson," he said to the man, as he entered, "show that lady the door." "Yes, my lord." "Show her the door immediately." "Yes, my lord," said Thompson, standing irresolute.