Doctor Remy seemed to become suddenly aware that she really had something more than a conventional interest in the subject, and to be willing to gratify it, to the best of his ability."Pray don't be angry with me, Martin, so soon," she pleaded meekly.
"It is a long story; but I will make it as brief as I can. You know that my cousin Varley is now in prison, under sentence of death for the murder of which I came so near to being convicted myself,and should have been, but for you. Well, he sent for me a few days ago, to ask my pardon, and to beg me to take charge of a certain child of his. It seems that, two or three years ago, he was inveigled into a marriage with a beautiful but unprincipled girl, belonging to one of the worst families in this vicinity; her parents keep a low tavern, generally known, I believe, as the 'Rat-Hole,' about a mile out of town, on the Berganton road. Do you know it?""No, he is an idle man. I dare say the time will come when I shall be plagued with him, and be almost obliged to suggest that he should keep race-horses, or go on the Stock Exchange, to occupy his time. I have heard women say that it is terrible to have a stay-at-home husband. Yet Martin is never de tropbut then Martin can bury himself in a book. He has no fidgety ways."
"No; it does not visit our western villages.""My dear Mrs. Disney, you know that I pledged myself to wait a year from the time of our engagementa year from last Christmasyou must remember. That was to be my probation."
"But why wait a year? Can you not prove me trusty and true in less than a year?"
You could go this evening, he said. Miss HowardI beg pardon, I mean Miss Chetwyndeis a capital horsewoman, and can ride to Good Luck, where youll catch the coach. I will, with your permission, accompany you thus far.
He strode out of the room. Mr. Bergan hesitated a moment, and then followed him. At the door, he was met by a servant from Oakstead, who delivered a message, in a low tone; of which Doctor Remy, who was standing near, caught the words, "Richard Caustonbusiness of importance." Mr. Bergan listened half-impatiently, gave a brief answer, and hastened after Hubert.