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side of the gorge he sought some point at which the trees

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'Certainly,' again said his father. She has them in excellent training, and it would be entirely contrary to my principles to interfere.'

side of the gorge he sought some point at which the trees

'Then, you see how it is,' said Arthur. 'I am quite willing. I know it is what I do not deserve, and I am more obliged than I can say; but all must depend upon Violet.'

side of the gorge he sought some point at which the trees

He was going in quest of her, when the Rickworth carriage stopped at the gate and prevented him. Poor Lady Martindale, when she had sent her note of invitation to Lady Elizabeth and Emma to spend a long day at Brogden, she little imagined how long the day would be to her suspense. She could not even talk it over with any one but John, and he did not feel secure of Violet's willingness. He said that, at one time, she had been very shy and uncomfortable at Martindale, and that he feared there was reason in what Arthur said about the children. He suspected that Arthur thought that she would not like the scheme, and supposed that he knew best.

side of the gorge he sought some point at which the trees

'Cannot you try to prevail with her, dear John? You have great influence.'

'I should not think it proper to persuade her. I trust to her judgment to see what is best, and should be sorry to distress her by putting forward my own wishes.'

This conversation took place while the younger ladies were walking in the garden with Lady Elizabeth and her daughter. It was the first time that Emma had been persuaded to come from home, and though she could not be more quiet than formerly, there was less peculiarity in her manner. She positively entered into the general conversation, and showed interest in the farming talk between her mother and Lord Martindale; but the children were her chief resource. And, though affectionate and almost craving pardon from Violet,--drawing out from her every particular about the little ones, and asking much about Arthur's health, and Theodora's prospects,--she left a veil over the matters that had so deeply concerned herself.

It was from Lady Elizabeth that the sisters heard what they wished to know; and Theodora, on her side, imparted the information which Percy had brought from London. He had been trying whether it were possible to obtain payment of Mr. Gardner's heavy debts to Arthur, but had been forced to relinquish the hope. So many creditors had claims on him that, ample as was the fortune which Mrs. Finch's affection had placed entirely in his power, there was little probability that he would ever venture to return to England. No notice had been taken of the demands repeatedly sent in, and Percy had learnt that he was dissipating his wife's property very fast upon the Continent; so that it was likely that, in a few years, Mr. Finch's hoards would be completely gone. Report also spoke of his rewarding his wife's affection with neglect and unkindness; and her sister, Mrs. Fotheringham, declared that, having acted against warning, Georgina must take the consequences, and could expect no assistance from Worthbourne.

Mournfully Theodora spoke. It was a saddening thought in the midst of her happiness, and it pressed the more heavily upon her from the consciousness, that she had been looked up to by Georgina, and had, in her pride and self-will, forfeited the chance of exerting any beneficial influence. She perceived the contrast between the effect of her own character on others, and that of Violet, and could by no means feel herself guiltless of her poor playmate's sad history. Still she cherished a secret hope that it might yet be permitted to her to meet her again, and in the time of trouble to be of service to her.