|• Main||• Contacts|
PETER GATHERS VIOLETS
Peter obeyed, sat down in a big oak chair by the dying fire, and waited
in his silent fashion.
"Listen," said Castell. "Fifteen months ago you told me something, did
"What was it, then?"
"That I loved my cousin Margaret, and asked your leave to tell her so."
"And what did I answer?"
"That you forbade me because you had not proved me enough, and she had
not proved herself enough; because, moreover, she would be very wealthy,
and with her beauty might look high in marriage, although but a
"Well, and then?"
"And then--nothing," and Peter sipped his wine deliberately and put it
down upon the table.
"You are a very silent man, even where your courting is concerned," said
Castell, searching him with his sharp eyes.
"I am silent because there is no more to say. You bade me be silent, and
I have remained so."
"What! Even when you saw those gay lords making their addresses to
Margaret, and when she grew angry because you gave no sign, and was
minded to yield to one or the other of them?"
"Yes, even then--it was hard, but even then. Do I not eat your bread?
and shall I take advantage of you when you have forbid me?"
Castell looked at him again, and this time there were respect and
affection in his glance.
"Silent and stern, but honest," he said as though to himself, then
added, "A hard trial, but I saw it, and helped you in the best way by
sending those suitors--who were worthless fellows--about their business.
Now, say, are you still of the same mind towards Margaret?"
"I seldom change my mind, Sir, and on such a business, never."
"Good! Then I give you my leave to find out what her mind may be."
In the joy which he could not control, Peter's face flushed. Then, as
though he were ashamed of showing emotion, even at such a moment, he
took up his glass and drank a little of the wine before he answered.
"I thank you; it is more than I dared to hope. But it is right that I
should say, Sir, that I am no match for my cousin Margaret. The lands
which should have been mine are gone, and I have nothing save what you
pay me for my poor help in this trade; whereas she has, or will
Castell's eyes twinkled; the answer amused him.
"At least you have an upright heart," he said, "for what other man in
such a case would argue against himself? Also, you are of good blood,
and not ill to look on, or so some maids might think; whilst as for
Page 1 from 10:  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Forward