"Ano ne," Kiwa said. "Will this Decontamination-kuruma house two thousand men? Two hundred? Twenty?"


"As every man ought to be, Mrs. Creswell; as every tolerably successful man can afford to be."



Such is, in brief, a glimpse of Mason’s military career as gleaned from scattered records. In 1845 Draper filed among his manuscripts a letter which states that “Capt. Mason resided where Daniel Steenrod’s house now is, two miles east of Wheeling, and kept a tavern there in 1780.” [12M] Another of his notes is to the effect that Mason lived on Wheeling Creek at the Narrows, and that in the spring of 1782 Indians stole some of his negroes. He and a man named Peter Stalnaker went in pursuit. The Indians, seeing the two

Mr. Benthall was very much surprised at the information which had come to him in that odd way. He had never thought much about Marian Ashurst, but he knew perfectly well that popular opinion in Helmingham and the neighbourhood held to the fact that she had never had any love affair. He was disposed to regard her with rather more favour than before, for if what Mrs. Covey stated of her were true, it showed that at one time she must have possessed a heart, though she had allowed herself to ignore its promptings under the overweening influence of avarice. Mr. Benthall thought a good deal over this story. He wondered when, how, and under what circumstances Miss Ashurst had broken her engagement, if such engagement existed, with Joyce. Whether she had deliberately planned her marriage with old Creswell, and had consequently abandoned the other design; or whether the old gentleman had proposed suddenly to her, and the temptation of riches and position being too great for her to withstand, she had flung her first lover aside on the spur of the moment, and thereby, perhaps, rendered herself wretched for life. Or what was it that the old woman said, about Joyce enlisting as a soldier? Perhaps that step on her lover's part had been the cause of Miss Ashurst's determination. No! on reflection, the enlisting, if he ever did enlist, looked like a desperate act on Joyce's part, done in despair at hearing the news of Marian's intended marriage! Mr. Benthall did not pin much faith to the enlisting part of the story. He had heard a good deal about Joyce from various sources, and he felt confident that he was by no means the kind of man who would be led to the perpetration of any folly of the kind. Mr. Benthall was puzzled. With any other two people he could have understood the hand in hand, and the arm-encircled waist, as meaning nothing more than a pleasant means of employing the time, meaning nothing, and to be forgotten by both persons when they might chance to be separated. But Mr. Joyce and Miss Ashurst were so essentially earnest and practical, and so utterly unlikely to disport themselves in the manner described without there had been a sincere attachment between them, that, taking all this into consideration in conjunction with the recent marriage, Mr. Benthall came to the conclusion that either Mrs. Covey must have, unintentionally of course, deceived herself and him, or that there was something remarkably peculiar in the conduct of Miss Ashurst, something more peculiar than pleasant or estimable. He wondered whether Gertrude or Maude had any suspicions on the matter. They had neither of them ever spoken to him on the subject, but then Maude generally left him alone with Gertrude, and when he and Gertrude were together, they had other things than other people's love-affairs to talk about. He had not been up to Woolgreaves since the wedding, had not--which was quite a different matter--seen either of the girls. He would ride over there the next afternoon, and see how matters progressed.


“Miss Carnavan” ses I, biling over wid rage, “theres a trane laving widin tin minits. Yell have plinty of time to catch it.”





I did not hesitate a moment—indeed, hesitation has seldom been one of my faults—but making my way across the room, I stepped close to him and said, in as calm a tone as I could command: "Captain Creach, I am surprised to see you in Rome!"


[pg 198]



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