"He behaved like a hero," said Tom. "I do think that he behaved like a hero -- though of course I hate him." The bitterness of expression was here very great. "He wouldn't let them lock me up. Though, in the matter of that, I should have been best pleased if they would have locked me up for ever, and kept me from the sight of the world. Admire that girl, Captain Batsby! I don't think that I ever heard of a man who loved a girl as I love her. I do not hesitate to say that I continue to walk the world -- in the way of not committing suicide, I mean -- simply because there is still a possibility while she has not as yet stood at the hymeneal altar with another man. I would have shot Stubbs willingly, though I knew I was to be tried for it at the Old Bailey -- and hung! I would have done it willingly -- willingly; or any other man." After that Captain Batsby thought it might be prudent not to say anything especial as to his own love.
And how foolish would it be for a man like himself, with a good fortune of his own, to marry any girl who had not a sixpence! The Captain was led into this vain thought by the great civility displayed to him by the ladies of the house. With Lucy, whom he knew to be Ayala's sister, he had not prospered very well. It came to his ears that she was out of favour with her aunt, and he therefore meddled with her but little. The Tringle ladies, however, were very kind to him -- so kind that he was tempted to think less than ever of one who had been so little courteous to him as Ayala. Mrs Traffick was of course a married woman, and it amounted to nothing. But Gertrude -- ! All the world knew that Septimus Traffick without a shilling of his own had become the happy possessor of a very large sum of money. He, Batsby, had more to recommend him than Traffick! Why should not he also become a happy possessor? He went away for a week's hunting into Northamptonshire, and then, at Lady Tringle's request, came back to Merle Park.
At this time Miss Tringle had quite recovered her health. She had dropped all immediate speech as to Mr Houston. Had she not been provoked, she would have allowed all that to drop into oblivion. But a married sister may take liberties. "You are well rid of him, I think," said Augusta. Gertrude heaved a deep sigh. She did not wish to acknowledge herself to be rid of him until another string were well fitted to her bow. "After all, a man with nothing to do in the world, with no profession, no occupation, with no money -- "
"Mr Traffick had not got very much money of his own."
"He has a seat in Parliament, which is very much more than fortune, and will undoubtedly be in power when his party comes in. And he is a man of birth. But Frank Houston had nothing to recommend him."
"Birth!" said Gertrude, turning up her nose.
"The Queen, who is the fountain of honour, made his father a nobleman, and that constitutes birth." This the married sister said with stern severity of manner, and perfect reliance on the constitutional privileges of her Sovereign.
"I don't know that we need talk about it," said Gertrude.