"No, my dear; a mother does not think what trouble she may take for her child, if any good may be done. It is not the trouble. I would walk all round England to get her for you if that would do it."
"Why not, then? At any rate you might get an answer from her. She would tell you something of her intention. Mother, I shall never go away till I know more about it than I do now. The governor says that he will turn me out. Let him turn me out. That won't make me go away."
"But he says it. If I knew that it was all over -- that every chance was gone, then I would go away."
"It is not the Alburys that I am afraid of," said Lady Tringle. "What then?"
"It is your father. I cannot go if he will not let me." Nevertheless she promised before she left his bedside that she would ask Sir Thomas when he came home whether he would permit her to make the journey. All this occurred while Sir Thomas was away in quest of his daughter. And it may be imagined that immediately after his return he was hardly in a humour to yield to any such request as that which had been suggested. He was for the moment almost sick of his children, sick of Merle Park, sick of his wife, and inclined to think that the only comfort to be found in the world was to be had among his millions, in that little back parlour in Lombard Street.
It was on a Sunday that he returned, and on that day he did not see his son. On the Monday morning he went into the room, and Tom was about to press upon him the prayer which he had addressed to his mother when his lips were closed by his father's harshness. "Tom," he said, "you will be pleased to remember that you start on the nineteenth."
"You start on the nineteenth," said Sir Thomas. Then he left the room, closing the door behind him with none of the tenderness generally accorded to an invalid.
"You have not asked him?" Tom said to his mother shortly afterwards. "Not yet, my dear. His mind is so disturbed by this unfortunate affair."