Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston

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Chapter IX: Expostulation

The next morning Ludwell Cary rose early, ordered his horse, and opened the door of his brother’s room. “Fair,” he said, as the younger Cary sat up in bed, with a nightcap wonderfully askew upon his handsome head, “I am off for Greenwood. Make my excuses, will you, to Colonel Churchill and the ladies? I will not be back till supper-time.” He turned to leave the room. “And Fair–if you have anything to say to Miss Dandridge, this is the shepherd’s hour. We go home to-morrow.”

“What the Devil?"–began the younger Cary.

“No, not the Devil,” said the other, with a twist of the lip half humorous, half piteous. “Just woman.”

He was gone. Fairfax Cary looked at his watch, then rose from his bed and looked out of the window at the rose and dew of the dawn. “What the Devil!” he said again to himself; and then, with a forehead of perplexity, “He was up late last night–out in the garden alone. He rides off to Greenwood with the dawn, and we go home to-morrow. She can’t have refused him–that’s not possible!” He went back to bed to study matters over. At last, “The jade!” he exclaimed with conviction, and two hours later, when he came down to breakfast, wished Miss Churchill good-morning with glacial courtesy.

Jacqueline, behind the coffee urn, had heavy-lidded eyes, and her smile was tremulous. Unity, brilliant and watchful, regarded the universe and the hauteur of young Mr. Cary with lifted brows. Major Churchill, when he appeared, shot one glance at the place that was Ludwell Cary’s, another at his niece, then sat heavily down, and in a querulous voice demanded coffee. Colonel Dick wore a frown. Deb, who before breakfast had visited a new foal in the long pasture, kept for a time the ball of conversation rolling; but the dulness and the chill in the air presently enwrapped her also. The meal came to an end with only one hazard as to what could have taken Ludwell Cary to Greenwood for the entire day. That was Unity’s, who remarked that pains must be bestowed upon the hanging of a drawing-room paper, else the shepherds and the shepherdesses would not match.

Fairfax Cary asked after Lewis Rand and his broken arm, and Colonel Dick responded with absent-mindedness that the arm did very well, and that its owner would soon be going about his business with all the rest of the damned Republican mischief-makers: then, “Scipio, did you take that julep and bird up to the blue room?”

“Yaas, marster,” answered Scipio. “The gent’man say tell you ’Thank you.’ He say he ain’t gwine trouble you much longer, an’ he cyarn never forgit what Fontenoy’s done fer him.”

“Deb!” said Uncle Edward, with great sharpness, “you are spilling that cup of milk. Look what you are doing, child!”

The uncomfortable meal came to an end. Outside the dining-room door Uncle Dick mentioned to Unity that her aunt wanted her in the chamber to cut off linsey gowns for the house servants, and Uncle Edward inquired if it would be troublesome to Fairfax Cary to ride over to Tom Wood’s and take a look at that black stallion Tom bragged of. Unity went to her aunt’s chamber; the younger Cary walked away somewhat stiffly to the stables; Uncle Edward sent Deb to her lessons, and Uncle Dick told Jacqueline to come in half an hour to the library. Edward and he wanted to speak to her.

Jacqueline gave her directions, or her aunt’s directions, to Scipio, then crossed the paved way to the kitchen and talked of dinner and supper with the turbaned cook; opened with her keys the smokehouse door, and in the storeroom superintended the weighing of flour and sugar and the measuring of Java coffee, and finally saw that the drawing-room was properly darkened against the sunny morning, and that the water was fresh in the bowls of flowers. She leaned for a moment against her harp, one hand upon its strings, her forehead resting upon her bare arm; then she turned from the room and entered the library, where she found her uncles waiting for her, Uncle Dick upon the hearth rug and Uncle Edward at the table.

“Jacqueline,” began the first, then, “Edward, I never could talk to a woman! Ask her what all this damned nonsense means!”

“Your uncle doesn’t mean that it is all damned nonsense, Jacqueline," said Uncle Edward, with gentleness. “Not perhaps from your point of view, my dear. But both he and I are greatly grieved and disappointed–”

“It was all arranged ages ago!” broke in the elder brother. “Fauquier Cary and your dear father, my brother Henry, settled it when you were born and Fauquier’s son was a lad at Maury’s school! When Henry died, and Fauquier Cary died, my brother Edward here and I said to each other that we would see the matter out! So we will, by God!”

“Gently, Dick! Jacqueline, child, you know how dear you are to us, and how the future and the happiness of you and of Unity and of Deb is our jealous care–”

“Fauquier Cary was as noble a man as ever breathed,” cried the other, “and his son’s his image! There’s no better blood in Virginia–and the land beside–”

“It does not matter about the land, Jacqueline,” said Uncle Edward, “though God forbid that I should depreciate good land–”

“Land’s land,” quoth Colonel Dick, “and good blood’s gospel truth!”

“Bah! it’s nature’s truth!” said Uncle Edward. “Jacqueline, my dear, our hearts are set on this match. Mr. Ludwell Cary asked your uncle’s permission to speak to you, and your uncle gave it gladly, and neither he nor I ever dreamed–”

“Of course we didn’t,” broke in the other. “We didn’t dream that Jacqueline could be unreasonable or ungrateful, and we don’t dream it now! Nor blind. Ludwell Cary’s a man and a gentleman, and the woman who gets him is lucky!”

“We approved his suit, Jacqueline, and we hoped to be happy to-day in your happiness–”

“And in he comes at midnight last night, with his father’s own look on his face, and what does he say to Edward and me, sitting here, waiting, with a thousand fancies in our heads? ’Miss Churchill will not have me,’ says he, ’and you who have been so good to me, are to be good still, and not by word or look reproach her or distress her. The heart goes its own way, and loves where it must. She is an angel, and to-night I am a poor beaten and weary mortal. I thank you again, both of you, and wish you good-night.’ And off he goes before a man could say Jack Robinson! Those were his very words, weren’t they, Edward?”

“Yes,” answered Edward. “He is a brave and gallant gentleman, Jacqueline. I love you, child, more than my old tongue can say. My Castle in Spain is Greenwood with you and Ludwell Cary and the children of you both.”

“Oh, cruel!” cried Jacqueline. “He is brave and good–He is all that you say. But I shall never live at Greenwood!”

“It was your father’s dearest wish,” said the Major. “It is ours–Richard’s and mine. We are not men who give up easily. God forbid, child, that I should hint to you, who are the darling of us all, of obligation–and yet I put it to you if obedience is not owed–”

“Yes, yes,” answered Jacqueline. “It is owed. I am not ungrateful–I am mad–perhaps I am wicked! I wish that I were dead!”

“The Churchills,” said Uncle Edward, “have never in their marriages set vulgar store by money. Blood we ask, of course, and honourable position, and the right way of thinking. Individually I am a stickler for mind. To his wealth and to his name and his great personal advantages Ludwell Cary adds intellect. He may become a power in his country and his time. You would so aid him, child! I am called a woman-hater, but once, Jacqueline, I loved too well. For all that I am a sorry old bachelor, I know whereof I speak. With a man, a woman to fight for is not half the battle–it is all the battle.”

“He is all that you say,” answered Jacqueline. “But I do not love him.”

“You like him. You admire him.”

“Yes, yes. That is not love.”

“It is mighty near kin,” said Uncle Dick. “No end of happy folk begin with esteem and go on like turtle doves. My little Jack, you shall have the prettiest wedding gown! It’s all a mistake and a misunderstanding, and the good Lord knows there’s too much of both in this old world! You’ll think better of it all, and you’ll find that you didn’t know your own mind,–and there’ll be a smile for poor Cary when he comes riding back to-night?”

“No, no,” cried Jacqueline. “There is no mistake and no misunderstanding. Love cannot be forced, and I’ll not marry where I do not love!”

“You don’t,” said Colonel Churchill slowly, “you don’t by any chance love some one else? What does that colour mean, Jacqueline? Don’t stammer! Speak out!”

But Jacqueline, standing by the old leather chair, bowed her head upon its high green back, and neither could nor would “speak out.” The two men, grey and withered, obstinate and imperious in a day and generation that subordinated youth to the councils of the old, gazed at their niece with perplexity and anger. With the simpler of the two the perplexity was the greater, with the other anger. A fear was knocking at Major Churchill’s heart. He would not admit it, strove not to listen to it, or to listen with contemptuous incredulity. “It’s not possible,” he said to himself. “Not a thousand summers at Jane Selden’s would make her so forget herself! Jacqueline in love with that damned Jacobin demagogue upstairs! Pshaw!” But the fear knocked on.

Jacqueline lifted her head. “Be good to me, Uncle Dick! If I could love, if I could marry Mr. Cary, I would–I would indeed! But I cannot. Please let me go!”

“Not till I know more than I know now,” said Colonel Churchill. “If it’s George Lee, Jacqueline, I’ll not say a word, sorry as I am for Cary. But if it’s Will Allen, I’ll see you dead before I give my consent! He’s a spendthrift and a Republican!”

“I care neither for Mr. Lee nor Mr. Allen,” said Jacqueline, with a burning cheek. “Oh, Uncle Edward, make Uncle Dick let me go!”

“It is not wise,” Major Churchill considered within himself, “to push a woman too far. I’m a suspicious fool to think this thing of Jacqueline. It’s all some girl’s fancy or other, and if we go easily Cary will yet win–by God, he shall win! This damned Yahoo upstairs is neither here nor there!”

He spoke aloud to his brother. “Best let the child go think it over, Dick. She knows her duty–and that we expect her compliance. She doesn’t want to wound us cruelly, to make us unhappy, to prove herself blind and ingrate. Give her a kiss and let her go.”

“You come down and sing to us to-night, my little Jack, in your blue gown,” quoth Uncle Dick. “Don’t you ever let a time come when your singing won’t be the sweetest sound in the world to me! Now go, and think of what we have said, and of poor Cary, ridden off to Greenwood!”

Jacqueline gazed at the two for a moment, and made as if to speak, but the words died in her throat. She uttered a broken cry, turned, groped a little for the door, found and opened it, and was gone. They heard the click of her slippers upon the stairs, and presently the closing of a blind in the room that was hers.

The brothers sat heavily on in the sunshine-flooded library, the elder red and fuming, the younger silent and saturnine. At last Colonel Dick broke out, “What the devil ails her, Edward? Every decent young fellow in the county comes to Fontenoy straight as a bee to the honey-pot! I’ve heard them sighing for her and Unity, but I never could see that she favoured one man more than another,–and she’s no coquette like Unity! Except for that fine blush of hers, I’d never have thought. What do you think, Edward?”

“The ways of women are past my finding out,” said Edward. “Let it rest for a while, Dick.” He rose from his chair stiffly, like an old man. “Let Cary go home to-morrow as he intends. ’Absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ they say. She may find that she misses him, and may look for him when he comes riding over. Never fear but he’ll ride over often! He mustn’t guess, of course, that you have spoken to her. And that’s all we can do, Dick, except–” Major Edward walked stiffly across the floor and paused before the portrait of his brother Henry, dead and gone these many years. The face looked imperiously down upon him. Henry had stood for something before he died,–for grace and manly beauty, pride and fire. The Major’s eyes suddenly smarted. “Poor white trash,” he said between his teeth, “and Henry’s daughter!” He turned and came back to the table. “Dick! just as soon as you can, you clear the house of old Gideon Rand’s son!”

“What’s he got to do with it?” asked Colonel Dick.

“I don’t know,” said the other. “But I want him out of the blue room, and out of Fontenoy! and now, Dick, I’ve got a piece to write this morning on the designs of Aaron Burr.”

At five in the afternoon Cary returned, quiet and handsome, ready with his account of matters at Greenwood, from the stable, upon which Major Churchill must pronounce, to the drawing-room paper, which awaited Miss Dandridge’s sentence. His behaviour was perfection, but “He’s hard hit," said his brother to himself. “What, pray, would Miss Churchill have?" And Unity, “The shepherds and shepherdesses don’t match. How can she have the heart?” And Major Churchill, “Are women blind? This is Hyperion to a satyr.” And Jacqueline, “Oh, miserable me! Is he writing or reading, or is he lying thinking, there in the blue room?”


Chapter I: The Road to Richmond  •  Chapter II: Mr. Jefferson  •  Chapter III: Fontenoy  •  Chapter IV: The Two Candidates  •  Chapter V: Monticello  •  Chapter VI: Rand Comes to Fontenoy  •  Chapter VII: The Blue Room  •  Chapter VIII: Cary and Jacqueline  •  Chapter IX: Expostulation  •  Chapter X: To Althea  •  Chapter XI: In the Garden  •  Chapter XII: A Marriage At Saint Margaret’s  •  Chapter XIII: The Three-Notched Road  •  Chapter XIV: The Law Office  •  Chapter XV: Company to Supper  •  Chapter XVI: At Lynch’s  •  Chapter XVII: Fairfax and Unity  •  Chapter XVIII: The Green Door  •  Chapter XIX: Monticello Again  •  Chapter XX: The Nineteenth of February  •  Chapter XXI: The Cedar Wood  •  Chapter XXII: Major Edward  •  Chapter XXIII: A Challenge  •  Chapter XXIV: The Duel  •  Chapter XXV: Old Saint John’s  •  Chapter XXVI: The Trial of Aaron Burr  •  Chapter XXVII: The Letter  •  Chapter XXVIII: Rand and Mocket  •  Chapter XXIX: The River Road  •  Chapter XXX: Homeward  •  Chapter XXXI: Husband and Wife  •  Chapter XXXII: The Brothers  •  Chapter XXXIII: Greenwood  •  Chapter XXXIV: Fairfax Cary  •  Chapter XXXV: The Image  •  Chapter XXXVI: In Pursuit  •  Chapter XXXVII: The Simple Right  •  Chapter XXXVIII: M. De Pincornet  •  Chapter XXXIX: Unity and Jacqueline  •  Chapter XI: The Way of the Transgressor

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Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston
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