Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/407

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A Bundle of Life.

"Very interesting," remarked Sir Ventry; "but interesting things are never true."

"And the truth is only convincing when it is told by an experienced liar," observed Nicholas.

"Old Wiche has been dead for some time," said Sir Ventry, "and I never heard that he left Sidney either means of support or instructions; it ought to be made known if he did. One likes to hear that a man has behaved like a gentleman in such matters. Unfortunately, he died abroad, and his affairs were managed by these Italian scoundrels. One can get nothing out of them. I must say I like English straightforwardness."

"The Watchman must bring in a large income," said Van Huyster.

"Undoubtedly," replied Sir Ventry. "But what a rag the paper is! These Radicals are ruining the nation."

"I thought Wiche was a member of your own party."

"My own party," said Sir Ventry, "is not necessarily my own politics! As a man," he went on, after a pause, "I like the fellow well enough, and now that he has pushed his way into the world we all try to forget his origin. But with every desire to be fair, I cannot bring myself to regard him as a suitable match for any relative of my own. It is only too well-known that he admires my sister's step-daughter, Miss Gorm."

"That does not surprise me," said Van Huyster, fetching a deep sigh, "she is lovely. Her face is so bright yet so delicate—a star wrapped in gauze!"

Sir Ventry dropped his lower jaw, but recovered it