`I don't know. That's the point.'
`No patching it up with Clifford?'
`I suppose Clifford would take it,' said Connie. `He told me, after last time you talked to him, he wouldn't mind if I had a child, so long as I went about it discreetly.'
`Only sensible thing he could say, under the circumstances. Then I suppose it'll be all right.'
`In what way?' said Connie, looking into her father's eyes. They were big blue eyes rather like her own, but with a certain uneasiness in them, a look sometimes of an uneasy little boy, sometimes a look of sullen selfishness, usually good-humoured and wary.
`You can present Clifford with an heir to all the Chatterleys, and put another baronet in Wragby.'
Sir Malcolm's face smiled with a half-sensual smile.
`But I don't think I want to,' she said.
`Why not? Feeling entangled with the other man? Well! If you want the truth from me, my child, it's this. The world goes on. Wragby stands and will go on standing. The world is more or less a fixed thing and, externally, we have to adapt ourselves to it. Privately, in my private opinion, we can please ourselves. Emotions change. You may like one man this year and another next. But Wragby still stands. Stick by Wragby as far as Wragby sticks by you. Then please yourself. But you'll get very little out of making a break. You can make a break if you wish. You have an independent income, the only thing that never lets you down. But you won't get much out of it. Put a little baronet in Wragby. It's an amusing thing to do.'
And Sir Malcolm sat back and smiled again. Connie did not answer.
`I hope you had a real man at last,' he said to her after a while, sensually alert.
`I did. That's the trouble. There aren't many of them about,' she said.
`No, by God!' he mused. `There aren't! Well, my dear, to look at you, he was a lucky man. Surely he wouldn't make trouble for you?'
`Oh no! He leaves me my own mistress entirely.'
`Quite! Quite! A genuine man would.'
Sir Malcolm was pleased. Connie was his favourite daughter, he had always liked the female in her. Not so much of her mother in her as in Hilda. And he had always disliked Clifford. So he was pleased, and very tender with his daughter, as if the unborn child were his child.
He drove with her to Hartland's hotel, and saw her installed: then went round to his club. She had refused his company for the evening.
She found a letter from Mellors.
There he stood, tall and slender, and so different, in a formal suit of thin dark cloth. He had a natural distinction, but he had not the cut-to-pattern look of her class. Yet, she saw at once, he could go anywhere. He had a native breeding which was really much nicer than the cut-to-pattern class thing.
`Ah, there you are! How well you look!'
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