`How do you know it was that?'

`He seldom rides any other.'

`At any rate,' said my mother, `you will call to-morrow. Whether it be true or false, exaggerated or otherwise, we shall like to know how he is.'

`Fergus may go.

`Why not you?'

`He has more time: I am busy just now.'

`Oh! but Gilbert, how can you be so composed about it? You won't mind business, for an hour or two, in a case of this sort--when your friend is at the point of death!'

`He is not, I tell you!'

`For anything you know, he may be: you can't tell till you have seen him.--At all events, he must have met with some terrible accident, and you ought to see him: he'll take it very ~d of you if you don't.'

`Confound it! I can't. He and I have not been on good terms, of late.'

`Oh, my dear boy! Surely, surely, you are not so unforgiving as to carry your little differences to such a length as--'

`Little differences, indeed!' I muttered.

`Well, but only remember the occasion! Think how-'

`Well, well, don't bother me now--I'll see about it,' I replied.

And my seeing about it was to send Fergus next morning, with my mother's compliments, to make the requisite enquiries; for, of course, my going was out of the question--or sending a message, either. He brought back intelligence that the young squire was laid up with the complicated evils of a broken head and Certain contusions (occasioned by a fall--of which he did not trouble himself to relate the particulars-- and the subsequent misconduct of his horse), and a severe cold, the consequence of lying on the wet ground in the rain; but there were no broken bones, and no immediate prospects of dissolution.

It was evident then, that, for Mrs Graham's sake, it was not his intention to criminate me.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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