`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.
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