Lord Rufford, when he received the above very ardent epistle, was quite aware that he had better not go to Mistletoe. He understood the matter nearly as well as Arabella did herself. But there was a feeling with him that, up to that stage of the affair, he ought to do what he was asked by a young lady, even though there might be danger. Though there was danger, there would still be amusement. He therefore wrote again as follows:--
'DEAR MISS TREFOIL,--
'You shan't be disappointed, whether it be Jack or any less useful animal that you wish to see. At any rate, Jack--and the other animal--will be at Mistletoe on the 15th. I have written to the duke by this post. I can only hope that you will be grateful. After all your abuse about my getting back my money, I think you ought to be very grateful. I have got it back again, but I can assure you that has had nothing to do with it.
'We had two miserably abortive days last week.'
Arabella felt that a great deal of the compliment was taken away by the postscript; but still she was grateful and contented.
WHILE the correspondence given in the last chapter was going on, Miss Trefoil had other troubles besides those there narrated, and other letters to answer. Soon after her departure from Rufford she received a very serious but still an affectionate epistle from John Morton in which he asked her if it was her intention to become his wife or not. The letter was very long as well as very serious and need not be given here at length. But that was the gist of it; and he went on to say that in regard to