'I think I ought. Why should I take upon myself to quarrel with a man I have not seen since I was a child, and who certainly is my cousin?'
'I do not know that he is your cousin;--nor do you.'
John Morton passed by the calumny which he had heard before, and which he knew that it was no good for him to attempt to subvert. 'He was received here as one of the family, ma'am.'
'I know he was; and with what result?'
'I don't think that I ought to turn my back upon him because my great grandfather left property away from me to him. It would give me a bad name in the county. It would be against me when I settle down to live here. I think quarrelling is the most foolish thing a man can do, --especially with his own relations.'
'I can only say this, John: let me know if he is coming, so that I may not be called upon to meet him. I will not eat at table with Reginald Morton.' So saying, the old lady, in a stately fashion, stalked out of the room.
THE OLD KENNELS
ON the next morning Mrs. Morton asked her grandson what he meant to do with reference to his suggested invitation to Reginald. 'As you will not meet him, of course I have given up the idea,' he said. The 'of course' had been far from true. He had debated the matter very much with himself. He was an obstinate man, with something of independence in his spirit. He liked money, but he liked having his own way too. The old lady looked as though she might live to be a hundred, --and though she might last only for ten years longer, was it worth his while to be a slave for that time? And he was by no means sure of her money, though he should be a slave. He almost made up his mind that he would ask Reginald Morton. But then the old lady would be in her tantrums, and there would be the disagreeable necessity of making an explanation to that inquisitive gentleman Mr. Elias Gotobed.