She was fully determined to speak her mind to the man, and to be checked by no feminine squeamishness. She would speak her mind to him, if she could force her way into his presence. And in doing this she would be debarred by no etiquette. It might be that she would fail, that he would lack the courage to see her, and would run away, even before all the servants, when he should hear who was standing in the hall. But, if he did so, she would try again, even though she should have to ride out into the hunting-field after him. Face to face she would tell him that he was a liar and a slanderer and no gentleman, though she should have to run round the world to catch him. When she reached Rufford, she went to the town and ordered breakfast and a carriage. As soon as she had eaten the meal, she desired the driver in a clear voice to take her to Rufford Hall. Was her maid to go with her? No. She would be back soon, and her maid would wait there till she had returned.
IN THE PARK
THIS thing that she was doing required an infinite amount of pluck,--of that sort of hardihood which we may not quite call courage, but which in a world well provided with policemen is infinitely more useful than courage. Lord Rufford himself was endowed with all the ordinary bravery of an Englishman, but he could have flown as soon as run into a lion's den as Arabella was doing. She had learned that Lady Penwether and Miss Penge were both at Rufford Hall, and understood well the difficulty there would be in explaining her conduct should she find herself in their presence. And there were all the servants there to stare at her, and the probability that she might be shown to the door and told that no one there would speak to her. She saw it all before her, and knew how bitter it might be;--but her heart was big enough to carry her through it. She was dressed very simply, but still by no means dowdily, in a black silk