Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?: Vol. 2, Ch. 13

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"What should you do with the estate if I left it you?" the Squire said to her the first moment she was again back with him.

This was a question she could not answer instantly. She stood by his bedside for a while thinking,—holding her grandfather's hand and looking down upon the bed. He, with his rough watery old eyes, was gazing up into her face, as though he were trying to read her thoughts. "I think I should give it to my brother," she said.

"Then I'm d–––– if I'll leave it to you," said he.

She did not jump now, though he had sworn at her. She still stood, holding his hand softly, and looking down upon the bed. "If I were you, grandfather," she said almost in a whisper, "I would not trust myself to alter family arrangements whilst I was ill. I'm sure you would advise any one else against doing so."

"And if I were to leave it to Alice, she'd give it to him too," he said, speaking his thoughts out loud. "What it is you see in him, I never could even guess. He's as ugly as a baboon, with his scarred face. He has never done anything to show himself a clever fellow. Kate, give me some of that bottle the man sent." Kate handed him his medicine, and then stood again by his bedside.

"Where did he get the money to pay for his election?" the Squire asked, as soon as he had swallowed the draught. "They wouldn't give such a one as him credit a yard further than they could see him."

"I don't know where he got it," said Kate, lying.

"He has not had yours; has he?"

"He would not take it, sir."

"And you offered it to him?"

"Yes, sir."

"And he has not had it?"

"Not a penny of it, sir."

"And what made you offer it to him after what I said to you?"

"Because it was my own," said Kate, stoutly.

"You're the biggest idiot that ever I heard of, and you'll know it yourself some day. Go away now, and let me know when Gogram comes."

She went away, and for a time employed herself about her ordinary household work. Then she sat down alone in the dingy old dining-room, to think what had better be done in her present circumstances. The carpet of the room was worn out, as were also the covers of the old chairs and the horsehair sofa which was never moved from its accustomed place along the wall. It was not a comfortable Squire's residence, this old house at Vavasor. In the last twenty years no money had been spent on furniture or embellishments, and for the last ten years there had been no painting, either inside or out. Twenty years ago the Squire had been an embarrassed man, and had taken a turn in his life and had lived sparingly. It could not be said that he had become a miser. His table was kept plentifully, and there had never been want in his house. In some respects, too, he had behaved liberally to Kate and to others, and he had kept up the timber and fences on the property. But the house had become wretched in its dull, sombre, dirty darkness, and the gardens round it were as bad.