"oh, but i asked you first, sir," the orphan insisted to the little man, who had revealed himself to be a journalist.
a journalist on the track of the fotherinton inheritance, whose secret had presumably been slumbering for centuries!
"ah, very well, then," the little man relented with a smile. "i am none other than wallace - walter wallace of the sentinel-trumpet. you are no doubt familiar with the name."
"i could pretend to be, sir, out of misguided politeness, but my imposture would soon be evident. but the truth is, i have led a most sheltered life, in the depths of the countryside - not this countryside."
130. ternwhistle persists
"but surely, sir," ternwhistle, having already absorbed the brunt of mr barbourforth's scorn, persisted, " if you wish to be well and truly rid of the matter, my proposal can not be as ridiculous as all that."
131. a confident declaration
"very likely complete nonsense."
132. added emphasis
"and in saying that, i am charitable."
133. a generous offer
"knowledgeable as i am in affairs of this sort, miss, i can not help but be skeptical. of course, if you wish to pursue your course of action, i have no interest in discouraging you." the reporter who had identified himself as wallace smiled at the orphan with only a hint of condescension. "in fact, if you would like to tell your story to the readers of the sentinel-trumpet, it would be much appreciated."
"oh no, sir," the orphan replied. "i am sure you mean kindly enough, but i have no wish to declare my folly to the world in such a manner."
"but you may as well accompany me to the house, rather than wait here for the return train."
134. waiting game
quiet had settled on madwood as the storm clouds gathered above it.
the cousins had nothing more to say , as they awaited the reading of the will on the following day.
except for arboreta, awaiting the reporter, the verandah was deserted.
136. a quandary
dark clouds were now forming over the railway stop.
as little as she was enjoying mr wallace's company, and as little as she was looking forward to visiting madwood now that mr wallace had torn the veil of folly from her eyes, the orphan saw nothing for it except to accompany him to the home of the fotherntons, if for no other reason than to get out of the rain which now seemed imminent.
but where, indeed, was the promised car?
a few raindrops fell on their heads.
wallace looked up, surveying the sky with more apparent amusement than concern.
though she felt a bit foolish stating something so obvious, the orphan could not forbear saying, "there does not seem to any shelter."
"no, there does not," agreed her companion.
"perhaps, then, we could begin to make our way, and meet the car on the road."