"Try me, Richard, in as few words as possible."
"Well, there was a row at home about my going so much to Hallijohn's. The governor and my mother thought I went after Afy; perhaps I did, and perhaps I didn't. Hallijohn had asked me to lend him my gun, and that evening, when I went to see Af--when I went to see some one-- never mind--"
"Richard," interrupted Mr. Carlyle, "there's an old saying, and it is sound advice: 'Tell the whole truth to your lawyer and your doctor.' If I am to judge whether anything can be attempted for you, you must tell it to me; otherwise, I would rather hear nothing. It shall be sacred trust."
"Then, if I must, I must," returned the yielding Richard. "I did love the girl. I would have waited till I was my own master to make her my wife, though it had been for years and years. I could not do it, you know, in the face of my father's opposition."
"Your wife?" rejoined Mr. Carlyle, with some emphasis.
Richard looked surprised. "Why, you don't suppose I meant anything else! I wouldn't have been such a blackguard."
"Well, go on, Richard. Did she return your love?"
"I can't be certain. Sometimes I thought she did, sometimes not; she used to play and shuffle, and she liked too much to be with--him. I would think her capricious--telling me I must not come this evening, and I must not come the other; but I found out they were the evenings when she was expecting him. We were never there together."