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45. CHAPTER XLV: THE STANHOPES AT HOME (continued)
'It means this,' said the doctor, speaking more loudly than was his wont, and with wrath flashing from his eyes; 'that as sure as God rules in heaven, I will not maintain him any longer in idleness.'
'Oh, ruling in heaven!' said Charlotte. 'It is no use talking about that. You must rule him here on earth; and the question is, how you can do it. You can't turn him out of the house penniless, to beg about the street.'
'He may beg where he likes.'
'He must go back to Carrara. That is the cheapest place he can live at, and nobody there will give him credit for above two or three hundred pauls. But you must let him have the means of going.'
'As sure as--'
'Oh papa, don't swear. You know you must do it. You were ready to pay two hundred pounds for him if the marriage came off. Half that will start him to Carrara.'
'What? Give him a hundred pounds!'
'You know we are all in the dark, papa,' said she, thinking it expedient to change the conversation. 'For anything we know, he may be at this moment engaged to Mrs Bold.'
'Fiddlestick,' said the father, who had seen the way in which Mrs Bold had got into the carriage, while his son stood apart without even offering her his hand.
'Well, then, he must go to Carrara.' said Charlotte.
Just at this moment the lock of the front door was heard, and Charlotte's quick care detected her brother's cat-like step in the hall. She said nothing, feeling that for the present Bertie had better keep out of her father's way. But Dr Stanhope also heard the sound of the lock.
'Who's that?' he demanded. Charlotte made no reply, and he asked again. 'Who is that that has just come in? Open the door. Who is it?'
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