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20. CHAPTER XX: WILLIAM BELTON DOES NOT GO OUT HUNTING (continued)
'You can't help that. It's yours by law.'
'Of course it is. I know that. And as it's mine I can do what I like with it. Well good-bye. When I've got anything to say, I'll write.' Then he went down to his cab and had himself driven to the Great Western Railway Hotel.
Captain Aylmer had sent to his betrothed seventy. five pounds; the exact interest at five per cent, for one year of the sum which his aunt had left her. This was the first subject of which Belton thought when he found himself again in the railway carriage, and he continued thinking of it half the way down to Taunton. Seventy-five pounds! As though this favoured lover were prepared to give her exactly her due, and nothing more than her due! Had he been so placed, he, Will Belton, what would he have done? Seventy-five pounds might have been more money than she would have wanted, for he would have taken her to his own house to his own bosom as soon as she would have permitted, and would have so laboured on her behalf, taking from her shoulders all money troubles, that there would have been no question as to principal or interest between them. At any rate be would not have confined himself to sending to her the exact sum which was her due. But then Aylmer was a cold-blooded man more like a fish than a man. Belton told himself over and over again that he had discovered that at the single glance which he had had when he saw Captain Aylmer in Green's chambers. Seventy-five pounds indeed! He himself was prepared to give his whole estate to her, if she would take it even though she would not marry him, even though she was going to throw herself away upon that fish! Then he felt somewhat as Hamlet did when he jumped upon Laertes at the grave of Ophelia. Send her seventy-five pounds indeed, while he was ready to drink up Esil for her, or to make over to her the whole Belton estate, and thus abandon the idea for ever of being Belton of Belton!
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