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26. CHAPTER XXVI: THE AYLMER PARK HASHED CHICKEN COMES TO AN END (continued)
'Have you heard from Fred since he has been gone?' the old man asked one day, when he had come upon Clara still seated in the parlour in which they had lunched. He had been out, at the front of the house, scolding the under-gardener; but the man had taken away his barrow and left him, and Sir Anthony had found himself without employment.
'Only a line to say that he is to be here on the sixteenth.'
'I don't think people write so many love-letters as they did when I was young,' said Sir Anthony.
'To judge from the novels, I should think not. The old novels used to be full of love-letters.'
'Fred was never good at writing, I think.'
'Members of Parliament have too much to do, I suppose,' said Clara.
'But he always writes when there is any business. He's a capital man of business. I wish I could say as much for his brother or for myself.'
'Lady Aylmer seems to like work of that sort.'
'So she does. She's fond of it I am not. I sometimes think that Fred takes after her. Where was it you first knew him?'
'At Perivale. We used, both of us, to be staying with Mrs Winterfield.'
'Yes, yes; of course. The most natural thing in life. Well, my dear, I can assure you that I am quite satisfied.'
'Thank you, Sir Anthony. I'm glad to hear you say even as much as that.'
'Of course money is very desirable for a man situated like Fred; but he'll have enough, and if he is pleased, I am. Personally, as regards yourself, I am more than pleased. I am indeed.'
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