Chapter 8: Medieval
"I didn't mean to be unkind." Then he added: "But I do think Lucy
might have got this off her chest in Italy. I don't know how
girls manage things, but she can't have said 'No' properly
before, or she wouldn't have to say it again now. Over the whole
thing--I can't explain--I do feel so uncomfortable."
"Do you indeed, dear? How interesting!"
"I feel--never mind."
He returned to his work.
"Just listen to what I have written to Mrs. Vyse. I said: 'Dear
"Yes, mother, you told me. A jolly good letter."
"I said: 'Dear Mrs. Vyse, Cecil has just asked my permission
about it, and I should be delighted, if Lucy wishes it. But--'"
She stopped reading, "I was rather amused at Cecil asking my
permission at all. He has always gone in for unconventionality,
and parents nowhere, and so forth. When it comes to the point, he
can't get on without me."
"What do you mean?"
"He asked me for my permission also."
She exclaimed: "How very odd of him!"
"Why so?" asked the son and heir. "Why shouldn't my permission be
"What do you know about Lucy or girls or anything? What ever did
"I said to Cecil, 'Take her or leave her; it's no business of
"What a helpful answer!" But her own answer, though more normal
in its wording, had been to the same effect.