Anthony Trollope: The Belton Estate


At the door of the hotel of the Great Northern Railway Station they met Captain Aylmer. Rooms had been taken there because they were to start by an early train on that line in the morning, and Captain Aylmer had undertaken to order dinner. There was nothing particular in the meeting to make it unpleasant to our friend Will. The fortunate rival could do no more in the hall of the inn than give his hand to his affianced bride, as he might do to any other lady, and then suggest to her that she should go upstairs and see her room. When he had done this, he also offered his hand to Belton; and Will, though he would almost sooner have out off his own, was obliged to take it. In a few minutes the two men were standing alone together in the sitting-room.

'I suppose you found it cold coming up?' said the captain.

'Not particularly,' said Will.

'It's rather a long journey from Belton.'

'Not very long,' said Will.

'Not for you, perhaps; but Miss Amedroz must be tired.'

Belton was angry at having his cousin called Miss Amedroz feeling that the reserve of the name was intended to keep him at a distance. But he would have been equally angry had Aylmer called her Clara.

'My cousin,' said Will, stoutly, 'is able to bear slight fatigue of that kind without suffering.'

'I didn't suppose she suffered; but journeys are always tedious, especially where there is so much roadwork. I believe you are twenty miles from the station?'

'Belton Castle is something over twenty miles from Taunton.'

'We are seven from our station at Aylmer Park, and we think that a great deal.'

'I'm more than that at Plaistow,' said Will.

'Oh, indeed. Plaistow is in Norfolk, I believe?'

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