Anthony Trollope: The Belton Estate


'Why don't you call him Will?' Clara said to her father. This question was asked on the evening of that Monday on which Mr Amedroz had given his consent as to the marriage proposal.

'Call him Will! Why should I?'

'You used to do so, when he was a boy.'

'Of course I did; but that is years ago. He would think it impertinent now.'

'Indeed he would not; he would like it. He has told me so. It sounds so cold to him to be called Mr Belton by his relations.'

The father looked at his daughter as though for a moment he also suspected that matters had really been arranged between her and her future lover without his concurrence, and before his sanction had been obtained. But if for a moment such a thought did cress his mind, it did not dwell there. He trusted Belton; but as to his daughter, he knew that he might be sure of her. It would be impossible with her to keep such a secret from him, even for half a day. And yet, how odd it was! Here was a man who in three days had fallen in love with his daughter; and here was his daughter apparently quite as ready to be in love with the man. How could she, who was ordinarily circumspect, and almost cold in her demeanour towards strangers who was from circumstances and from her own disposition altogether hostile to flirting intimacies how could this Clara have changed her nature so speedily? The squire did not understand it, but was prepared to believe that it was all for the best. 'I'll call him Will, if you like it,' said he.

'Do, papa, and then I can do so also. He is such a good fellow, and I am so fond of him.'

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