He’s just an infernal dude, your lordship, and I ‘ll throw him in the river if he says a word too much.”
“He has already said too much, Tompkins, confound him, don’t you know.”
“Then I ‘m to throw him in whether he says anything or not, sir?”
“Have you seen him?”
“No, your lordship, but James has. James says he wears a red coat and—”
“Never mind, Tompkins. He has no right to fish on this side of that log. The insufferable ass may own the land on the opposite side, but, confound his impertinence, I own it on this side.”
This concluding assertion of the usually placid but now irate Lord Bazelhurst was not quite as momentous as it sounded. As a matter of fact, the title to the land was vested entirely in his young American wife; his sole possession, according to report, being a title much less substantial but a great deal more picturesque than the large, much-handled piece of paper down in the safety deposit vault—lying close and crumpled among a million sordid, homely little slips called coupons.
It requires no great stretch of imagination to understand that Lord Bazelhurst had an undesirable neighbour. That neighbour was young Mr. Shaw—Randolph Shaw, heir to the Randolph fortune. It may be fair to state that Mr. Shaw also considered himself to be possessed of an odious neighbour. In other words, although neither had seen the other, there was a feud between the owners of the two estates that had all the earmarks of an ancient romance.