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15. CHAPTER XV: EVIL WORDS (continued)
'Because you would not then have understood as thoroughly as I wish you to do why I kept out of his way. For my wife's sake and for yours, if you will allow me to say so I do not wish to come to any open quarrel with him; but if we met, a quarrel would, I think, be inevitable. Mary has probably explained to you the nature of his offence against us?'
'Mrs Askerton has told me something as to which I am quite sure that she is mistaken.'
'I will say nothing about that, as I have no wish at all to set you against your cousin. I will bid you good-night now as you are close at home.' Then he turned round and left her.
Clara, as she thought of all this, could not but call to mind her cousin's remembrances about Miss Vigo and Mr Berdmore. What if he made some inquiry as to the correctness of his old recollections? Nothing, she thought, could be more natural. And then she reflected that, in the ordinary way of the world, persons feel none of that violent objection to the asking of questions about their antecedents which was now evinced by both Colonel and Mrs Askerton. But of one thing she felt quite assured that her cousin, Will Belton, would make no inquiry which he ought not to make; and would make no improper use of any information which he might obtain.
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