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with two glasses of Bristol Cream, one for her and one for his sister.
'I I don't know what to say. I can hardly believe you mean this seriously,'
said Mary Bancroft. 'To agree to marry a man whom you've only known for
a few days . . . and who's so unsuitable for you ... I can't take it in yet,
Savanna. It's so extraordinarily unlike you. You've never been the giddy
type of girl. I just can't think what's come over you.'
'Love has come over me, Mother.'
'In a week or less? Don't be absurd, dear. Love is something which grows
with knowing. All you know about him at present is that you find him
attractive. If in six months, or even three months, you both still feel the same
way, one will begin to take it seriously. But as for a celebration party, or any
kind of public announcement . . . that I cannot go along with, my dear.'
Ever since her mother's animadversions about him, immediately after his
departure, Savanna had been worried that this would be her attitude to their
news. Now, torn by divided loyalties, she sat silent and downcast,
wondering how he would react to being told he was unacceptable.
'Can I put my oar in here?' asked Benjy. 'If this chap Jago is thirty-three, he
at least ought to know his own mind; and there are other things he could
have proposed which you would have liked a lot less, Mother.'
Mrs Bancroft's thin, pale face flushed. 'I'm aware of that, Benjy, and
certainly it's something in his favour. But I've met Mr Kindersley. You
haven't, and--'
'For a few minutes, Mother,' Savanna broke in. 'For a quarter of an hour at
the most. Not for long enough to make a definite judgment.'
'Anyway, whatever we think of him, it's Savanna who's going to marry him,'
said Benjy. 'I think a filthy-rich brother-in-law is exactly what this family
needs. With Richard and Mike and Joey still being expensive passengers,
and only Savanna and me supporting ourselves and contributing, we're
barely keeping afloat.'
'To encourage your sister to marry in reckless haste merely because the man
is wealthy shows a very immature outlook, Benjy. We're passing through a
difficult period yes. But it won't last for ever. Savanna's marriage will, I
hope, last her whole life, as mine would have done if it hadn't been for
Daddy's accident. It's at times like this I miss him so much. He would have
taken the same view, and you would have listened to him, Savanna. You
always took your problems to him, and acted on his advice.'
'But I was a schoolgirl then, Mother. I'm grown up now. I h^ve to deal with
my problems by myself and I don't see why this has to be one. Benjy is
right, darling. No one else can decide who is the right husband for me.'
'I'm not trying to decide for you, my dear. I'm merely asking you to wait.
You're not twenty yet. How can you think of committing the rest of your life
to a man who is virtually a stranger? Mostly, when marriages break down,
it's because of a score of minor pinpricks which, cumulatively, make one or
both partners' lives intolerable.
These are things which one doesn't discover in the first flush of love,
Savanna. They only reveal themselves gradually. Please . . . please ... be
sensible about this. Wait a while, that's all I'm asking of you.'
'I don't think Jago will wait or not very long. He's a man who, having made
a decision, acts on it,' said Savanna.
'If he loves you, and you insist on a reasonable interval between your
meeting and an engagement, he will have to abide by your decision.
Marriage is essentially a give- and-take relationship. He can't expect to rule
the roost completely.'
'Why not? If I don't mind his doing so?'
'This pot of tea will be stone cold if someone doesn't pour it out,' said Benjy,
reaching for it. 'I think we should all go to this lunch party, and enjoy a
sample of the lifestyle he's offering Savanna, and then you should argue it
out with him, Mother.'
'Don't be frivolous, Benjy. This is no laughing matter.'
'I'm not laughing, and nor is Savanna. She looks more like crying,' he said,
with a sympathetic glance at her. 'I hope when I bring home a girl I'm [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]