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Who else would be affected by this marriage? His nieces. At least, so the world would think and say, but he should take care that the world was wrong. On the contrary, if anybody rather benefited by the step he was about to take, it should be those girls; principally because they were the persons who would be selected for the world's pity, and also because, he could not tell why, he rather disliked them. It was very wrong, he knew, and he had often reasoned with himself, and struggled hard against it, but the result was always the same. They were no companions for him. He had tried very hard to make himself feel interested in them, but, beyond his natural kinsman interest and compassion for their forlorn state of orphanage, without effect. He had examined himself as to the cause of this want of interest, and had explained to himself that they were "frivolous;" by which he meant that they had no notions of business, of money, of responsibility, of the various items which make up the serious side of life. All those qualities which made up the charms of Marian Ashurst were wanting in these girls. In reality they were not in the least frivolous; they were far better educated and informed than most young ladies of their class, and one of them, Maude, had superior natural gifts. But they were not after their uncle's bent, and he could not make them so. That, however, was the exact reason why a man with such a keen sense of honour as Mr. Creswell should treat them with even extra consideration, and should be more than ever cautious that no such proceeding as his marriage should injure them in any possible way. He thought it was due to the girls, as well as advisable for many reasons, that they should be made acquainted with the forthcoming change as speedily as possible; and he took an opportunity of saying so to Marian on the Sunday evening. Marian quite agreed with him. She had never been enthusiastic on the subject of the girls, and she did not pretend to be now.
“Then, Jack, since we’ve decided that it’s a case of biting or being bitten, please get busy as quick as you can. I’m fairly wild to see what happens when that smoke is discovered. We must act as if we’re half frightened to death, even if we’re not supposed to know the nature of the cargo under our feet.”
The man's bitcher boomed, evidently set on full volume. "Mattaku shirazu," he said. "Excuse. Pia not teach entire use of Standard tongue."
Hatcher hesitated. "No," he said at last. "The male is responding well. Remember that when last this experiment was done every subject died; he is alive at least. But I am wondering. We can't quite communicate with the female—"
"Tonshu," the Indigenous Hominid said, bowing his head. He indicated the empty holster at his side: he was unarmed. "I come on taku, here to your honored precincts, to speak of things done and of future things. You are Hartford?"
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