On the next day even this straw had to be discarded, for there was a letter from Iris confirming that there was an engagement; and though this was still unofficial, and meant to be kept so for some time yet, Iris’s letter concluded with an eulogy of her son-in-law to be, which made it clear that she certainly was not to be counted upon in this crisis.
On reflection, I suppose my original assumption that Tara needed an excuse indicates that from the first I myself thought the match unsuitable; and I must confess that my reasons for this were not too different from those of my mother. Though I am only two years older than Iris, the fact that I have lived all my life at the Old Place, while she married early and went to Colombo, has contributed to my feelings about family being much more akin to those of my mother than to hers. Of course I am sufficiently of my own generation to realize, unlike my mother, that my prejudices cannot be objectively justified. But that in no way diminished the strength of my conviction that it would not be fitting for Nimal to end up as the master of Old Place.