by Anthony Eliot


I. The Roots of the Enmity
II. An Unhappy Meeting
III. Middleton's Resolve
IV. The Election



"I shall go down to Wokingham", said Middleton, "a few days before the election, and the Major will stay here. I understand that there will be no other candidate, and I shall take the seat.

"The Major is a . . . flâneur. He has no interest beyond his own advancement. I can buy him for a hundred pounds. Here is his answer."

Wallace wondered at the hubris of his friend, and examined the note Middleton thrust upon him.

  No consideration would induce me to change my resolve in this matter, but I am willing to engage your services as my agent for a fee of £100.
            H. Middleton"



   Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
       Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
                  ---- BYRON

On hearing of Middleton's visit, Mr. Wentworth began his preparations. Meeting with Thomas Lake and Riley at the back of the tap-room of The Bull & Gate—where the landlord saw to it that they remained undisturbed—he laid out their plan of campaign.

"That d---l Middleton shall not have the seat," he raved, "not for Lord H———; no, nor for a hundred Lords! We shall see to it that every man's hand is turned against him when he arrives."

Lake unfolded a paper from his vest-pocket and smoothed it on the table. "Here are the expenses we should undertake."
    Doran £13 10s.
    Titwell £ 8 7s. 6d.
    St. Charles £25