"I reckon you have thought better of my offer by this time," he said, with a surly swagger, to Erik. "What do you hold your mare at to-day?"
"I thought we had settled that matter once for all," the boy replied, quietly. "I have no more intention of selling Lady Clare now than I ever had."
"Then will ye trade her off for Valders-Roan?" ejaculated Garvestad, eagerly.
"No, I won't trade her for Valders-Roan or any other horse in creation."
"Don't be cantankerous, now, young fellow, or you might repent of it."
"I am not cantankerous. But I beg of you kindly to drop this matter. I came here, at your invitation, as a guest at your wedding, not for the purpose of trading horses."
It was an incautious speech, and was interpreted by everyone present as a rebuke to the bridegroom for his violation of the rules of hospitality. The captain, anxious to avoid a row, therefore broke in, in a voice of friendly remonstrance: "My dear Mr. Garvestad, do let us drop this matter. If you will permit us, we should like to dismount and drink a toast to your health, wishing you a long life and much happiness."
"Ah, yes, I understand your smooth palaver," the bridegroom growled between his teeth. "I have stood your insolence long enough, and, by jingo, I won't stand it much longer. What will ye take for your mare, I say, or how much do you want to boot, if you trade her for Valders-Roan?"