Friday, October 18, 2019

Page 1889

Again, Hector didn’t particularly care for what the man was implying, but he still resisted the urge to jump to any conclusions. It was important to keep a level head here, he felt. He knew only too well about how complex people and their relationships with one another could be. Families even more so. And he supposed the man was trying to pay him a compliment, as well, in his own way.

“In truth, I am relieved,” Lionel went on. “You are your own man, and that is a rarer and rarer thing in this day and age.”

Hector wanted to glance at Garovel but purposely held his gaze still. Ironic, he felt, that Lionel would say such a thing about a servant, of all people.

“I believe this country needs more people like you,” said Lionel. “You are an inspiration to many, you know.”

Boy, this guy sure was generous with the praise. Usually, Hector had a hard time dealing with that, but something about this conversation--or the context surrounding it, perhaps--was preventing any such flustered feelings from reaching him. It was hard to tell how genuine any of Lionel’s words were.

At the protracted silence, Lionel seemed to intuit that Hector was still waiting on him. “Ah, I apologize. I suppose you are wanting an answer to that rather penetrating question that you asked before, no? What underlying values of hers do I dislike? That is a tough one, I must admit. And I do find it very distasteful to speak ill of others. Are you sure you wish to pry these sour feelings out of me? Would it not be best to simply let sleeping dogs lie, as it were?”

Were all of these meetings going to go like this? Hector hoped not. “...Weren’t you the one who just said that old wounds have a way of resurfacing when ignored?”

Lionel paused at that, then smiled. “Aha... I suppose you have got me there.” Then he frowned.

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