"I'm sure he'd think me a presumptuous idiot," said Austen. "Politicians are not idealists anywhere--the very word has become a term of reproach. Undoubtedly your father desires to set things right as much as any one else--probably more than any one."
"Oh, I know he does," exclaimed Victoria.
"If politics are not all that they should be," he went on, somewhat grimly, with an unpleasant feeling of hypocrisy, "we must remember that they are nobody's fault in particular, and can't be set right in an instant by any one man, no matter how powerful."
She turned her face to him gratefully, but he did not meet her look. They were on the driveway of Fairview.
"I suppose you think me very silly for asking such questions," she said.
"No," he answered gravely, "but politics are so intricate a subject that they are often not understood by those who are in the midst of them. I admire--I think it is very fine in you to want to know."
"You are not one of the men who would not wish a woman to know, are you?"
The note of pain in his voice surprised and troubled her. They were almost in sight of the house.