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In "The Worst Crime in the World" by G. K. Chesterton, a lawyer was talking to Father Brown:

“I must apologize for everything I said about the Captain,” he said to the priest as they drifted together towards the door. “He’s a thoroughly sensible fellow and quite sees my point. He asked me himself why I didn’t go north and see his old father; I could hear from the old man’s own lips how it stood about the inheritance. Well, he couldn’t say fairer than that, could he? But he’s so anxious to get the thing settled that he offered to take me up in his own car to Musgrave Moss. That’s the name of the estate. I suggested that, if he was so kind, we might go together; and we’re starting to-morrow morning.”

Does this "we" mean Brown and the lawyer? as the lawyer already said that "the captain offered to take me up in his own car to Musgrave Moss", so how can he suggest again on the captain to go together with him?

But in a later paragraph, this captain said:

“Look here,” he cried, speaking naturally enough, though they fancied his colour was changed. “I’m awfully sorry, Mr. Granby, but I find I can’t come north with you to-morrow. Of course, you will take the car all the same. Please do; I shan’t want it. I — I have to be in London for some days. Take a friend with you if you like.

He suggested "Take a friend with you if you like", as if "we" in the first passage didn't mean the "the lawyer and his friend Brown" already!!

So does the offer of "he offered to take me up in his own car to Musgrave Moss" mean "he offered me to go alone by his car with his chauffeur?

  • Incidentally, I'm enjoying reexperiencing these stories through your questions. The Father Brown mysteries were favorites of mine as a child. – Sean Duggan Jun 12 at 15:41
  • It's a pleasure to hear that @SeanDuggan. And as for this question, I think now that "he offered to take me up in his own car to Musgrave Moss" means "he offered me to go alone by his car with his chauffeur, because, as you said and as it turned out, the Captain had no intent of actually traveling up with the lawyer from the beginning. – Ahmed Samir Jun 14 at 9:23
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I believe that, in that first paragraph, Granby is actually just talking about himself and the Captain. He was only asking Father Brown's opinion of the man initially, not looking to invite him to come along. It is a little bit odd that he twice discusses them driving up together, but I suspect it's just a conversational flourish, mentioning that they're going together in the same sentence that he indicates that he had requested to go the next morning. Father Brown doesn't get introduced into the trip until the following lines from your second quote.

"My friend, Father Brown——" began the lawyer.

"If Captain Musgrave is really so kind," said Father Brown gravely. "I may explain that I have some status in Mr. Granby's inquiry, and it would be a great relief to my mind if I could go."

That said, I could reasonably see the initial offer from the Captain to Granby as being one of offering his car and chauffeur and the lawyer's second sentence indicating that he expected the Captain to come with him, but that's not how I understood it.

Of course, as we know by the end of the story, the Captain had no intent of actually traveling up with the lawyer for obvious reasons.

"They happened to be almost exactly alike," said the priest. "You could see from the family portraits how strong the likeness ran. And then you talk of his disguising himself. But in a sense everybody's dress is a disguise. The old man disguised himself in a wig, and the young man in a foreign beard. When he shaved and put the wig on his cropped head he was exactly like his father, with a little make-up. Of course, you understand now why he was so very polite about getting you to come up next day here by car. It was because he himself was coming up that night by train. He got in front of you, committed his crime, assumed his disguise, and was ready for the legal negotiations."

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