"Well, why not give in and let me have this one thing as I want it? It don't amount to much, one way or the other. The boy is sickly and isn't likely to live long at best."
An intonation of anxiety rang in the question.
"But you prefer the science?"
"But hang it allâ€”why do you want to balk and torment me so?"
"But he isn't to blame for that, is he?"