Hearing some one at her door, Julia put the letter away. It was Emily.
’I’ve just received a letter from Mr. Grandly, saying that that man is coming here to-day, and that we are to send the dog-cart for him.’
‘Is not that the very best thing that——’
’We cannot remain here, we must leave a note for him, or something of that kind. I wouldn’t remain here to meet him for worlds. I really couldn’t, Julia.’
‘And why not, Emily?’
‘To meet the man who is coming to turn me out of Ashwood!’
’How do you know that he is coming to turn you out of Ashwood? You imagine these things.... Do you suppose that Mr. Grandly would send him down here if he did not know what his intentions were?’
‘But we shall have to leave Ashwood.’
’Very likely, but not in the way you imagine. Remember, Mr. Price is your cousin; you may like him very much. Let’s be guided by Mr. Grandly; I have not seen your letter, but apparently he advises us to remain here and receive him.’
‘I don’t think I can, Julia. I have misgivings.’
‘Have you been dreaming again?’
‘No; I’ve not been dreaming, but I have misgivings.’
’You are a silly little goose, Emily. Come and give me a kiss, and promise to take my advice.’
’Dearest Julia, you do love me, don’t you? Promise me that we shall not be separated, and then I don’t mind.’
’Yes, dear, I promise you that, and you will promise me to try to like your cousin?’
’I’ll try, Julia, but I’m awfully frightened, and—I don’t think I could like him, no matter what he was like. I feel a sort of hatred in my heart. Don’t you know what I mean?’ And the girl looked questioningly into her friend’s eyes.
‘I am Miss Watson,’ she said in her low musical voice, ’and this is my friend, Mrs. Bentley.’ Hubert bowed, and sought for words. He found none, and the irritating silence was broken again by Miss Watson. ’Won’t you sit down?’ she said.