“Listen, Augustus,” I said. “I will not visit with you anywhere, and I will let every one know the reason, unless you swear, by whatever you hold sacred, that you will never utterly disgrace yourself again as you did last night. When you have decided to make this oath you can let me know.” And I left the room, leaving the air behind me thick with curses.
I had one of the most distant spare rooms prepared for myself, and when I was going to bed a note came to me.
“I swear,” it ran. “Only come back to me. I want to kiss you good-night.”
“Tell Mr. Gurrage I will see him in the morning,” I said to Atkinson, and I locked my door.
Augustus was not able to leave his room for four or five days after this. I left him almost entirely to himself, only going to see him once a day, to hear if he required anything.
At the end of the time his penitence was complete, and he promised me to change his ways for the future. He was horribly affectionate to me, but peace was restored.
I cannot say that I felt any happier, but it seemed a lull and calm after a storm. I tried to be more gentle and sympathetic to him and to take more interest in the house.
And so, at last, the 30th arrived, and our visit to Myrlton Castle.
We had to pass through London on our way there, and Augustus left me for an hour or two, while he went to his tailor’s, he said.
I had no money to shop with. I had spent all my first quarter’s allowance on books and a late wedding-present to Hephzibah, and I foolishly could not bring myself to ask Augustus for more.
So I sat in the hotel hall after lunch and watched the people passing by.
What had seemed a great sum of money to me in my days of poverty now appeared a very meagre allowance, as I had begun to realize what things cost. In making the settlement I had not been consulted. Grandmamma and the Marquis had arranged matters with my future husband, and I remember her words: “We have only been able to secure for your personal use a very mediocre sum, but your jointure in case of widowhood is quite magnificent.”
Augustus had promised her I should have everything I wanted in the world—“as much money as she likes to ask for, once she is my wife.”
It was the “asking for” that kept me penniless. I would not be so foolish as to spend it all at once the next time it came in. Meanwhile the knowledge that a sovereign or two is all one possesses in one’s pocket has a depressing effect upon the spirits.
“Run up what bills you like for your clothes,” Augustus has often said to me. “I don’t care, as long as they show the money that has been put into them and you make a good dash.”
So I sat on the sofa in the hotel hall musing all by myself.
Suddenly a desire came over me to take Augustus at his word. I, too, would go to my tailor’s.