He was leaving England at once, and would return to his own country and his people. In his great grief, and with no further ties, he hoped they would receive him. He had only one object now in life—to get through with it and join those he loved in some happier sphere.
This was the substance of what he said to Zara when he came; and they kissed and blessed one another, and parted, perhaps for ever. The “Apache” and the “London Fog,” which would never be finished now he feared—the pain would be too great—would be sent to her to keep as a remembrance of their years of life together and the deep ties that bound them by the memory of those two graves.
And Zara in her weakness had cried for a long time after he had left.
And then she realized that all that part of her life was over now, and the outlook of what was to come held out no hope.
Francis Markrute had telegraphed to Wrayth, to try and find Tristram, but he was not there. He had not gone there at all. At the last moment he could not face it, he felt; he must go somewhere away alone—by the sea. A great storm was coming on—it suited his mood—so he had left even his servant in London and had gone off to a wild place on the Dorsetshire coast that he knew of, and there heard no news of any one. He would go back on the Friday, and see Zara the next day, as he had said he would do. Meanwhile he must fight his ghosts alone. And what ghosts they were!
Now on this Saturday morning Francis Markrute was obliged to leave his niece. His vast schemes required his attention in Berlin and he would be gone for a week, and then was going down to Montfitchet. Ethelrida had written Zara the kindest letters. Her fiance had told her all the pitiful story, and now she understood the tragedy in Zara’s eyes, and loved her the more for her silence and her honor.
But all these thoughts seemed to be things of naught to the sad recipient of her letters, since the one and only person who mattered now in her life knew, also, and held different ones. He was aware of all, and had no sympathy or pity—only blame—for her. And now that her health was better and she was able to think, this ceaseless question worried her; how could Tristram possibly have known all? Had he followed her? As soon as she would be allowed to go out she would go and see Jenny, and question her.
And Tristram, by the wild sea—the storm like his mood had lasted all the time—came eventually to some conclusions. He would return and see his wife and tell her that now they must part, that he knew of her past and he would trouble her no more. He would not make her any reproaches, for of what use? And, besides, she had suffered enough. He would go abroad at once, and see his mother for a day at Cannes, and tell her his arrangements, and that Zara and he had agreed to part—he would give her no further explanations—and then he would go on to India and Japan. And, after this, his plans were vague. It seemed as if life were too impossible to look ahead, but not until he could think of Zara with calmness would he return to England.