The Woman Thou Gavest Me eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 874 pages of information about The Woman Thou Gavest Me.


That was the beginning of the end, and when, next day towards noon, my husband came with drowsy eyes to make a kind of ungracious apology, saying he supposed the doctor had been sent for, I said: 

“James, I want you to take me home.”

“Home?  You mean . . .  Castle Raa?”


He hesitated, and I began to plead with him, earnestly and eagerly, not to deny me what I asked.

“Take me home, I beg, I pray.”

At length, seeming to think I must be homesick, he said: 

“Well, you know my views about that God-forsaken place, but the season’s nearly at an end, and I don’t mind going back on one condition—­that you raise no objection to my inviting a few friends to liven it up a bit?”

“It is your house,” I said.  “You must do as you please in it.”

“Very good; that’s settled,” he said, getting up to go.  “And I dare say it will do you no harm to be out of the way of all this church-going and confessing to priests, who are always depressing people even when they’re not making mischief.”

Hardly had my husband left me when Alma came into my sitting-room in the most affectionate and insincere of her moods.

“My poor, dear sweet child,” she said.  “If I’d had the least idea you were feeling so badly I shouldn’t have allowed Jimmy to stay another minute at that tiresome reception.  But how good it was of Mr. Conrad to come all that way to see you!  That’s what I call being a friend now!”

Then came the real object of her visit—­I saw it coming.

“I hear you’re to have a house-party at Castle Raa.  Jimmy’s in his room writing piles of invitations.  He has asked me and I should love to go, but of course I cannot do so without you wish it.  Do you?”

What could I say?  What I did say I scarcely know.  I only know that at the next minute Alma’s arms were round my neck, and she was saying: 

“You dear, sweet, unselfish little soul!  Come let me kiss you.”

It was done.  I had committed myself.  After all what right had I to raise myself on a moral pinnacle now?  And what did it matter, anyway?  I was flying from the danger of my own infidelities, not to save my husband from his.

Price had been in the room during this interview and when it was over I was ashamed to look at her.

“I can’t understand you, my lady; I really can’t,” she said.

Next day I wrote a little letter to Martin on the Scotia telling him of our change of plans, but forbidding him to trouble to come up to say good-bye, yet half hoping he would disregard my injunction.

He did.  Before I left my bedroom next morning I heard his voice in the sitting-room talking to Price, who with considerable emphasis was giving her views of Alma.

When I joined him I thought his face (which had grown to be very powerful) looked hard and strained; but his voice was as soft as ever while he said I was doing right in going home and that my native air must be good for me.

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The Woman Thou Gavest Me from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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