Had he known how thankful I was for that! I knew all that I wanted to know of Marcia Van Wyck and of their curious relations. And unfortunate as my ambush had seemed, demeaning to my honor and painful to my conscience, I had begun to look upon my venture beneath that infernal rock as a kind of mixed blessing. At least I knew!
Of Una, Jerry said much in terms of real friendship and undisguised admiration—of his visits to her in town and the progress of her work, a frankness which, alas! was the surest token of his infatuation elsewhere. And yet I could not believe that the boy was any more certain of the real nature of his feeling for Marcia than he had been a month ago. He was still bewildered, hypnotized, obsessed, his joyous days too joyous, his gloomy ones too hopeless. Like a green log, he burned with much crackling or sullenly simmered. But the fire was still there. Nothing had happened that would put it out, not even Una.
As the hour of the visit of the Habbertons approached, I found myself a prey to some misgivings. It was not difficult for me to imagine that the frank nature of Jerry’s visits to Una might have given the girl a false notion of the state of Jerry’s mind, for it was like the boy to have told her of Marcia’s mellifluous contrition which, as I knew, was no more genuine than any other of her carefully planned emotional crises. I did not know what Marcia thought of Una’s approaching visit or whether Jerry had even told her of it, but I had no fancy to see Una Habberton again placed in a false position. A visit to Miss Gore made one morning when Jerry was in town at the office showed me that even if Marcia knew of Una’s approaching visit, she had not told Miss Gore of it and also revealed the unpleasant fact of Channing Lloyd’s presence in the neighborhood, a guest of the Carews and at the very moment of my visit a companion of Marcia in a daylong drive up to Big Westkill Mountain. This was the way she was keeping her promise to give Lloyd up! What a little liar she was!