“Then it is done,” said Mrs. Yeobright. “Have they gone to their new home?”
“I don’t know. I have had no news from Mistover since Thomasin left to go.”
“You did not go with her?” said she, as if there might be good reasons why.
“I could not,” said Wildeve, reddening slightly. “We could not both leave the house; it was rather a busy morning, on account of Anglebury Great Market. I believe you have something to give to Thomasin? If you like, I will take it.”
Mrs. Yeobright hesitated, and wondered if Wildeve knew what the something was. “Did she tell you of this?” she inquired.
“Not particularly. She casually dropped a remark about having arranged to fetch some article or other.”
“It is hardly necessary to send it. She can have it whenever she chooses to come.”
“That won’t be yet. In the present state of her health she must not go on walking so much as she has done.” He added, with a faint twang of sarcasm, “What wonderful thing is it that I cannot be trusted to take?”
“Nothing worth troubling you with.”
“One would think you doubted my honesty,” he said, with a laugh, though his colour rose in a quick resentfulness frequent with him.
“You need think no such thing,” said she drily. “It is simply that I, in common with the rest of the world, feel that there are certain things which had better be done by certain people than by others.”
“As you like, as you like,” said Wildeve laconically. “It is not worth arguing about. Well, I think I must turn homeward again, as the inn must not be left long in charge of the lad and the maid only.”
He went his way, his farewell being scarcely so courteous as his greeting. But Mrs. Yeobright knew him thoroughly by this time, and took little notice of his manner, good or bad.
When Wildeve was gone Mrs. Yeobright stood and considered what would be the best course to adopt with regard to the guineas, which she had not liked to entrust to Wildeve. It was hardly credible that Thomasin had told him to ask for them, when the necessity for them had arisen from the difficulty of obtaining money at his hands. At the same time Thomasin really wanted them, and might be unable to come to Blooms-End for another week at least. To take or send the money to her at the inn would be impolite, since Wildeve would pretty surely be present, or would discover the transaction; and if, as her aunt suspected, he treated her less kindly than she deserved to be treated, he might then get the whole sum out of her gentle hands. But on this particular evening Thomasin was at Mistover, and anything might be conveyed to her there without the knowledge of her husband. Upon the whole the opportunity was worth taking advantage of.
Her son, too, was there, and was now married. There could be no more proper moment to render him his share of the money than the present. And the chance that would be afforded her, by sending him this gift, of showing how far she was from bearing him ill-will, cheered the sad mother’s heart.