“I would rather not say. It may have been the fault of the circumstances, which were awkward at the very least. O Clym—I cannot help expressing it—this is an unpleasant position that you have placed me in. But you must improve it—yes, say you will—for I hate it all now! Yes, take me to Paris, and go on with your old occupation, Clym! I don’t mind how humbly we live there at first, if it can only be Paris, and not Egdon Heath.”
“But I have quite given up that idea,” said Yeobright, with surprise. “Surely I never led you to expect such a thing?”
“I own it. Yet there are thoughts which cannot be kept out of mind, and that one was mine. Must I not have a voice in the matter, now I am your wife and the sharer of your doom?”
“Well, there are things which are placed beyond the pale of discussion; and I thought this was specially so, and by mutual agreement.”
“Clym, I am unhappy at what I hear,” she said in a low voice; and her eyes drooped, and she turned away.
This indication of an unexpected mine of hope in Eustacia’s bosom disconcerted her husband. It was the first time that he had confronted the fact of the indirectness of a woman’s movement towards her desire. But his intention was unshaken, though he loved Eustacia well. All the effect that her remark had upon him was a resolve to chain himself more closely than ever to his books, so as to be the sooner enabled to appeal to substantial results from another course in arguing against her whim.
Next day the mystery of the guineas was explained. Thomasin paid them a hurried visit, and Clym’s share was delivered up to him by her own hands. Eustacia was not present at the time.
“Then this is what my mother meant,” exclaimed Clym. “Thomasin, do you know that they have had a bitter quarrel?”
There was a little more reticence now than formerly in Thomasin’s manner towards her cousin. It is the effect of marriage to engender in several directions some of the reserve it annihilates in one. “Your mother told me,” she said quietly. “She came back to my house after seeing Eustacia.”
“The worst thing I dreaded has come to pass. Was mother much disturbed when she came to you, Thomasin?”
“Very much indeed?”
Clym leant his elbow upon the post of the garden gate, and covered his eyes with his hand.
“Don’t trouble about it, Clym. They may get to be friends.”
He shook his head. “Not two people with inflammable natures like theirs. Well, what must be will be.”
“One thing is cheerful in it—the guineas are not lost.”
“I would rather have lost them twice over than have had this happen.”
Amid these jarring events Yeobright felt one thing to be indispensable—that he should speedily make some show of progress in his scholastic plans. With this view he read far into the small hours during many nights.