“You had better not talk any more now, Clym,” said Eustacia faintly from the other part of the room, for the scene was growing intolerable to her.
“Let me talk to you instead for the little time I shall be here,” Thomasin said soothingly. “Consider what a one-sided way you have of looking at the matter, Clym. When she said that to the little boy you had not found her and taken her into your arms; and it might have been uttered in a moment of bitterness. It was rather like aunt to say things in haste. She sometimes used to speak so to me. Though she did not come I am convinced that she thought of coming to see you. Do you suppose a man’s mother could live two or three months without one forgiving thought? She forgave me; and why should she not have forgiven you?”
“You laboured to win her round; I did nothing. I, who was going to teach people the higher secrets of happiness, did not know how to keep out of that gross misery which the most untaught are wise enough to avoid.”
“How did you get here tonight, Thomasin?” said Eustacia.
“Damon set me down at the end of the lane. He has driven into East Egdon on business, and he will come and pick me up by-and-by.”
Accordingly they soon after heard the noise of wheels. Wildeve had come, and was waiting outside with his horse and gig.
“Send out and tell him I will be down in two minutes,” said Thomasin.
“I will run down myself,” said Eustacia.
She went down. Wildeve had alighted, and was standing before the horse’s head when Eustacia opened the door. He did not turn for a moment, thinking the comer Thomasin. Then he looked, started ever so little, and said one word: “Well?”
“I have not yet told him,” she replied in a whisper.
“Then don’t do so till he is well—it will be fatal. You are ill yourself.”
“I am wretched... O Damon,” she said, bursting into tears, “I—I can’t tell you how unhappy I am! I can hardly bear this. I can tell nobody of my trouble—nobody knows of it but you.”
“Poor girl!” said Wildeve, visibly affected at her distress, and at last led on so far as to take her hand. “It is hard, when you have done nothing to deserve it, that you should have got involved in such a web as this. You were not made for these sad scenes. I am to blame most. If I could only have saved you from it all!”
“But, Damon, please pray tell me what I must do? To sit by him hour after hour, and hear him reproach himself as being the cause of her death, and to know that I am the sinner, if any human being is at all, drives me into cold despair. I don’t know what to do. Should I tell him or should I not tell him? I always am asking myself that. O, I want to tell him; and yet I am afraid. If he find it out he must surely kill me, for nothing else will be in proportion to his feelings now. ‘Beware the fury of a patient man’ sounds day by day in my ears as I watch him.”