Mrs. Costello and Lucia had grown, to some degree, accustomed to their Paris life. Its novelty had at first prevented them from feeling its loneliness; but as time went on, there began to be something dreary in the absence of every friendly face, every familiar voice. Mrs. Costello would not even write to Canada until she could feel tolerably sure that her letters would only arrive after the Leighs had left; she had taken pains to find out all Mr. Leigh could tell her of Maurice’s intentions, and she guessed that, for one reason or another, he would not be likely to stay longer in Cacouna than was necessary. Even when she wrote to Mrs. Bellairs she did not give her own address, but that of the banker through whom her money was transmitted.
She felt sore and angry whenever she thought of Maurice. She had perceived Mr. Leigh’s embarrassed manner, and guessed, by a half-conscious reasoning of her own, that he believed his son changed towards them, but she did not guess on how very small a foundation this belief rested. She had thought it right to give up, on Lucia’s behalf, any claim she had on the young man’s fidelity; but to find him so very ready to accept the sacrifice, was quite another thing. It was so unlike Maurice, she said to herself; and then it occurred to her that Mr. Beresford might have planned some marriage for his grandson as a condition of his inheritance. Certainly she had heard no hint of such a thing, and up to a short time ago she was pretty sure Maurice himself could have had no idea of it; yet it was perfectly possible, and Mr. Leigh might have been warned to say nothing to her about it. All these thoughts, though Maurice might, if he had known, have been inclined to resent them, had the effect of keeping him constantly in Mrs. Costello’s mind; and she puzzled over his conduct until she came to have her wishes pretty equally divided; on one hand, desiring to keep to her plan of a total separation between Lucia and him; and on the other, longing to see or hear of him, in order to know whether her former or her present opinion of him was the correct one.
It happened, therefore, that Maurice was much more frequently spoken of between the mother and daughter than should have been the case if Mrs. Costello had carried out her theories. If Lucia had been ever so little “in love” with him when she reached Paris, she would have had plenty of opportunity for increasing her fancy by dwelling on the object of it; but Mrs. Costello’s wishes were forwarded by the very last means she would have chosen as her auxiliary. Lucia talked of Maurice because she thought of him as a friend, or rather as a dear brother. She said nothing of Percy, but she dreamt of him, and longed inexpressibly to hear even his name mentioned. She had heard nothing of him, except some slight casual mention, since he went away. He had said then that, perhaps in a year, she might change her mind; and she had said to herself, “Surely he will