“Nothing. But keep yourself ready to carry out any plan that I may propose. Something will turn up, now that I have got into the house myself. Leave me to find out the means. I can expect no invention from your brains. You can go home.”
Euphra turned without another word, and went; murmuring, as if in excuse to herself:
“It is for my freedom. It is for my freedom.”
Of course this account must have come originally from Euphra herself, for there was no one else to tell it. She, at least, believed herself compelled to do what the man pleased. Some of my readers will put her down as insane. She may have been; but, for my part, I believe there is such a power of one being over another, though perhaps only in a rare contact of psychologically peculiar natures. I have testimony enough for that. She had yielded to his will once. Had she not done so, he could not have compelled her; but, having once yielded, she had not strength sufficient to free herself again. Whether even he could free her, further than by merely abstaining from the exercise of the power he had gained, I doubt much.
It is evident that he had come to the neighbourhood of Arnstead for the sake of finding her, and exercising his power over her for his own ends; that he had made her come to him once, if not oftener, before he met Hugh, and by means of his acquaintance, obtained admission into Arnstead. Once admitted, he had easily succeeded, by his efforts to please, in so far ingratiating himself with Mr. Arnold, that now the house-door stood open to him, and he had even his recognised seat at the dinner-table.
Spirit versus materialism.
Next this marble venomed seat,
Smeared with gums of glutinous heat,
I touch with chaste palms moist and cold —
Now the spell hath lost his hold.
Milton. — Comas.
Next morning Lady Emily felt better, and wanted to get up: but her eyes were still too bright, and her hands too hot; and Margaret would not hear of it.
Fond as Lady Emily was in general of Mrs. Elton’s society, she did not care to have her with her now, and got tired of her when Margaret was absent.
They had taken care not to allow Miss Cameron to enter the room; but to-day there was not much likelihood of her making the attempt, for she did not appear at breakfast, sending a message to her uncle that she had a bad headache, but hoped to take her place at the dinner-table.
During the day, Lady Emily was better, but restless by fits.
“Were you not out of the room for a little while last night, Margaret?” she said, rather suddenly.
“Yes, my lady. I told you I should have to go, perhaps.”
“I remember I thought you had gone, but I was not in the least afraid, and that dreadful man never came near me. I do not know when you returned. Perhaps I had fallen asleep; but when I thought about you next, there you were by my bedside.”