’I have enough as it is, if I may only be allowed to know that it will not be capriciously withdrawn.’ The archdeacon filled his glass unconsciously, and sipped his wine, while he thought what further he might say. Perhaps it might be better that he should say nothing further at the moment. The major, however, was indiscreet, and pushed the question. ’May I understand, sir, that you threat is withdrawn, and that my income is secure?’
‘What, if you marry this girl?’
‘Yes sir; will my income be continued to me if I marry Miss Crawley?’
‘No, it will not.’ Then the father got up hastily, pushed the decanter back angrily from his hand, and without saying another word walked away into the drawing-room. That evening at the rectory was gloomy. The archdeacon now and again said a word or two to his daughter, and his daughter answered him in monosyllables. The major sat apart moodily, and spoke to no one. Mrs Grantly, understanding well what had passed, knew that nothing could be done at the present moment to restore family comfort; so she sat by the fire and knitted. Exactly at ten they all went to bed.
‘Dear Henry,’ said the mother to her son the next morning; ’think much of yourself and of your child, and of us, before you take any great step in your life.’
‘I will, mother,’ said he. Then he went out and put on his wrapper, and got into his dog-cart, and drove himself to Silverbridge. He had not spoken to his father since they were in the dining-room on the previous evening. When he started, the marchioness had not yet come downstairs; but at eleven she breakfasted, and at twelve she also was taken away. Poor Mrs Grantly had not had much comfort from her children’s visits.
THE CLERGYMAN’S HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK
Mrs Crawley had walked from Hogglestock to Silverbridge on the occasion of her visit to Mr Walker, the attorney, and had been kindly sent back by that gentleman in his wife’s little open carriage. The tidings which she brought home with her to her husband were very grievous. The magistrates would sit on the next Thursday—it was then Friday—and Mr Crawley had better appear before them to answer the charge made by Mr Soames. He would be served with a summons, which he would obey of his own accord. There had been many points very closely discussed between Walker and Mrs Crawley, as to which there had been great difficulty in the choice of words which should be tender enough to convey to her the very facts as they stood. Would Mr Crawley come, or must a policeman be sent to fetch him? The magistrate had already issued a warrant for his apprehension. Such in truth was the fact, but they had agreed with Mr Walker, that as there was no reasonable ground for anticipating any attempt at escape on the part of the reverend gentleman, the lawyer might use what gentle means he could for ensuring the clergyman’s attendance.