Without another word, he turned to the door and walked out. She stood still and watched him go, a calm smile curving her lips, a very cyclone of passion tearing through her heart; and she scorned to recall him.
Deb yearned to have her Australian sisters—Frances was European— with her at Redford, as in the old days; she hated to be luxuriating there without them. But for a time the husbands stood in the way. She could not bring herself to ask them too. The draper she hardly knew at all—in her correspondence with Rose his name was rarely mentioned by either, except in comprehensive messages at the end of letters; and Bennet Goldsworthy’s company, Deb said, simply made her ill.
It had made her ill since, after her father’s death, the clergyman had permitted himself, in her hearing, to vent his personal disappointment at the unexpected smallness of his wife’s inheritance. The man had presumed to take the air of one reasonably aggrieved; he had even dropped angry words about “deception” in the first heat of his chagrin. “As if,” said haughty Deb, “it was not enough for him to have married one of us!” When he was understood to say that he had “arranged his life” in accordance with the expectations he had been given the right to entertain, Deb’s withering comment was: “As if his life matters!”
But she was intolerant in her dislikes.
Poor Mr Goldsworthy, incurable cadger that he was, was bound to feel the family reverses acutely. When he had married Miss Pennycuick for her good, in that risky manner, he had naturally expected to be rewarded for the deed. If ever it be safe to trust to appearances, it had seemed safe then, so far as the solidity of the Pennycuicks’ position was concerned. They had imposed upon him with their careless splendour; they had misled him by their condonation of the marriage, which restored Mary to her privileges as a daughter of the house; most thoroughly had they taken him in by that voluntary wedding gift of five hundred pounds. With his habit—which he took to be the general habit —of getting all he could and giving nothing that he was not obliged to give, he could not understand the airy flinging away of all that money, when there was no “call” for it, only as a proof that Mr Pennycuick had more than he needed for all the legitimate claims on him. And the old man had said, again and again, that his daughters would share and share alike in whatever he had to leave.
When Mr Bentley, the new parson, came—young, sincere, self-sacrificing, devoted, a poor preacher and a hard worker, who refused to batten on Redford bounty—all the old furniture of the parsonage was made over to him (on time payment), and the Goldsworthys began life in Melbourne on the basis of a rich wife. It was surprising how the legend grew amongst his set that Mr Goldsworthy had a rich wife. That she might dress the part on all occasions, so that