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Waymark was at the station next morning half an hour before train-time. He waited for Ida’s arrival before taking his ticket. She did not come. He walked about in feverish impatience, plaguing himself with all manner of doubt and apprehension. The train came into the station, and yet she had not arrived. It started, and no sign of her.
He waited yet five minutes, then walked hastily into the town, and to Ida’s lodgings. Miss Starr, he was told, had left very early that morning; if he was Mr. Waymark, there was a note to be delivered to him.
“I thought it better that I should go to London by an earlier train, for we should not have been quite at our ease with each other. I beg you will not think my leaving you is due to anything but necessity—indeed it is not. I shall not be living at the old place, but any letter you send there I shall get. I cannot promise to reply at once, but hope you will let me do so when I feel able to.
Waymark took the next train to town.
Some twenty years before the date we have reached, the Rev. Paul Enderby, a handsome young man, endowed with moral and intellectual qualities considerably above the average, lived and worked in a certain small town of Yorkshire.
He had been here for two years, an unmarried man; now it was made known that this state of things was to come to an end; moreover, to the disappointment of not a few households, it was understood that the future Mrs. Enderby had been chosen from among his own people, in London. The lady came, and there was a field-day of criticism. Mrs. Enderby looked very young, and was undeniably pretty; she had accomplishments, and evidently liked to exhibit them before her homely visitors. She exaggerated the refinement of her utterance that it might all the more strike off against the local accent. It soon became clear that she would be anything but an assistance to her husband in his parochial work; one or two attempts were made, apparently with good will, at intercourse with the poor parishioners, but the enterprise was distinctly a failure; it had to be definitively given up. Presently a child was born in the parsonage, and for a little while the young mother’s attention was satisfactorily engaged at home. The child was a girl and received the name of Maud.
Paul Enderby struggled to bate no jot of his former activity, but a change was obvious to all. No less obvious the reason of it. Mrs. Enderby’s reckless extravagance had soon involved her husband in great difficulties. He was growing haggard; his health was failing; his activity shrank within the narrowest possible limits; he shunned men’s gaze.