“But you see why I cannot come with Elvira. Not only do I not dare to meet my mother, but it might bring down upon her one whom she could not welcome. Besides, it is clearly fit that I should strive to meet him again; I would try to be less provoking to him now.”
“I see, my dear,” said Caroline. “But why did you never draw on Mr. Wakefield all this time?”
“I never thought we ought to take that money,” said Janet. “I could maintain myself, and that was all I wanted. Besides I was ashamed to bid him use a false name, and I durst not receive a letter under my own, nor did I know whether Demetrius might go on applying.”
“He did once, saying that you were unwell, but Mr. Wakefield declined to let him be supplied with out your signature.”
Janet eagerly asked the when and the where.
“I am glad,” said her mother, “to find that you change of name was not in order to elude him, as feared at first.”
“No,” said Janet, “he never knew he was cruel, but he had made a mistake altogether in me. I was a disappointment to begin with, owing to my own bad management, you see, for if I had brought off the book, and destroyed the will, his speculation would have succeeded. And then, for his comfort, he should have married a passive, ignorant, senseless, obedient oriental, and he did not know what to do with a cold, proud thing, who looked most hard when most wretched, who had understanding enough to see his blunders, and remains of conscience enough to make her sour. Poor Demetrius! He had the worst of the bargain! And now-” She turned the leaf of the manuscript, and showed, with a date three days back:
“Mr. Field has written to me, sending a cutting of an advertisement of a month back of a spiritualist from Abville, which he thinks may be my husband’s. I am sure it is, I know the Greek idiom put into English. It decides me on what I had thought of before. I shall offer my services as nurse or physician, or whatever they will let me be in that stress of need. I may find him, or if he have fled, I may, if I live, trace him. At any rate, by God’s grace, I may thus endeavour to make a better use of what has never yet been used for His service.
“And in case I should add no further words to this, let me conclude by telling my dear, dear mother that my whole soul and spirit are asking her forgiveness, and by sending my love to my brothers, and sister, whom I love far better now than ever I did when I was with them. And to Elvira too-perhaps she is my sister by this time.
“Let them try henceforth to think not unkindly
This had been enclosed in an envelope addressed to Mrs. Joseph Brownlow, to the care of Wakefield and Co., solicitors.
“You see I cannot go back with you, mother dear,” she said, “though you have come to seek me.”
“Not yet,” said Caroline, handing the last page to Jock, who had come back again from one of his excursions.