‘But not all,’ said Nora.
‘No; thank God; not all.’
’And if you are not married you might write for a newspaper. At any rate, if I were you, I should be very proud of my brother.’
‘Aunt Stanbury is not at all proud of her nephew,’ said Priscilla, as they entered the house.
A THIRD PARTY IS SO OBJECTIONABLE
Hugh Stanbury went in search of Trevelyan immediately on his return to London, and found his friend at his rooms in Lincoln’s Inn.
‘I have executed my commission,’ said Hugh, endeavouring to speak of what he had done in a cheery voice.
’I am much obliged to you, Stanbury very much; but I do not know that I need trouble you to tell me anything about it.’
‘And why not?’
‘I have learned it all from that man.’
’From Bozzle. He has come back, and has been with me, and has learned everything.’
’Look here, Trevelyan, when you asked me to go down to Devonshire, you promised me that there should be nothing more about Bozzle. I expect you to put that rascal, and all that he has told you, out of your head altogether. You are bound to do so for my sake, and you will be very wise to do so for your own.’
‘I was obliged to see him when he came.’
’Yes, and to pay him, I do not doubt. But that is all done, and should be forgotten.’
’I can’t forget it. Is it true or untrue that he found that man down there? Is it true or untrue that my wife received Colonel Osborne at your mother’s house? Is it true or untrue that Colonel Osborne went down there with the express object of seeing her? Is it true or untrue that they had corresponded? It is nonsense to bid me to forget all this. You might as well ask me to forget that I had desired her neither to write to him, nor to see him.’
‘If I understand the matter,’ said Trevelyan, ’you are incorrect in one of your assertions.’
’You must excuse me if I am wrong, Trevelyan; but I don’t think you ever did tell your wife not to see this man, or not to write to him?’
‘I never told her! I don’t understand what you mean.’
’Not in so many words. It is my belief that she has endeavoured to obey implicitly every clear instruction that you have given her.’
’You are wrong absolutely and altogether wrong. Heaven and earth! Do you mean to tell me now, after all that has taken place, that she did not know my wishes?’
’I have not said that. But you, have chosen to place her in such a position, that though your word would go for much with her, she cannot bring herself to respect your wishes.’
‘And you call that being dutiful and affectionate!’
’I call it human and reasonable; and I think that it is compatible with duty and affection. Have you consulted her wishes?’