’I have received your letter, and will obey your commands to the best of my power. In order that you may not be displeased by any further unavoidable correspondence between me and Colonel Osborne, I have written to him a note, which I now send to you. I send it that you may forward it. If you do not choose to do so, I cannot be answerable either for his seeing me, or for his writing to me again.
I send also copies of all the correspondence I have had with Colonel Osborne since you turned me out of your house. When he came to call on me, Nora remained with me while he was here. I blush while I write this not for myself, but that I should be so suspected as to make such a statement necessary.
You say that I have disgraced you and myself. I have done neither. I am disgraced but it is you that have disgraced me. I have never spoken a word or done a thing, as regards you, of which I have cause to be ashamed.
I have told Mrs Stanbury that I and Nora will leave her house as soon as we can be made to know where we are to go. I beg that this may be decided instantly, as else we must walk out into the street without a shelter. After what has been said, I cannot remain here.
My sister bids me say that she will relieve you of all burden respecting herself as soon as possible. She will probably be able to find a home with my aunt, Mrs Outhouse, till papa comes to England. As for myself, I can only say that till he comes, I shall do exactly what you order.
Nuncombe Putney, August 10.
MR AND MRS OUTHOUSE
Both Mr Outhouse and his wife were especially timid in taking upon themselves the cares of other people. Not on that account is it to be supposed that they were bad or selfish. They were both given much to charity, and bestowed both in time and money more than is ordinarily considered necessary even from persons in their position. But what they gave, they gave away from their own quiet hearth. Had money been wanting to the daughters of his wife’s brother, Mr Outhouse would have opened such small coffer as he had with a free hand. But he would have much preferred that his benevolence should be used in a way that would bring upon him no further responsibility and no questionings from people whom he did not know and could not understand.
The Rev. Oliphant Outhouse had been Rector of St. Diddulph’s-in-the-East for the last fifteen years, having married the sister of Sir Marmaduke Rowley then simply Mr Rowley, with a colonial appointment in Jamaica of 120 pounds per annum twelve years before his promotion, while he was a curate in one of the populous borough parishes. He had thus been a London clergyman all his life; but he knew almost as little of London society as though he had held a cure in a Westmoreland valley. He had worked hard, but his work had been altogether among the poor. He had no gift of preaching, and had acquired neither reputation nor popularity. But he could work, and having been transferred because of that capability to the temporary curacy of St. Diddulph’s out of one diocese into another, he had received the living from the bishop’s hands when it became vacant.