’If you have said all that you have to say, perhaps you will listen to me,’ said his wife.
‘I will listen to nothing till you have given me your promise.’ ‘Then I certainly shall not give it you.’
‘Dear Emily, pray, pray do what he tells you,’ said Nora.
‘She has yet to learn that it is her duty to do as I tell her,’ said Trevelyan. ’And because she is obstinate, and will not learn from those who know better than herself what a woman may do, and what she may not, she will ruin herself, and destroy my happiness.’
’I know that you have destroyed my happiness by your unreasonable jealousy,’ said the wife. ’Have you considered what I must feel in having such words addressed to me by my husband? If I am fit to be told that I must promise not to see any man living, I cannot be fit to be any man’s wife.’ Then she burst out into an hysterical fit of tears, and in this condition she got out of the carriage, entered her house, and hurried up to her own room.
‘Indeed, she has not been to blame,’ said Nora to Trevelyan on the staircase.
’Why has there been a secret kept from me between her and this man; and that too, after I had cautioned her against being intimate with him? I am sorry that she should suffer; but it is better that she should suffer a little now, than that we should both suffer much by-and-by.’
Nora endeavoured to explain to him the truth about the committee, and Colonel Osborne’s promised influence, and the reason why there was to be a secret. But she was too much in a hurry to get to her sister to make the matter plain, and he was too much angered to listen to her. He shook his head when she spoke of Colonel Osborne’s dislike to have his name mentioned in connection with the matter. ‘All the world knows it,’ he said with scornful laughter.
It was in vain that Nora tried to explain to him that though all the world might know it, Emily herself had only heard of the proposition as a thing quite unsettled, as to which nothing at present should be spoken openly. It was in vain to endeavour to make peace on that night. Nora hurried up to her sister, and found that the hysterical tears had again given place to anger. She would not see her husband, unless he would beg her pardon; and he would not see her unless she would give the promise he demanded. And the husband and wife did not see each other again on that night.
It has been already stated that Nora Rowley was not quite so well disposed as perhaps she ought to have been to fall in love with the Honourable Charles Glascock, there having come upon her the habit of comparing him with another gentleman whenever this duty of falling in love with Mr Glascock was exacted from her. That other gentleman was one with whom she knew that it was quite out of the question that she should fall