’But I asked him, mamma. Did you not hear me? I could not say the word plainer but I asked him whether he meant that sin. He must have known, and he would not answer me. And he spoke of my transgression. Mamma, if he believed that, he would not let me come back at all.’
‘He did not believe it, Emily.’
’Could he possibly then so accuse me, the mother of his child! If his heart be utterly hard and false towards me, if it is possible that he should be cruel to me with such cruelty as that, still he must love his boy. Why did he not answer me, and say that he did not think it?’
‘Simply because his reason has left him.’
’But if he be mad, mamma, ought we to leave him like that? And, then, did you see his eyes, and his face, and his hands? Did you observe how thin he is and his back, how bent? And his clothes, how they were torn and soiled. It cannot be right that he should be left like that.’
‘We will tell papa when we get home,’ said Lady Rowley, who was herself beginning to be somewhat frightened by what she had seen. It is all very well to declare that a friend is mad when one simply desires to justify one’s self in opposition to that friend, but the matter becomes much more serious when evidence of the friend’s insanity becomes true and circumstantial. ’I certainly think that a physician should see him,’ continued Lady Rowley. On their return home Sir Marmaduke was told of what had occurred, and there was a long family discussion in which it was decided that Lady Milborough should be consulted, as being the oldest friend of Louis Trevelyan himself with whom they were acquainted. Trevelyan had relatives of his own name living in Cornwall; but Mrs Trevelyan herself had never even met one of that branch of the family.
Sir Marmaduke, however, resolved that he himself would go out to see his son-in-law. He too had called Trevelyan mad, but he did not believe that the madness was of such a nature as to interfere with his own duties in punishing the man who had ill used his daughter. He would at any rate see Trevelyan himself; but of this he said nothing either to his wife or to his child.
MAJOR MAGRUDER’S COMMITTEE
Sir Marmaduke could not go out to Willesden on the morning after Lady Rowley’s return from River’s Cottage, because on that day he was summoned to attend at twelve o’clock before a Committee of the House of Commons, to give his evidence and, the fruit of his experience as to the government of British colonies generally; and as he went down to the House in a cab from Manchester Street he thoroughly wished that his friend Colonel Osborne had not been so efficacious in bringing him home. The task before him was one which he thoroughly disliked, and of which he was afraid. He dreaded the inquisitors before whom he was to appear, and felt that though he was