This last caution was uttered with so much energy, that Dorothy gave a little jump as she promised obedience.
SHEWING HOW THE QUARREL PROGRESSED AGAIN
On one Sunday morning, when the month of May was nearly over, Hugh Stanbury met Colonel Osborne in Curzon Street, not many yards from Trevelyan’s door. Colonel Osborne had just come from the house, and Stanbury was going to it. Hugh had not spoken to Osborne since the day, now a fortnight since, on which both of them had witnessed the scene in the park; but on that occasion they had been left together, and it had been impossible for them not to say a few words about their mutual friends. Osborne had expressed his sorrow that there should be any misunderstanding, and had called Trevelyan a ‘confounded fool.’ Stanbury had suggested that there was something in it which they two probably did not understand, and that matters would be sure to come all right. ’The truth is Trevelyan bullies her,’ said Osborne; ’and if he goes on with that he’ll be sure to get the worst of it.’ Now on this present occasion Stanbury asked whether he would find the ladies at home. ‘Yes, they are both there,’ said Osborne. ’Trevelyan has just gone out in a huff. She’ll never be able to go on living with him. Anybody can see that with half an eye.’ Then he had passed on, and Hugh Stanbury knocked at the door.
He was shown up into the drawing-room, and found both the sisters there; but he could see that Mrs Trevelyan had been in tears. The avowed purpose of his visit—that is, the purpose which he had avowed to himself—was to talk about his sister Dorothy. He had told Miss Rowley, while walking in the park with her, how Dorothy had been invited over to Exeter by her aunt, and how he had counselled his sister to accept the invitation. Nora had expressed herself very interested as to Dorothy’s fate, and had said how much she wished that she knew Dorothy. We all understand how sweet it is, when two such persons as Hugh Stanbury and Nora Rowley cannot speak of their love for each other, to say these tender things in regard to some one else. Nora had been quite anxious to know how Dorothy had been received by that old conservative warrior, as Hugh Stanbury had called his aunt, and Hugh had now come to Curzon Street with a letter from Dorothy in his pocket. But when he saw that there had been some cause for trouble, he hardly knew how to introduce his subject.
‘Trevelyan is not at home?’ he asked.
‘No,’ said Emily, with her face turned away. ’He went out and left us a quarter of an hour since. Did you meet Colonel Osborne?’
‘I was speaking to him in the street not a moment since.’ As he answered he could see that Nora was making some sign to her sister. Nora was most anxious that Emily should not speak of what had just occurred, but her signs were all thrown away. ’Somebody must tell him,’ said Mrs Trevelyan, ’and I don’t know who can do so better than so old a friend as Mr Stanbury.’