On the 10th of August Nora Rowley left the cottage by the river-side at Twickenham, and went down to Monkhams. The reader need hardly be told that Hugh brought her up from Twickenham and sent her off in the railway carriage. They agreed that no day could be fixed for their marriage till something further should be known of Trevelyan’s state. While he was in his present condition such a marriage could not have been other than very sad. Nora, when she left the cottage, was still very bitter against her brother-in-law, quoting the doctor’s opinion as to his sanity, and expressing her own as to his conduct under that supposition.
She also believed that he would rally in health, and was therefore, on that account, less inclined to pity him than was his wife. Emily Trevelyan of course saw more of him than did her sister, and understood better how possible it was that a man might be in such a condition as to be neither mad nor sane—not mad, so that all power over his own actions need be taken from him; nor sane, so that he must be held to be accountable for his words and thoughts. Trevelyan did nothing, and attempted to do nothing, that could injure his wife and child. He submitted himself to medical advice. He did not throw away his money. He had no Bozzle now waiting at his heels. He was generally passive in his wife’s hands as to all outward things. He was not violent in rebuke, nor did he often allude to their past unhappiness. But he still maintained, by a word spoken every now and then, that he had been right throughout in his contest with his wife and that his wife had at last acknowledged that it was so. She never contradicted him, and he became bolder and bolder in his assertions, endeavouring on various occasions to obtain some expression of an assent from Nora. But Nora would not assent, and he would scowl at her, saying words, both in her presence and behind her back, which implied that she was his enemy. ’Why not yield to him?’ her sister said the day before she went. ’I have yielded, and your doing so cannot make it worse.’
’I can’t do it. It would be false. It is better that I should go away. I cannot pretend to agree with him, when I know that his mind is working altogether under a delusion.’ When the hour for her departure came, and Hugh was waiting for her, she thought that it would be better that she should go, without seeing Trevelyan. ’There will only be more anger,’ she pleaded. But her sister would not be contented that she should leave the house in this fashion, and urged at last, with tears running down her cheeks, that this might possibly be the last interview between them.
‘Say a word to him in kindness before you leave us,’ said Mrs Trevelyan. Then Nora went up to her brother-in-law’s bed-side, and told him that she was going, and expressed a hope that he might be stronger when she returned. And as she did so she put her hand upon the bed-side, intending to press his in token of affection. But his face was turned from her, and he seemed to take no notice of her. ‘Louis,’ said his wife, ’Nora is going to Monkhams. You will say good-bye to her before she goes?’