As she was thinking of this Mrs Trevelyan came into the room. Nora felt that though she might dread to meet her mother, she could be bold enough on such an occasion before her sister. Emily had not done so well with her own affairs, as to enable her to preach with advantage about marriage.
‘He has gone?’ said Mrs Trevelyan, as she opened the door.
‘Yes, he has gone.’
‘Well? Do not pretend, Nora, that you will not tell me.’
‘There is nothing worth the telling, Emily.’
’What do you mean? I am sure he has proposed. He told me in so many words that it was his intention.’
’Whatever has happened, dear, you may be quite sure that I shall never be Mrs Glascock.’
‘Then you have refused him because of Hugh Stanbury!’
’I have refused him, Emily, because I did not love him. Pray let that be enough.’
Then she walked out of the room with something of stateliness in her gait as might become a girl who had had it in her power to be the future Lady Peterborough; but as soon as she reached the sacredness of her own chamber, she gave way to an agony of tears. It would, indeed, be much to be a Lady Peterborough. And she had, in truth, refused it all because of Hugh Stanbury! Was Hugh Stanbury worth so great a sacrifice?
THE CLOCK HOUSE AT NUNCOMBE PUTNEY
It was not till a fortnight had passed after the transaction recorded in the last chapter, that Mrs Trevelyan and Nora Rowley first heard the proposition that they should go to live at Nuncombe Putney. From bad to worse the quarrel between the husband and the wife had gone on, till Trevelyan had at last told his friend Lady Milborough that he had made up his mind that they must live apart. She is so self-willed and perhaps I am the same,’ he had said, ’that it is impossible that we should live together.’ Lady Milborough had implored and called to witness all testimonies, profane and sacred, against such a step—had almost gone down on her knees. Go to Naples; why not Naples? Or to the quiet town in the west of France, which was so dull that a wicked roaring lion, fond of cities and gambling, and eating and drinking, could not live in such a place! Oh, why not go to the quiet town in the