“Is Mr. Maxfield at home?”
“No, ma’am; master is at Duckwell, and has been since 长沙桑拿洗浴全攻略 Saturday.”
“Who is it, Sally?” cried Betty Grimshaw’s voice from the parlour, and upon hearing it Castalia walked hastily away.
When she reached her own home again, between fatigue and excitement she could scarcely stand. She threw herself on the sofa in her little drawing-room, unable to mount the stairs.
“Deary me, missus,” cried Polly, who happened to admit her, “why you’re a’most dead! Where-ever have you been?”
“I’ve been walking in the fields. I came round by the road. I’m very tired.”
“Tired? Nay, and well you may be if you took all that round! I thought you’d happen been into Whitford. Lawk, how you’re squashing your bonnet! Let me take it off for you.”
“I don’t care; leave it alone.”
But Polly would not endure to see “good clothes ruinated,” as she said, so she removed her mistress’s shawl and bonnet—folding, and 长沙桑拿网论坛社区 smoothing, and straightening them as well as she could. “Now you’d better take a drop o’ wine,” she said. “You’re a’most green. I never saw such a colour.”
Despite her rustic bluntness, Polly was kind in her way. She made her mistress swallow some wine, and put her slippers on her feet for her, and brought a pillow to place beneath her head. “You see you han’t got no strength to spare. You’re very weak, missus,” she said. Then she muttered as she walked away, “Lord, I wouldn’t care to be a lady myself! I think they’re mostly poor creeturs.”
Left alone, Castalia closed her eyes and tried to review the situation, but at first her brain would do nothing but represent to her over and over again certain scenes and circumstances, with a great gap here and there, like a broken kaleidoscope.
Ancram had been to Maxfield’s house, and it 长沙桑拿洗浴中心哪里好 could not have been to see the old man, who had been absent for some days. Perhaps Ancram was in the habit of going thither! He had never said a word to her about it. How sly he had been! How sly Rhoda had been! All his pretended unwillingness to have Rhoda invited to Ivy Lodge had been a blind. There was nothing clear or definite in her mind except a bitter, burning, jealous hatred of Rhoda.
“We shall see if Ancram confesses to having been to that house to-day,” said Castalia to herself. Then she went upstairs wearily. She was physically tired, being weak and utterly unused to much walking, and called Lydia to dress her and brush her hair. And when her toilet was completed, she sat quite still in the drawing-room, neither playing, reading, nor working—quite still, with her hands folded before her, and awaited her husband.
She 长沙桑拿全套场子 would first try to lead him to confess his visit to the Maxfields, and, if that failed, would boldly tax him with it. She even went over the very words she would say to her husband when he should descend from his dressing-room before dinner.
But she could not foresee a circumstance which disturbed the plan she had arranged in her mind. When Algernon returned to Ivy Lodge he did not go into his dressing-room as usual, but marched straight into the drawing-room, where Castalia was sitting.
“That’s an agreeable sort of letter!” he said, flinging one down on the table.
He was not in a passion—he had never been known to be in a passion—but he was evidently much vexed. His mouth was curved into a satirical smile; he drew his breath between his teeth with a hissing sound, and nodded his head twice or thrice, after repeating ironically, “That’s an uncommonly agreeable sort of letter!” Then he thrust his hands deep into his pockets, threw himself into an easy-chair,
stretched his legs straight out before him, and looked at his wife.
Castalia was surprised, and curious, and a little anxious, but she made an effort to carry out her programme despite this unexpected beginning. She remained motionless on the sofa, and said, with elaborate indifference of manner, “Do you wish me to read the letter? I wonder at your allowing me to know anything of your affairs.”
“Read it? Of course! Why else did I give it to you? Don’t be absurd, Castalia. Pshaw!” And he impatiently changed the position of his feet with a sharp, sudden movement.
Castalia’s sympathy with his evident annoyance overcame her resentment for the moment. She could not bear to see him troubled. She opened the letter.
“Why it’s from Uncle Val!” she exclaimed.
It was from her uncle, addressed to her husband, and was written in a tone of considerable severity. To Castalia it appeared barbarously cruel. Lord Seely curtly refused any money assistance; and stated that he wrote to Algernon instead of to Castalia, because he perceived that, although the application for money had been written by Castalia’s hand, it had not been dictated by her head. Lord Seely further advised his niece’s husband, in the strongest and plainest terms, to use every method of economy, to retrench his expenditure, to refrain from superfluous luxuries, and to live on his salary.