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comfort.” The smooth contempt of her that Patience would wholly betray her. words did not match with the awful She only feared that her husband would terror in her eyes.
ask to see Lord Charles Seton's note. She dared not open the window; she The court-yard was still empty; there feared to attract notice ; but she longed was no one within hearing. Patience intensely to know what Patience was knew that there were no other English saying to her husband.
staying at the Croix d'Or; and she Miss Coppock had kept much out of spoke loudly, and so fearlessly, that for sight of late, and Patty had grown to be a few moments Mr. Downes was kept less on her guard. She knew that her dumb by surprise. husband watched her, but she did not He had been very angry with his fear him.
wife, with what seemed to him her unThis morning had brought a terrible pardonable vanity in regard to Lord awakening. They had slept at a small Charles Seton. He had shown his dislike town about three hours' journey from to it openly, and he resolved to part Bourges. Miss Coppock had left the company at the first opportunity ; but breakfast-table before the others; and he loved Patty as much as ever, and when a few minutes later Mrs. Downes when Miss Coppock asked him to listen had entered her own bedroom with her to her, and began to express her grave usual gliding, quiet step, she found her suspicion of his wife's misconduct, he companion there reading a note. Patty stopped her angrily. know at once what had happened. In “Hush ! Miss Coppock; I cannot an instant she snatched the note from listen. I don't know why I have Miss Coppock.
from Lord listened at all. You have no right to Charles Seton-a note of silly, boyish speak against my wife. I suppose you nonsense, but still of warmer nonsense have quarrelled with Mrs. Downes; but than she would have liked Maurice to I cannot see that that gives you a right see addressed to her.
to speak against her in this way: it is A sharp dispute ensued. Patience
most ungrateful and offensive. lost all self-control, and upbraided Mrs. competent to manage my own affairs, Downes with her conduct during the and after the way in which you have journey.
thought fit to speak of Mrs. Downes, it “ You can leave me," Patty said in a will be pleasanter in all ways for you to cold contemptuous tone.
lcave us—such a thing is unpardonable." as far as Bourges with us, and then I He tried to press down his indignawill pay you your wages."
tion, and his lip curled in the effort. Patience had not answered ; she had Miss Coppock's dull eyes kindled. only scowled; and Patty had decided As she stood there once more alone with that Miss Coppock was too much a Maurice Downes, it seemed as if that woman of the world to let herself be long-ago street scene was being acted out turned adrift in the middle of France again : he was again thrusting her away “ without any character to speak of.” from him.
She had grown so used to the idea of The anger in her face made her look Patience's entire dependence on her, almost hideous. Mr. Downes shrank that she tried to forget the quarrel and from her with disgust. She saw and the misgivings it had roused.
“ You can go
understood all he felt. But now she could do this no longer. “I'm going; you may be sure of On reaching the inn at Bourges, she that. I'd not sleep another night had asked to be shown to her bedroom, under the same roof with your wife” and her first glance into the court-yard —a stinging emphasis on the words had shown her Patience and her husband -“ if you asked me to do it! There in earnest talk. Patty felt as if the are reasons, though you've forgotten ground shook beneath her: how could them, why I'd still do much for you ; she escape? And yet she did not dream
yes, I would.”
She was getting beyond her fear of if you only knew who and what self-betrayal ; his contempt goaded her she is !” She threw up her eyes, and out of herself. “Do you think it was clasped her hands with a violence that for simple revenge on her that I've told made Mr. Downes shrink away with you of her doings with that young lord? disgust and dislike. Why, the best revenge I could have had 'The woman is either mad, or it is all would have been to let her go on to acting and rhodomontide,” he thought; disgrace ; but you care for her, and I “ Elinor has offended her, and she'll care enough for you and your credit to say anything tu pison me against know that you're much too good for her; her very pretence of liking me her, and I'm sick of seeing you deceived when she has taken every opportunity through thick and thin. If you want she could find of avoiding me, is to keep her, look after her.”
enough to show that she'll say anything Again Mr. Downes held his breath to serve her purpose." while he listened. What change had "Miss Coppock, I must put an end come over this silent, cowed woman !-a to this," he said, firmly; "I should creature who had seemed always to be much prefer that you should control trying to shrink out of sight. What yourself, and stay until we reach Paris ; could she mean by this special interest but, of course, as you refuse to acknowin him ? It seemed as if she pitied him ; ledge yourself wrong, and persist in he began to think she was crazy. your offensive behaviour, this cannot
“You may set your mind at rest” be. Now remember," there was se-his voice had softened a little. “I am vere warning in his voice, “I can't quite satisfied with my wife, Miss Cop- permit another word about Mrs. Downes. pock, and I am not, as you imagine, Tell me what there is due to you, or, if blind to her faults; if she were faultless, you prefer it, I will send a cheque to she would be an angel, and I'm not aware any
then you can go. any woman ever was an angel. You are Don't attempt to see Mrs. Downes again. angry now. You have said several very I can't permit it; she is not used to foolish, most unjustifiable things; but vehemence like yours.” we won't talk about them. Now, be “How do you know what she's used reasonable. Your interest for me shows to? What do you know about her at itself in a strange way; I still think all? I've known her as many years you had better leave us, but I should as you've known her months." He like you to beg Mrs. Downes's pardon, put up his hand in protest, but no and get right with her, before you go power of his could stop Patience away; it will be so much better, you now; she was roused to fury.
“ Did know, for you to go on to Paris with us, she tell you how she made my acand you can leave us there ; I am sure, quaintance, Mr. Downes ? Did she say I even if you have made Mrs. Downes wanted a new apprentice to the dressangry, she will allow you to go on to making, and her pretty face took my Paris with us.”
fancy as I passed by her father's cotMr. Downes shrank from a scandal, tage ? Her father, too_ask him if you and he thought if Miss Coppock went like, ask Roger Westropp if my story's off in her present over-wrought excited true or false ; he told me once if she state, she might do mischief.
wasn't a good wife to you he'd go up to Miss Coppock's smile was more ghastly Park Lane himself, and tell you the than her anger had been; she had grown truth, for all he'd promised her not. pale while Mr. Downes spoke
Ask her lover, Mr. Whitmore—ah! "I said I'd do anything for you." yes, Mr. Whitmore's best of all-ask She looked into his eyes with him, he can tell you plenty about her. starved hope that even yet he might When I think of the lies she must have recognize her; “but I'll not ask her told you, I've hardly patience to speak pardon, even for you. Her pardon !
“Silence :" Mr. Downes had found spoken; she said them now with hatred voice at last, and the stern sound marked on her face. hushed her. He was shocked, stupe Hatred had grown silently, until fied; but still, his love rose against every thought had become subservient the strong suspicions her words awaked. to the one resolve of revenging all her “ You won't leave me, so I leave you. wrongs on Patty. Miss Coppock had I tell you once, and always, that I watched quietly all through the journey refuse to listen to anything you have for some pretext which would give her to say about Mrs. Downes, and I don't a right to speak to Mr. Downes, and believe a word of this—this trumped-up now she had found it. story.”
“I have ruined myself !”—The deHe left her so suddenly that she spair in her voice seemed exaggerated. could not stop him.
“I am thrown on the world again, and I've done her no harm. As to going away from her, it's like leaving hell;
but for him to have sneered at meCHAPTER LXIV.
and oh! it was worse than sneering." A FRIEND IN NEED.
She hid her face in her hands; the
disgust and dislike she had seen in Mr. PATIENCE COPPOCK stood looking after Downes's face burned in her brain. him. All decision had left her face ; A man in a blouse came up to her passion had gained such mastery, where she was standing; he looked that it swayed her out of any set curiously at her. purpose.
Patience recovered berself at once. Money, money ; yes, money is the The luggage still stood in the courtsalve for everything, isn't it ? he offered yard. me money that time in London. No,
“I want you to bring this trunk to Maurice, no money shall buy my revenge the railway station,” she said. 'Come now."
as fast as you can.” She went out She stood there, white and trem through the grey-arched entrance of the bling.
court-yard. After a little she grew quiet; she went The man scratched his head, but he back into that part of the court-yard ap did not touch the trunk. propriated to the rougher vehicles — “Dame, what extraordinary people a kind of
open shed. She was out of are these English! see this one, she sight here, and thought came back with arrive, and she depart and all in half-anthe freedom from restraint.
hour; she is, perhaps, crazy." “I'm glad he didn't listen. I'll be He resolved to await further orders calm next time I tell that story. I'll before he followed this very extraorditell it in Park Lane, too, when there nary English woman. are others by to hear-Mrs. Winchester Patience walked fast along the narrow and plenty more, and I'll have old street; she had no eyes for the quaint Roger by, that I will. I believe he'd town with its Middle-age palaces of the do that much, to punish Patty when wealthy burghers of Bourges. The rapid he finds it was her doing that took Mr. movement brought back all her passion. Whitmore away from his wife and it “ I wish I had struck her when she was; I've listened and listened, and
talked about my wages.
She hasn't I'm sure of it; and she did it first from got the natural feelings of a woman ; spite, for it's plain he don't care for her. she's a smiling, sneering devil; she said No, I'll have my way; she shan't have her husband wouldn't listen, whatever everything, and me nothing."
I might say, and she was right. What She had spoken almost the same a fool he is to love her! Well, he'll words at the news of Patty's marriage ; suffer for it by-and-by." but then, they had been sorrowfully Again a torrent of rage and despair
swept over her; she had suffered all from Mr. Downes; he is not likely to this defeat and bitter mortification to be still at Clermont, but you will be leave Bourges in disgrace, and Patty sure to find him. victorious.
This came in answer to the sudden She soon reached the station. She sadness in the large dark eyes fixed so asked for a train for Paris; but she wistfully on her face. heard that there would not be one for Nuna's heart sank-like lead in two hours. A train from Paris was water. due, and, as she stood on the platform “I don't understand; I thought you blind to all that passed round her, it would be all together; how was it you rolled slowly up amid the vociferations came to the station to meet me ? did of the porters.
you know I was coming? who told you The noise roused Patience. Mechani to come?” cally she watched the passengers alight; Patience had grown quiet; she was some of them were trying to gain infor thinking how she could best make use mation from the guard, as he passed of this strange chance ; she smiled. rapidly along the line of carriages. “I'll tell you that another time; I
Miss Coppock started at the sound of want to say several things to you before an English voice.
we get to the inn." “Is there no cross road from here to Spite of the confusion in her brain, Clermont ?"
Miss Coppock was too wary, too much Miss Coppock turned round-it was controlled by the pure truthful face that Nuna Whitmore; she was still in the looked so trustingly into hers, to tell railway carriage, but she got out hastily Nuna at once the purpose for which she when she recognized Patience. It had interrupted her journey ; she went seemed to her that she had found off into a rambling narrative of Patty's Paul, and that all her anxiety was conduct with Lord Charles Seton, and
the deceit she had practised on Mr. “My husband is here with you—is
Downes. Nuna begged her to keep he not?”
silence. Patience did not answer; here was
“I can't listen to
you if you
talk in her opportunity, her revenge need not be deferred ; Nuna was just as good a
“You're mighty merciful!" – they witness as Roger Westropp, Mr. Downes had just rattled into the inn court-yard, must listen to Mrs. Whitmore.
-"yet I don't think you've much to “ Is that all your luggage, Mrs. thank Mrs. Downes for, somehow." Whitmore?”-she pointed at the bag
Nuna shuddered, and shrank from which Nuna had dragged out of the
the bitterness with which she spoke ; carriage. Nuna nodded.
where was Paul ? she asked herself, and " But is my husband here ?" she how was her journey going to end ! repeated"Come along." The firm tone reassured Nuna; habit
CHAPTER LXV. helped the disorder of Miss Coppock's
A HARD FIGHT. wits, she called a voiture, placed Nuna and her bag within it, and then she Patty knew that her husband would seated berself beside Mrs. Whitmore, come to her when Patience left him; and told the man to drive to the Croix she knew, too, that she must have a d'Or.
hard battle to retain her hold on his “Is my husband there why don't love; but even then her self-reliance Jou answer?"
did not desert her. She saw Mr. She put her hand on Patience's arm Downey leave Patience abruptls, she and looked earnestly in the troubled face. thought angrily; and the terror which
but you will hear ali about him had mastered her vanished Surel
and I gave
she was a match for Maurice. She not something much more unpleasant smoothed the frown on her forehead, still to say. and went up to the looking-glass. She Her knees began to shake as she sat. soon removed the look of fatigue from “If I don't do something desperate her hair and complexion, and then she it's all over with me." She threw gazed earnestly at the reflection of her back her head with the old saucy toss. fair face.
Well, I don't know, Maurice. I “Who can look at Patience, and then had been thinking, while I looked out at me, and doubt which of us speaks of window and saw how long you listhe truth ?” There was triumph in her tened to Miss Coppock, that I had cause voice; but still she was not quite at for complaint.” ease. Patience had been gone some time. “I don't understand you, Elinor;" Why did not Maurice come upstairs ? he looked at her in evident surprise.
“The thing I have got to guard “I don't see how you can understand against is fear," Patty said, thoughtfully. till you know what has happened.” "It hasn't often come to me in my Patty looked indignant—" that woman life, but when it has I know I am the was very insolent just now, worst of cowards. If I go giving way her her discharge. When she left me, to it, and pretending to be fond of she said she would have her revenge. Maurice and on, he'll suspect As to quarrelling with her, really directly, and then he'll never believe Maurice if you knew all I've had to me again. I must be the injured bear, you would be quite vexed with person. I shan't forget that time me for submitting so long to her illwhen he told me he'd written to an temper." Her husband had given her artist of the name of Whitmore to paint her cue when he spoke of Patience's my picture.
Maurice looked quite violence," she said she could make puzzled at the fright I was in.”
Mr. Downes believe what she liked, At last she heard steps coming slowly and she muttered something that & along the gallery.
woman who had no relatives to vouch “Now for it!” An uncontrollable for her might find it hard to contraspasm passed over her, and then she dict what was said : she did indeed, was outwardly calm. She sat down on Maurice"-her husband was looking the sofa just opposite the door.
at her steadily now, and she affected to Mr. Downes came in; he thought he think he was taking Miss Coppock's was quite composed outwardly; but part — “surely when a woman hints Patty saw that his face twitched. in that dreadful way, and then goes
“Elinor !” she made room for him and talks privately to you for ever beside her, but he stood erect; “per- so long, I may feel hurt and shocked to haps you saw who was talking to me see you listeniny. I shall be very glad just now in the court-yard ? I may as to know what she really has been telwell say at once that you have chosen a ling you." most uniortunate time to quarrel with She had talked tears into her eyes : your companion. i un't say you are she wiped them away as if she scorned altogether to blame, for she certamiy is to show them. a most violent woman; but I cannot “ If you watched me, Elinor, I'm imagine what has occurred to cause sure you must bave seen I listened such a disturbance.”
against my will, and that I was very He had looked sternly at his wife as much displeased : certainly I will tell he began, but he seemed unable to sus. you; I never have kept anything from tain the frank, fearless glance of her you, and I will be quite frank now. blue eyes; but Patty trembled, spite Miss Coppock spoke of a note from of her unconscious looks. Maurice Lord Charles Seton to you." would not speak in that stern voice, Patty's eyes drooped, spite of her with his eyes ou the ground, if he hail efforts.