“Then I am to understand—?”
“That I have already adopted the only course that seemed honest to me. I have declined to give a death certificate and I have communicated with the coroner.”
Catherine took the blow without flinching, though a deep resentment stirred in her as she remembered how her husband had bulwarked Parker Steel.
“Then I think there is nothing more to be said between us.”
The physician made a step towards the door.
“Accept 佛山夜生活美女qq my regrets”—the vanity of the man, the desire to stand well in the eyes
of a handsome woman, was not wholly to be suppressed.
“I accept no regrets, Dr. Steel—”
“For no regrets are given. My eyes are open to the truth.”
Steel turned the handle of the door.
“A sense of duty makes us enemies, Mrs. Murchison.”
“Perhaps, sir, your very lively sense of duty may lead you some day into a lane that has no turning.”
Whether by chance, or by premeditated malice, Mrs. Betty crossed the hall as Catherine left the drawing-room. She halted, smiled, and extended a languid hand. Her eyes recalled to Catherine the eyes of the previous night.
“Ah, good-morning, Kate.”
There was not a quiver of emotion on Catherine Murchison’s face. She looked at Mrs. Betty as she would have looked at some pert shop-girl who assured her that 佛山桑拿小姐电话 some warranted material had been ruined by chemicals in the wash.
Parker Steel’s wife was deprived of any suggestion of a triumph.
“I hope you are not tired after Mr. Cranston’s enthusiasm.”
“Intelligent partners never tire me. May I echo the inquiry?”
Her feline spite marred the perfection of Mrs. Betty’s patronizing pity.
“Many thanks. You will excuse me, since I am a woman with responsibilities. You have no children to act as mother to, Betty.”
The barren woman’s lips tightened. The words, with all their innocent irony, went home.
“Oh, I detest children. All the philosophers will tell you that they are a doubtful blessing.”
“A matter of temperament, perhaps.”
“Some of us resemble rabbits, I suppose.”
Their mutual courtesy had reached the limit of extreme tension. Parker Steel, who had been watching the lightning flashes, 佛山桑拿黄岐 the play between positive clouds and negative earth, opened the door to let the imminent storm disperse.
Catherine passed out with a slight bending of the head.
“How beautiful these July days are!” she remarked.
“Superb,” and Steel took leave of her with a cynical smile.
Catherine’s lips were tightly set as she turned from the shadows of St. Antonia’s elms, where the sunlight made a moving fret of gold upon the grass. The sky was a broad canopy of blue above the town, the wooded hills about it far and faint with haze. To Catherine the summer stillness of the place, the dim blazoned windows of the church, the wreathing smoke, the circling pigeons, were parts of a quaint and homely tenderness that made her realize the more the repellent coldness of the house she had just left.
She had come by one conviction 佛山桑拿会所一条龙 through her visit, the conviction that those two intellectualists hungered to humiliate her and her husband. Mrs. Betty’s eyes had betrayed too much. She would be content with nothing but sensational head-lines, and the discussion of “the scandal” in every Roxton home. The brain behind that ethereal yet supercilious face knew no flush of feeling for a rival in distress. The pair were exulting over the chance James Murchison had given them, and the wife had realized it with a bitter flooding up of loyalty and love.
Catherine had made her plans before she reached the glare of Lombard Street. She had left her husband sitting in the darkened room, the blinds drawn down over his humiliation and self-shame. Her heart grieved in her for the strong man whose sensitive consciousness had been paralyzed by the realization of his own irrevocable 佛山桑拿按摩站街 blunder. Her pity left him undisturbed, like a sick man needing rest. Inglis had taken the work for the whole day, for Catherine had interviewed him in the surgery, and shocked the theorist by imparting a portion of the truth to him.
“Incredible!” had been Mr. Inglis’s solitary remark, and Catherine’s heart had blessed him for that single adjective.
As she passed the house in Lombard Street, her face seemed overshadowed for the moment by the unpropitious heaviness of her thoughts. The vision of her husband’s pale and troubled face saddened her more utterly than any regretfulness her pride might feel. Nor did she pass her home unchallenged, for at the barred but open window of the nursery, a ripple of gold in the sunlight bathed her daughter Gwen’s round face,
“Muvver, muvver!” and a doll’s red pelisse was waved over the 佛山桑拿飞机网0757d window-sill. Catherine felt all her womanhood yearn longingly towards the child.
“Muvver. I’ve spelled a whole page. Daddy’s gone out. May I come wid you?”
Catherine shook her head, her eyes very bright with tenderness under her blue sunshade. How little the child realized the grim beneathness of life!
“No, dear, no. I shall be back soon. Ask Mary to take you for a walk in the meadows,” and she passed on with a lingering look at the red pelisse and the golden curls.
Porteus Carmagee, white as to waistcoat, brown as to face, jumped up briskly from his well-worn leather chair when his head clerk announced Mrs. Catherine Murchison. The lawyer, despite his eccentricities, was a keen and tenacious man of business, the emphasis of whose advice might have impressed an audience more cynical than the English House of Commons. He had a habit of snapping at his syllables with a vindictive sincerity that stimulated nervous clients suffering from the neurasthenia of indecision.
“What!—a professional visit? My dear Kate, this is a most portentous event; all my musty deeds must blush into new pink tape. Sit down. Do you want damages against your washerwoman for spoiling the underlinen? Believe me—I have been asked to advise on such questions. Ah, and how did your husband like my port?”
An inward shudder swept through Catherine. The memories of that night at Marley Down were brutally 佛山桑拿论坛蒲友交流 vivid to her, like the bizarre dreams of a feverish sleep remembered in the morning. Porteus had been the
innocent cause of all this misery. Tell him she could not, that his very kindness had brought her husband to the brink of ruin.
“We ought to have thanked you”—and the words clung to her throat. “James has had one of his attacks of nervous depression and an endless amount of worry.”