He wished himself elsewhere; but beside Gertrude the presence or absence of any other person troubled him very little. "How are the Janseniuses?" said Trefusis, suddenly turning to Agatha. "They are quite well, thank you," she said in measured tones. "I met John Jansenius in the city lately. You know Jansenius?" he added parenthetically to Sir Charles.
"Please say no more about it." "Not if it distresses you. Just let me hope that you did not suppose I blamed you for your share in the matter or that I told the Janseniuses of it. I did not. Yes, I like orchids. A plant that can subsist on a scrap of board is an instance of natural econ " "YOU blame ME!" cried Agatha. "I never told the Janseniuses. What would they have thought of you if I had?"
Members of the family and intimate friends were told by Daniel Jansenius that the widower had acted in a blackguard way, and that the Janseniuses did not care two-pence whether he came or stayed at home; that, but for the indecency of the thing, they were just as glad that he was keeping away.
"I told you he was a liar," said Fairholme contemptuously. "Well, I expect he's seen something," said the inspector, "but what it was, or who it was, is more than I can get out of him." There was a pause, and they looked askance upon Wickens's boy. His account of the kissing made it almost an insult to the Janseniuses to identify with Henrietta the person he had seen.
She listened in silence to gossiping discussions of his desertion of his wife, his heartless indifference to her decease, his violence and bad language by her deathbed, his parsimony, his malicious opposition to the wishes of the Janseniuses, his cheap tombstone with the insulting epitaph, his association with common workmen and low demagogues, his suspected connection with a secret society for the assassination of the royal family and blowing up of the army, his atheistic denial, in a pamphlet addressed to the clergy, of a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury that spiritual aid alone could improve the condition of the poor in the East-end of London, and the crowning disgrace of his trial for seditious libel at the Old Bailey, where he was condemned to six months' imprisonment; a penalty from which he was rescued by the ingenuity of his counsel, who discovered a flaw in the indictment, and succeeded, at great cost to Trefusis, in getting the sentence quashed.
Jansenius took this as an insult to his daughter's memory, and, as the tomb was much smaller than many which had been erected in the cemetery by families to whom the Janseniuses claimed superiority, cited it as an example of the widower's meanness. But by other persons it was so much admired that Trefusis hoped it would ensure the prosperity of its designer. The contrary happened.