He continued to regard her, and saw that her lips suddenly began to quiver under his scrutiny, and her eyes to fill and droop. She started aside, and said that she must go to the station to catch the return train: could a cab be called immediately? But Raye went up to her, and took her unresisting hand. 'Well, to think of such a thing as this! he said.
'Say it in the pretty poetical way you know so well how to adopt, he added, 'for I want you particularly to win her, and both of you to be dear friends. Anna looked uneasy, but departed to her task, Raye remaining to talk to their guest. Anna was a long while absent, and her husband suddenly rose and went to her.
Till an hour before this time Raye had never known the wine-merchant's wife, except at that first casual encounter, and in the flutter of the performance before them he had little opportunity for more than a brief acquaintance.
The upshot of the discussion was that though he had not been directly advised to do it, Raye wrote, in his real name, what he would never have decided to write on his own responsibility; namely that he could not live without her, and would come down in the spring and shelve her looming difficulty by marrying her. This bold acceptance of the situation was made known to Anna by Mrs.
The prebend's residence was then a castle, protected, probably, by battlements and mantlets and turreted walls, and with its keep and its drawbridge, its postern and its fosse simple works of defence that were armed for retaliation, with catapult and mangonel, the canon raye of the period, besides arquebuse and other hand weapons wielded, no doubt, by mighty men at arms, mail-clad and helmeted, who knew how to give and take with the best of them; now, it was but a peaceful priest's dwelling, inhabited by as true a clergyman and gentleman as ever lived, although it was still a fine old house.
'Delighting me deceptively! Why did you do it why did you! 'I began doing it in kindness to her! How could I do otherwise than try to save such a simple girl from misery? But I admit that I continued it for pleasure to myself. Raye looked up. 'Why did it give you pleasure? he asked. 'I must not tell, said she.
They had planned to start early that afternoon for Knollsea, to spend the few opening days of their married life there, and as the hour for departure was drawing near Raye asked his wife if she would go to the writing-desk in the next room and scribble a little note to his sister, who had been unable to attend through indisposition, informing her that the ceremony was over, thanking her for her little present, and hoping to know her well now that she was the writer's sister as well as Charles's.
To write again and develop a correspondence was the last thing Raye would have preconceived as his conduct in such a situation; yet he did send a short, encouraging line or two, signed with his pseudonym, in which he asked for another letter, and cheeringly promised that he would try to see her again on some near day, and would never forget how much they had been to each other during their short acquaintance.
Raye's friend was obliged to depart almost immediately, and when he had left the only ones virtually present were Edith and Raye who exchanged ideas with much animation. The conversation was indeed theirs only, Anna being as a domestic animal who humbly heard but understood not. Raye seemed startled in awakening to this fact, and began to feel dissatisfied with her inadequacy.
Raye followed Edith downstairs, and in three minutes she was in a hansom driving to the Waterloo station. He went back to his wife. 'Never mind the letter, Anna, to-day, he said gently. 'Put on your things. We, too, must be off shortly. The simple girl, upheld by the sense that she was indeed married, showed her delight at finding that he was as kind as ever after the disclosure.