tion, I had no right to expect that she should do so. matters little, now. I was sorry for her—I was indeed heartily sorry for her all the same.
The next day was fine and sunny. Sir Percival came up, after breakfast, to tell us that the chaise would be at the door at a quarter to twelve; the train to London stopping at our station, at twenty minutes after. He informed Lady Glyde that he was obliged to go out, but added that he hoped to be back before she left. If any unforeseen accident delayed him, I was to accompany her to the station, and to take special care that she was in time for the train. Sir Percival communicated these directions very hastily; walking here and there about the room all the time. Her ladyship looked attentively after him wherever he went. He never once looked at her in return.
She only spoke when he had done; and then she stopped him as he approached the door, by holding out her hand.
"I shall see you no more," she said, in a very marked manner. "This is our parting—our parting, it may be for ever. Will you try to forgive me, Percival, as heartily as I forgive you?"
His face turned of an awful whiteness all over; and great beads of perspiration broke out on his bald forehead. "I shall come back," he said—and made for the door, as hastily as if his wife's farewell words had frightened him out of the room.
I had never liked Sir Percival—but the manner in which he left Lady Glyde made me feel ashamed of having eaten his bread and lived in his service. I thought of saying a few comforting and Christian words to the poor lady; but there was something in her face, as she looked after her husband when the door closed on him, that made me alter my mind and keep silence.
At the time named, the chaise drew up at the gates. Her ladyship was right—Sir Percival never came back. I waited for him till the last moment, and waited in vain.
No positive responsibility lay on my shoulders; and yet, I did not feel easy in my mind. "It is of your own free will," I said, as the chaise drove through the lodge-gates, "that your ladyship goes to London?"
"I will go anywhere," she answered, "to end the dreadful suspense that I am suffering at this moment."
She had made me feel almost as anxious and as uncertain about Miss Halcombe as she felt herself. I presumed to ask her to write me a line, if all went well in London. She