After deciding on my wife's mission to London, I arranged that the journey should serve a double purpose. A nurse for the suffering Marian, equally devoted to the patient and to myself, was a necessity of my position. One of the most eminently confidential and capable women in existence was by good fortune at my disposal. I refer to that respectable matron, Madame Rubelle—to whom I addressed a letter, at her residence in London, by the hands of my wife.
On the appointed day Mrs. Clements and Anne Catherick met me at the station. I politely saw them off. I politely saw Madame Fosco off by the same train. The last thing at night, my wife returned to Blackwater, having followed her instructions with the most unimpeachable accuracy. She was accompanied by Madame Rubelle; and she brought me the London address of Mrs. Clements. After-events proved this last precaution to have been unnecessary. Mrs. Clements punctually informed Lady Glyde of her place of abode. With a wary eye on future emergencies, I kept the letter.
The same day, I had a brief interview with the doctor, at which I protested, in the sacred interests of humanity, against his treatment of Marian's case. He was insolent, as all ignorant people are. I showed no resentment; I deferred quarrelling with him till it was necessary to quarrel to some purpose.
My next proceeding was to leave Blackwater myself. I had my London residence to take, in anticipation of coming events. I had also a little business, of the domestic sort, to transact with Mr. Frederick Fairlie. I found the house I wanted, in St. John's Wood. I found Mr. Fairlie, at Limmeridge, Cumberland.
My own private familiarity with the nature of Marian's correspondence had previously informed me that she had written to Mr. Fairlie, proposing as a relief to Lady Glyde's matrimonial embarrassments, to take her on a visit to her uncle in Cumberland. This letter I had wisely allowed to reach its destination; feeling, at the time, that it could do no harm, and might do good. I now presented myself before Mr. Fairlie, to support Marian's own proposal—with certain modifications which, happily for the success of my plans, were rendered really inevitable by her illness. It was necessary that Lady Glyde should leave Blackwater alone, by her uncle's invitation, and that she should rest a night on the journey, at her aunt's house (the house I had in St. John's Wood), by her uncle's express advice. To achieve these results, and to secure a note of invitation which could be