She started, and turned pale — but it was only for a moment. The high spirit that was in her rose brightly in her eyes, and faced him without shrinking.
“Threats?” she said, with quiet contempt. “When you make love, Mr. Moody, you take strange ways of doing it. My conscience is easy. You may try to frighten me, but you will not succeed. When you have recovered your temper I will accept your excuses.” She paused, and pointed to the table. “There is the letter that you told me to leave for you when I had sealed it,” she went on. “I suppose you have her Ladyship’s orders. Isn’t it time you began to think of obeying them?”
The contemptuous composure of her tone and manner seemed to act on Moody with crushing effect. Without a word of answer, the unfortunate steward took up the letter from the table. Without a word of answer, he walked mechanically to the great door which opened on the staircase — turned on the threshold to look at Isabel — waited a moment, pale and still — and suddenly left the room.
That silent departure, that hopeless submission, impressed Isabel in spite of herself. The sustaining sense of injury and insult sank, as it were, from under her the moment she was alone. He had not been gone a minute before she began to be sorry for him once more. The interview had taught her nothing. She was neither old enough nor experienced enough to understand the overwhelming revolution produced in a man’s character when he feels the passion of love for the first time in the maturity of his life. If Moody had stolen a kiss at the first opportunity, she would have resented the liberty he had taken with her; but she would have thoroughly understood him. His terrible earnestness, his overpowering agitation, his abrupt violence — all these evidences of a passion that was a mystery to himself — simply puzzled her. “I’m sure I didn’t wish to hurt his feelings” (such was the form that her reflections took, in her present penitent frame of mind); “but why did he provoke me? It is a shame to tell me that I love some other man — when there is no other man. I declare I begin to hate the men, if they are all like Mr. Moody. I wonder whether he will forgive me when he sees me again? I’m sure I’m willing to forget and forgive on my side — especially if he won’t insist on my being fond of him because he is fond of me. Oh, dear! I wish he would come back and shake hands. It’s enough to try the patience of a saint to be treated in this way. I wish I was ugly! The ugly ones have a quiet time of it — the men let them be. Mr. Moody! Mr. Moody!” She went out to the landing and called to him softly. There was no answer. He was no longer in the house. She stood still for a moment in silent vexation. “I’ll go to Tommie!” she decided. “I’m sure he’s the more agreeable company of the two. And — oh, good gracious! there’s Mr. Hardyman waiting to give me my instructions! How do I look, I wonder?”
Tips, opportunities to make money：Mobile online and earning money APP recommendedShe consulted the glass once more — gave one or two corrective touches to her hair and her cap — and hastened into the boudoir.
FOR a quarter of an hour the drawing-room remained empty. At the end of that time the council in the boudoir broke up. Lady Lydiard led the way back into the drawing-room, followed by Hardyman, Isabel being left to look after the dog. Before the door closed behind him, Hardyman turned round to reiterate his last medical directions — or, in plainer words, to take a last look at Isabel.
Tips, opportunities to make money：What is the 17-year-old person to make money online?“Plenty of water, Miss Isabel, for the dog to lap, and a little bread or biscuit, if he wants something to eat. Nothing more, if you please, till I see him to-morrow.”
“Thank you, sir. I will take the greatest care —”
At that point Lady Lydiard cut short the interchange of instructions and civilities. “Shut the door, if you please, Mr. Hardyman. I feel the draught. Many thanks! I am really at a loss to tell you how gratefully I feel your kindness. But for you my poor little dog might be dead by this time.”
Tips, opportunities to make money：Online P photo make moneyHardyman answered, in the quiet melancholy monotone which was habitual with him, “Your Ladyship need feel no further anxiety about the dog. Only be careful not to overfeed him. He will do very well under Miss Isabel’s care. By the bye, her family name is Miller — is it not? Is she related to the Warwickshire Millers of Duxborough House?”
Lady Lydiard looked at him with an expression of satirical surprise. “Mr. Hardyman,” she said, “this makes the fourth time you have questioned me about Isabel. You seem to take a great interest in my little companion. Don’t make any apologies, pray! You pay Isabel a compliment, and, as I am very fond of her, I am naturally gratified when I find her admired. At the same time,” she added, with one of her abrupt transitions of language, “I had my eye on you, and I had my eye on her, when you were talking in the next room; and I don’t mean to let you make a fool of the girl. She is not in your line of life, and the sooner you know it the better. You make me laugh when you ask if she is related to gentlefolks. She is the orphan daughter of a chemist in the country. Her relations haven’t a penny to bless themselves with, except an old aunt, who lives in a village on two or three hundred a year. I heard of the girl by accident. When she lost her father and mother, her aunt offered to take her. Isabel said, ‘No, thank you; I will not be a burden on a relation who has only enough for herself. A girl can earn an honest living if she tries; and I mean to try’— that’s what she said. I admired her independence,” her Ladyship proceeded, ascending again to the higher regions of thought and expression. “My niece’s marriage, just at that time, had left me alone in this great house. I proposed to Isabel to come to me as companion and reader for a few weeks, and to decide for herself whether she liked the life or not. We have never been separated since that time. I could hardly be fonder of her if she were my own daughter; and she returns my affection with all her heart. She has excellent qualities — prudent, cheerful, sweet-tempered; with good sense enough to understand what her place is in the world, as distinguished from her place in my regard. I have taken care, for her own sake, never to leave that part of the question in any doubt. It would be cruel kindness to deceive her as to her future position when she marries. I shall take good care that the man who pays his addresses to her is a man in her rank of life. I know but too well, in the case of one of my own relatives, what miseries unequal marriages bring with them. Excuse me for troubling you at this length on domestic matters. I am very fond of Isabel; and a girl’s head is so easily turned. Now you know what her position really is, you will also know what limits there must be to the expression of your interest in her. I am sure we understand each other; and I say no more.”
Hardyman listened to this long harangue with the immovable gravity which was part of his character — except when Isabel had taken him by surprise. When her Ladyship gave him the opportunity of speaking on his side, he had very little to say, and that little did not suggest that he had greatly profited by what he had heard. His mind had been full of Isabel when Lady Lydiard began, and it remained just as full of her, in just the same way, when Lady Lydiard had done.
“Yes,” he remarked quietly, “Miss Isabel is an uncommonly nice girl, as you say. Very pretty, and such frank, unaffected manners. I don’t deny that I feel an interest in her. The young ladies one meets in society are not much to my taste. Miss Isabel is my taste.”