Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Marriages Henry James

Chapter IV

Page 6 of 6

Table Of Contents: The Marriages

Previous Page

Previous Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

She meanwhile herself could well judge how heavy her father found the burden of Godfrey's folly and how he was incommoded at having to pay the horrible woman six hundred a year. Doubtless he was having dreadful letters from her; doubtless she threatened them all with hideous exposure. If the matter should be bruited Godfrey's prospects would collapse on the spot. He thought Madrid very charming and curious, but Mrs. Godfrey was in England, so that his father had to face the music. Adela took a dolorous comfort in her mother's being out of that--it would have killed her; but this didn't blind her to the fact that the comfort for her father would perhaps have been greater if he had had some one to talk to about his trouble. He never dreamed of doing so to her, and she felt she couldn't ask him. In the family life he wanted utter silence about it. Early in the winter he went abroad for ten weeks, leaving her with her sisters in the country, where it was not to be denied that at this time existence had very little savour. She half expected her sister-in-law would again descend on her; but the fear wasn't justified, and the quietude of the awful creature seemed really to vibrate with the ring of gold-pieces. There were sure to be extras. Adela winced at the extras. Colonel Chart went to Paris and to Monte Carlo and then to Madrid to see his boy. His daughter had the vision of his perhaps meeting Mrs. Churchley somewhere, since, if she had gone for a year, she would still be on the Continent. If he should meet her perhaps the affair would come on again: she caught herself musing over this. But he brought back no such appearance, and, seeing him after an interval, she was struck afresh with his jilted and wasted air. She didn't like it--she resented it. A little more and she would have said that that was no way to treat so faithful a man.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

They all went up to town in March, and on one of the first days of April she saw Mrs. Churchley in the Park. She herself remained apparently invisible to that lady--she herself and Beatrice and Muriel, who sat with her in their mother's old bottle-green landau. Mrs. Churchley, perched higher than ever, rode by without a recognition; but this didn't prevent Adela's going to her before the month was over. As on her great previous occasion she went in the morning, and she again had the good fortune to be admitted. This time, however, her visit was shorter, and a week after making it--the week was a desolation--she addressed to her brother at Madrid a letter containing these words: "I could endure it no longer--I confessed and retracted; I explained to her as well as I could the falsity of what I said to her ten months ago and the benighted purity of my motives for saying it. I besought her to regard it as unsaid, to forgive me, not to despise me too much, to take pity on poor PERFECT papa and come back to him. She was more good-natured than you might have expected--indeed she laughed extravagantly. She had never believed me--it was too absurd; she had only, at the time, disliked me. She found me utterly false--she was very frank with me about this--and she told papa she really thought me horrid. She said she could never live with such a girl, and as I would certainly never marry I must be sent away--in short she quite loathed me. Papa defended me, he refused to sacrifice me, and this led practically to their rupture. Papa gave her up, as it were, for ME. Fancy the angel, and fancy what I must try to be to him for the rest of his life! Mrs. Churchley can never come back--she's going to marry Lord Dovedale."

Page 6 of 6 Previous Page   Table Of Contents: The Marriages
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Marriages
Henry James

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004