湖南长沙桑拿论坛

Instantly he saw his mistake. He had had the opportunity to treat the subject in the same playful spirit. But he had been unable to: it was all too serious to him. The grim Puritan streak in him, which had not prevented his falling in love with Norah, made it impossible for him to jest or suffer a jest about it. He was not a flirt, and did not care to have that tawdry cloak thrown on to his shoulders. But he had made a mistake: he ought to have accepted that ridiculous decoration with a grin as ridiculous. Now he tried to recapture the belated inanity.

‘Ah, you’re just chaffing me,’ he said, ‘and there’s no harm in that. But I didn’t care for what Mr Silverdale would say. He’s naughty too, if he’s not going to ask poor Alice to marry him, when she’s recovered from her influenza. Or have you done as I asked you, and cut your daughter out yourself? That’s a joke too: one bad joke deserves another, Emmeline.’

Suddenly it struck him that the situation was parallel to, but more significant than that which had occurred in her drawing-room when Norah had come into it for a few minutes one snowy{183} evening. Then, as now, his wife had hinted at an underlying truth, which he was aware of: then, as now, he had scolded her for the ridiculous suggestion her words implied. But to-day the same situation was intensified, it presented itself to him in colours many tones more vivid, even as the underlying truth had become of far greater concern to him. And, unless he was mistaken, it had become much more real to his wife. Her first 长沙桑拿会所哪里最好 vague, stupid (but truly-founded) suspicion had acquired solidity in her mind. He doubted whether he could, so to speak, bomb it to bits by the throwing to her of a pearl-pendant.

She looked at him a moment with eyes behind which there smouldered a real though a veiled hostility, and he found himself wishing that she would put it into words, and repeat definitely and seriously the accusation at which her dismal little jest about the work of the catalogue keeping him here in Bracebridge, had hinted. Then he could have denied it more explicitly, and with a violence that might have impressed her. But his roughness, his fierce challenging of her stupid chaff had effectively frightened her off any such repetition, and she gave him no opportunity of denial or

长沙桑拿网

defence. Only, as she left him, with the intention of seeing Alice 长沙桑拿会所 before lunch, he noted this intensified situation. It had become more explosive, more dangerous, and now instead of taking it boldly out into the open, and encouraging{184} it to explode, with, probably, no very destructive results, he had caused his wife to lock it up in the confined space of her own mind, hiding it away from his anger or his ridicule. But it was doubtful whether she had detached the smouldering fuse of her own suspicions. They were at present of no very swiftly