'But, all the same, he ought to feel pleasure in your good fortune.'
Marian turned to another subject.
'Think of the Reardons; what a change all at once! What will they do, I wonder? Surely they won't continue to live apart?'
Whilst they were discussing the affairs of that branch of the family, Maud returned. There was ill-humour on her handsome face, and she greeted Marian but coldly. Throwing off her hat and gloves and mantle she listened to the repeated story of John Yule's bequests.
'But why ever has Mrs Reardon so much more than anyone else?' she asked.
'We can only suppose it is because she was the favourite child of the brother he liked best. Yet at her wedding he gave her nothing, and spoke contemptuously of her for marrying a literary man.'
'Fortunate for her poor husband that her uncle was able to forgive her. I wonder what's the date of the will? Who knows but he may have rewarded her for quarrelling with Mr Reardon.'
'I don't know when the will was made,' said Marian. 'And I don't know whether uncle had even heard of the Reardons' misfortunes. I suppose he must have done. My cousin John was at the funeral, but not my aunt. I think it most likely father and John didn't speak a word to each other. Fortunately the relatives were lost sight of in the great crowd of Wattleborough people; there was an enormous procession, of course.'