'I shall go on with the Harrington notes.'
'As you please. I don't know what mourning it would be decent for you to wear; you must consult with your mother about that. That is all I wished to say.'
His tone was dismissal. Marian had a struggle with herself but she could find nothing to reply to his cold phrases. And an hour or two afterwards Yule left the house without leave-taking.
Soon after his departure there was a visitor's rat-tat at the door; it heralded Mrs Goby. In the interview which then took place Marian assisted her mother to bear the vigorous onslaughts of the haberdasher's wife. For more than two hours Mrs Goby related her grievances, against the fugitive servant, against Mrs Yule, against Mr Yule; meeting with no irritating opposition, she was able in this space of time to cool down to the temperature of normal intercourse, and when she went forth from the house again it was in a mood of dignified displeasure which she felt to be some recompense for the injuries of yesterday.
A result of this annoyance was to postpone conversation between mother and daughter on the subject of John Yule's death until a late hour of the afternoon. Marian was at work in the study, or endeavouring to work, for her thoughts would not fix themselves on the matter in hand for many minutes together, and Mrs Yule came in with more than her customary diffidence.
'Have you nearly done for to-day, dear?'
'Enough for the present, I think.'
She laid down her pen, and leant back in the chair.