Dora reddened, and stood in an embarrassed attitude.
'It was the old dispute whether women in general are capable of logic. But pardon me, Miss Yule; I forget that you have been occupied with sad things since I last saw you.'
Dora led her to a chair, asking if her father had returned.
Jasper and his sister could not think it likely that Marian had suffered much from grief at her uncle's death; practically John Yule was a stranger to her. Yet her face bore the signs of acute mental trouble, and it seemed as if some agitation made it difficult for her to speak. The awkward silence that fell upon the three was broken by Jasper, who expressed a regret that he was obliged to take his leave.
'Maud is becoming a young lady of society,' he said--just for the sake of saying something--as he moved towards the door. 'If she comes back whilst you are here, Miss Yule, warn her that that is the path of destruction for literary people.'
'You should bear that in mind yourself' remarked Dora, with a significant look.
'Oh, I am cool-headed enough to make society serve my own ends.'
Marian turned her head with a sudden movement which was checked before she had quite looked round to him. The phrase he uttered last appeared to have affected her in some way; her eyes fell, and an expression of pain was on her brows for a moment.