'You have nothing more to say, then?' He turned sharply upon her.
'I feel that I haven't made you understand me, but I can say nothing more.'
'I understand you very well--too well. That you should misunderstand and mistrust me, I suppose, is natural. You are young, and I am old. You are still full of hope, and I have been so often deceived and defeated that I dare not let a ray of hope enter my mind. Judge me; judge me as hardly as you like. My life has been one long, bitter struggle, and if now--. I say,' he began a new sentence, 'that only the hard side of life has been shown to me; small wonder if I have become hard myself. Desert me; go your own Way, as the young always do. But bear in mind my warning. Remember the caution I have given you.'
He spoke in a strangely sudden agitation. The arm with which he leaned upon the table trembled violently. After a moment's pause he added, in a thick voice:
'Leave me. I will speak to you again in the morning.'
Impressed in a way she did not understand, Marian at once obeyed, and rejoined her mother in the parlour. Mrs Yule gazed anxiously at her as she entered.
'Don't be afraid,' said Marian, with difficulty bringing herself to speak. 'I think it will be better.'
'Was that a telegram that came?' her mother inquired after a silence.