Jasper understood that an explanation of the matter might have been given in much more homely terms; it was natural that Mrs Yule should leave out of sight the sufficient, but ignoble, cause of her son-in-law's behaviour.
'You see in what a painful position we are placed,' continued the euphemistic lady. 'It is so terrible even to hint that Mr Reardon is not responsible for his actions, yet how are we to explain to our friends this extraordinary state of things?'
'My husband is afraid Mr Reardon may fall seriously ill,' said Mrs Carter. 'And how dreadful! In such a place as that!'
'It would be so kind of you to go and see him, Mr Milvain,' urged Mrs Yule. 'We should be so glad to hear what you think.'
'Certainly, I will go,' replied Jasper. 'Will you give me his address?'
He remained for an hour, and before his departure the subject was discussed with rather more frankness than at first; even the word 'money' was once or twice heard.
'Mr Carter has very kindly promised,' said Mrs Yule, 'to do his best to hear of some position that would be suitable. It seems a most shocking thing that a successful author should abandon his career in this deliberate way; who could have imagined anything of the kind two years ago? But it is clearly quite impossible for him to go on as at present--if there is really no reason for believing his mind disordered.'
A cab was summoned for Mrs Carter, and she took her leave, suppressing her native cheerfulness to the tone of the occasion. A minute or two after, Milvain left the house.