Alice Leaves the Priory
Too Long; Didn't ReadAs they came in at the billiard-room door, Mr. Palliser was there to meet them. "You must be very cold," he said to Glencora, who entered first. "No, indeed," said Glencora;—but her teeth were chattering, and her whole appearance gave the lie to her words. "Jeffrey," said Mr. Palliser, turning to his cousin, "I am angry with you. You, at least, should have known better than to have allowed her to remain so long." Then Mr. Palliser turned away, and walked his wife off, taking no notice whatsoever of Miss Vavasor.
Alice felt the slight, and understood it all. He had told her plainly enough, though not in words, that he had trusted his wife with her, and that she had betrayed the trust. She might have brought Glencora in within five or six minutes, instead of allowing her to remain out there in the freezing night air for nearly three-quarters of an hour. That was the accusation which Mr. Palliser made against her, and he made it with the utmost severity. He asked no question of her whether she were cold. He spoke no word to her, nor did he even look at her. She might get herself away to her bedroom as she pleased. Alice understood all this completely, and though she knew that she had not deserved such severity, she was not inclined to resent it. There was so much in Mr. Palliser's position that was to be pitied, that Alice could not find it in her heart to be angry with him.