The sad and simple ceremony was soon over, their progress to the church being almost at a trot, the bustling undertaker having a more important funeral an hour later, three miles off. Drusilla was put into the new ground, quite away from her ancestors. Sue and Jude had gone side by side to the grave, and now sat down to tea in the familiar house; their lives united at least in this last attention to the dead.

`She was opposed to marriage, from first to last, you say?' murmured Sue.

`Yes. Particularly for members of our family.'

Her eyes met his, and remained on him awhile.

`We are rather a sad family, don't you think, Jude?'

`She said we made bad husbands and wives. Certainly we make unhappy ones. At all events, I do, for one!'

Sue was silent. `Is it wrong, Jude,' she said with a tentative tremor, `for a husband or wife to tell a third person that they are unhappy in their marriage? If a marriage ceremony is a religious thing, it is possibly wrong; but if it is only a sordid contract, based on material convenience in householding, rating, and taxing, and the inheritance of land and money by children, making it necessary that the male parent should be known - which it seems to be - why surely a person may say, even proclaim upon the housetops, that it hurts and grieves him or her?'

`I have said so, anyhow, to you.'

Presently she went on: `Are there many couples, do you think, where one dislikes the other for no definite fault?'

`Yes, I suppose. If either cares for another person, for instance.'

`But even apart from that? Wouldn't the woman, for example, be very bad-natured if she didn't like to live with her husband; merely' - her voice undulated, and he guessed things - `merely because she had a personal feeling against it - a physical objection - a fastidiousness, or whatever it may be called - although she might respect and be grateful to him? I am merely putting a case. Ought she to try to overcome her pruderies?'

Jude threw a troubled look at her. He said, looking away: `It would be just one of those cases in which my experiences go contrary to my dogmas. Speaking as an order-loving man - which I hope I am, though I fear I am not - I should say, yes. Speaking from experience and unbiased nature, I should say, no.... Sue, I believe you are not happy!'

`Of course I am!' she contradicted. `How can a woman be unhappy who has only been married eight weeks to a man she chose freely?'

`'Chose freely!''

`Why do you repeat it? ... But I have to go back by the six o'clock train. You will be staying on here, I suppose?'

`For a few days to wind up Aunt's affairs. This house is gone now. Shall I go to the train with you?'

A little laugh of objection came from Sue. `I think not. You may come part of the way.'

`But stop - you can't go to-night! That train won't take you to Shaston. You must stay and go back to- morrow. Mrs. Edlin has plenty of room, if you don't like to stay here?'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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