be so disagreeable. But Mrs Penniman was elaborately reserved and significantly silent; there was a richer rustle in the very deliberate movements to which she confined herself, and when she occasionally spoke, in connection with some very trivial event, she had the air of meaning something deeper than what she said. Between Catherine and her father nothing had passed since the evening she went to speak to him in his study. She had something to say to him - it seemed to her she ought to say it - but she kept it back for fear of irritating him. He also had something to say to her; but he was determined not to speak first. He was interested, as we know, in seeing how, if she were left to herself, she would' stick.' At last she told him she had seen Morris Townsend again, and that their relations remained quite the same.
'I think we shall marry - before very long. And probably, meanwhile, I shall see him rather often; about once a week - not more.'
The Doctor looked at her coldly from head to foot, as if she had been a stranger. It was the first time his eyes had rested on her for a week, which was fortunate, if that was to be their expression.' Why not three times a day?' he asked.' What prevents your meeting as often as you choose?'
She turned away a moment; there were tears in her eyes. Then she said,' It is better once a week.'
'I don't see how it is better. It is as bad as it can be. If you flatter yourself that I care for little modifications of that sort, you are very much mistaken. It is as wrong of you to see him once a week as it would be to see him all day long. Not that it matters to me, however.'
Catherine tried to follow these words, but they seemed to lead toward a vague horror from which she recoiled.' I think we shall marry pretty soon,' she repeated, at last.
Her father gave her his dreadful look again, as if she were some one else.' Why do you tell me that? It's no concern of mine.'
'Oh, father,' she broke out,' don't you care, even if you do feel so?'
'Not a button. Once you marry, it's quite the same to me when, or where, or why you do it; and if you think to compound for your folly by hoisting your fly in this way, you may spare yourself the trouble. ,
With this he turned away. But the next day he spoke to her of his own accord, and his manner was somewhat changed.' Shall you be married within the next four or five months?' he asked.
'I don't know, father,' said Catherine.' It is not very easy for us to make up our minds.'
'Put it off, then, for six months, and in the mean time I will take you to Europe. I should like you very much to go.'
It gave her such delight, after his words of the day before, to hear that he should' like' her to do something, and that he still had in his heart any of the tenderness of preference, that she gave a little exclamation of joy. But then she became conscious that Morris was not included in this proposal, and that - as regards really going - she would greatly prefer to remain at home with him. But she blushed none the less more comfortably than she had done of late.' It would be delightful to go to Europe,' she remarked, with a sense that the idea was not original, and that her tone was not all it might be.
'Very well, then, we will go. Pack up your clothes.'
'I had better tell Mr Townsend,' said Catherine.
Her father fixed his cold eyes upon her.' If you mean that you had better ask his leave, all that remains to me is to hope he will give it.'
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