Man and Wife HTML version

The Debt
ARNOLD was the first who broke the silence. "Is your father seriously ill?" he asked.
Geoffrey answered by handing him the card.
Sir Patrick, who had stood apart (while the question of Ratcatcher's relapse was under
discussion) sardonically studying the manners and customs of modern English youth,
now came forward, and took his part in the proceedings. Lady Lundie herself must have
acknowledged that he spoke and acted as became the head of the family, on t his
"Am I right in supposing that Mr. Delamayn's father is dangerously ill?" he asked,
addressing himself to Arnold.
"Dangerously ill, in London," Arnold answered. "Geoffrey must leave Windygates with
me. The train I am traveling by meets the train his brother is traveling by, at the junction.
I shall leave him at the second station from here."
"Didn't you tell me that Lady Lundie was going to send you to the railway in a gig?"
"If the servant drives, there will be three of you--and there will be no room."
"We had better ask for some other vehicle," suggested Arnold.
Sir Patrick looked at his watch. There was no time to change the carriage. He turned to
Geoffrey. "Can you drive, Mr. Delamayn?"
Still impenetrably silent, Geoffrey replied by a nod of the head.
Without noticing the unceremonious manner in which he had been answered, Sir Patrick
went on:
"In that case, you can leave the gig in charge of the station-master. I'll tell the servant that
he will not be wanted to drive."
"Let me save you the trouble, Sir Patrick," said Arnold.
Sir Patrick declined, by a gesture. He turned again, with undiminished courtesy, to
Geoffrey. "It is one of the duties of hospitality, Mr. Delamayn, to hasten your departure,
under these sad circumstances. Lady Lundie is engaged with her guests. I will see myself
that there is no unnecessary delay in sending you to the station." He bowed--and left the
Arnold said a word of sympathy to his friend, when they were alone.
"I am sorry for this, Geoffrey. I hope and trust you will get to London in time."
He stopped. There was something in Geoffrey's face--a strange mixture of doubt and
bewilderment, of annoyance and hesitation--which was not to be accounted for as the