Page:Twilight.djvu/168

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160
TWILIGHT

the news as a cause célèbre. James Capel unexpectedly defended himself, and fought her with every weapon malice and an unscrupulous solicitor could forge. Part of the evidence was heard in camera, the rest should have been relegated to the same obscurity. All the bitterness and misery of those terrible months were revived. Now it seemed there was nothing for her but obliteration. She thought it impossible she could ever again come before the public, for her story to be recalled. She was all unnerved and shaken, refusing to go out or to see people. She thought she desired nothing but obscurity.

Yet she had to write.

The book on pottery was a sudden inspiration. It would be something entirely new and unassociated with her in the public mind. There were dreadful months to be got through, the waiting months during which, in law at least, she was still James Capel's wife, a condition more intolerable now than it had ever been.

Whatever she may have thought about herself it is obvious that in essentials she was unaltered. Her egotism had re-established itself under her father and good stepmother's care, and her amazing self-consciousness. To her it seemed as if all the world were talking about her. There was some foundation for her belief, of course. In so much as she was a public character, she was a favourite of that small