Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/397

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A Bundle of Life.

did she send for the girl if she did not want her? Where's the consistency? As I told Blanche this morning—'Blanche,' I said, as kindly as possible—I did not want a scene, as you may imagine—'Blanche,' I said, 'if you will tell me why you sent for Teresa, in the first place' But, God bless your soul! before the words were out of my mouth she flew at me like a tigress. And what do you think she said? 'What! do you begrudge your own child her rightful home? I suppose you do not wish to be reminded of the past. For it was all your fault, although I have had all the blame.' Imagine her referring to dead and gone matters in that offensive manner! And she was the one who had been abusing the poor child—not I. I ask you what could any man do with a woman like that?"

"It is a very difficult question," said Waddilove.

"And there is nothing to be gained by a separation," said Sir Sidney, "because she is so unreasonable, and can neither make head nor tail of the law. There is no peace for me this side of the grave."

"What does Lady Warcop suggest? " said Waddilove. "What are her wishes in the matter?"

"God knows!" said Sir Sidney. "If I knew what she wanted we might come to some understanding. But one moment she says one thing and the next another. My health will not bear it much longer. What do you advise me to do in the meantime?"

"You must be firm," said Waddilove.

"Impossible; quite impossible. Whenever I speak firmly she begins to cry. You see, she is a gentle, sweet-tempered sort of woman by nature. One does not like to be brutal."