"Mr. Gabriel said I was to tell you there was a letter inside."
"A letter! But I thought... oh, yes! Give it to me."
"And I was to ask if there was an answer."
"An answer, but I can't write here!"
"He didn't know you was meeting me. 'Go up to the house,' he said; 'give it to her in her own hands. Ask if there is any answer.'"
"Tell him... tell him I'll write," she said vaguely.
But as yet she had not read. What would he say, what comfort send her? For all her wired definiteness she wished he had come himself, had a moment's disloyalty to him, thought he should have disregarded her wishes, rushed down, even if they had met only at the station. He need not have been so punctilious!
She could not let the man go back until she had read and answered Gabriel's letter. She made him drive back with her to Carbies, seated on the box beside the driver. She held the precious package tight, but did not open it. For that she must be alone.
Stanton's man was handed over to the household's care for lunch or tea. He was to go back by the 5.5. "Mr. Gabriel" had given him his instructions.
Now she was at her writing-table and alone.