The expression on her face was as good as a play!
She said with a sort of disgust: "Not married! I see. I suppose those people are hanging round your neck, then; no wonder you're always in difficulties. Are there any more of them?"
Again the old man suppressed that spasm, and the veins in his neck and forehead swelled alarmingly. If he had spoken he would infallibly have choked. He ceased eating, and putting his hands on the table tried to raise himself. He could not and subsiding in his chair sat glaring at the stiff, quiet figure of his daughter.
"Don't be silly, Father, and make a scene before Meller. Finish your dinner."
He did not answer. He was not going to sit there to be dragooned and insulted! His helplessness had never so weighed on him before. It was like a revelation. A log--that had to put up with anything! A log! And, waiting for his valet to return, he cunningly took up his fork.
In that saintly voice of hers she said:
"I suppose you don't realise that it's a shock to me. I don't know what Ernest will think--"
"I do wish, Father, you wouldn't swear."