Pearl could not have borne life if it had not been for her daily letter, which she continued to write. Mrs. Conway hardly spoke to her; and if she did, she spoke slowly, enunciating every word carefully as if Pearl's moral obliquity had somehow made her idiotic. Durland, loyal to the death, was not much help, because he merely hated his family and scowled through every meal. Antonia, on the other hand, was one of those rare natures who could be an ally without being a partisan.
"Of course," she would say calmly to anyone who would listen to her, "Allen only came here at all in the hope of seeing Miss Exeter, but you can't expect Dolly to understand that."
Anthony's two telegrams arrived one evening at dinnertime and were handed by the butler, one to Mrs. Conway and one to the governess.
Pearl's heart sank on seeing there were two. She thought it must mean he was deciding against her; and though she found her present position unpleasant, she did not want Mr. Wood to decide against her. She opened hers and read its few words at one glance. It was not her habit to blush, but she blushed now with a deep emotion--of gratitude and admiration. Not many men would have stood by her, she thought, in a situation like this. She knew where Antonia got her sense of justice.
Or, she thought with something very like jealousy, was it really Augusta in whom he was expressing his confidence, not in her at all?