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8. CHAPTER VIII: CAPTAIN AYLMER MEETS HIS CONSTITUENTS (continued)
'You are infinitely too proud for that; but I am sure that a stranger seeing it would think that it was so.'
'I don't know what it is that I do or that I ought not to do. But all my life everything that I have done at Perivale has always been wrong.'
'It would have been so natural that you and I should be friends.'
'If we are enemies, Captain Aylmer, I don't know it.'
'But if ever I venture to speak of your future life you always repel me as though you were determined to let me know that it should not be a matter of care to me.'
'That is exactly what I am determined to let you know. You are, or will be, a rich man, and you have everything the world can give you. I am, or shall be, a very poor woman.'
'Is that a reason why I should not be interested in your welfare?'
'Yes the best reason in the world. We are not related to each other, though we have a common connexion in dear Mrs Winterfield. And nothing, to my idea, can be more objectionable than any sort of dependence from a woman of my age on a man of yours there being no real tie of blood between them. I have spoken very plainly, Captain Aylmer, for you have made me do it.'
'Very plainly,' he said.
'If I have said anything to offend you, I beg your pardon; but I was driven to explain myself.'
Then she got up and took her bed-candle in her hand.
'You have not offended me,' he said, as he also rose.
'Good-night, Captain Aylmer.'
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