Home / News
12. Chapter XII (continued)
"Has it occurred to you that your wife is frightfully unhappy?"
"She'll get over it."
I cannot describe the extraordinary callousness with which he made this reply. It disconcerted me, but I did my best not to show it. I adopted the tone used by my Uncle Henry, a clergyman, when he was asking one of his relatives for a subscription to the Additional Curates Society.
"You don't mind my talking to you frankly?"
He shook his head, smiling.
"Has she deserved that you should treat her like this?"
"Have you any complaint to make against her?"
"Then, isn't it monstrous to leave her in this fashion, after seventeen years of married life, without a fault to find with her?"
I glanced at him with surprise. His cordial agreement with all I said cut the ground from under my feet. It made my position complicated, not to say ludicrous. I was prepared to be persuasive, touching, and hortatory, admonitory and expostulating, if need be vituperative even, indignant and sarcastic; but what the devil does a mentor do when the sinner makes no bones about confessing his sin? I had no experience, since my own practice has always been to deny everything.
"What, then?" asked Strickland.
I tried to curl my lip.
"Well, if you acknowledge that, there doesn't seem much more to be said."
"I don't think there is."
I felt that I was not carrying out my embassy with any great skill. I was distinctly nettled.
This is page 43 of 241. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of The Moon and Sixpence at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.