'Ever since the summer. They went home very soon after the marriage.'
A new light broke in on Theodora. She was tingling in every limb, but she kept her own counsel, and he proceeded. 'I saw them at Paris, and thought it did very well. She is very kind to him, keeps him in capital order, and has cured him of some of his ungainly tricks.'
'How did it happen? I have heard no particulars.'
'After his mother's death poor Pelham was less easily controlled: he grew restless and discontented, and both he and my uncle fell under the influence of an underbred idle youth in the neighbourhood, who contrived at last to get Sir Antony's consent to his taking Pelham abroad with him as his pupil. At Florence they met with these ladies, who made much of their cousin, and cajoled the tutor, till this marriage was effected.'
'She must be nearly double his age.'
'She will manage him the better for it. There was great excuse for her. The life she was obliged to lead was almost an apology for any way of escape. If only it had been done openly, and with my uncle's consent, no one could have had any right to object, and I honestly believe it is a very good thing for all parties.'
'Would Sir Antony have consented?'
'I have little doubt of it. He was hurt at first, but he was always fond of Jane. She is very attentive to him, and I hope makes him quite comfortable. He wrote to ask me to come and see them at Worthbourne, and I am on my way. I see it is getting late. Good- bye.'