'My husband is afraid Mr Reardon may fall seriously ill,' said Mrs Carter. 'And how dreadful! In such a place as that!'
'It would be so kind of you to go and see him, Mr Milvain,' urged Mrs Yule. 'We should be so glad to hear what you think.'
'Certainly, I will go,' replied Jasper. 'Will you give me his address?'
He remained for an hour, and before his departure the subject was discussed with rather more frankness than at first; even the word 'money' was once or twice heard.
'Mr Carter has very kindly promised,' said Mrs Yule, 'to do his best to hear of some position that would be suitable. It seems a most shocking thing that a successful author should abandon his career in this deliberate way; who could have imagined anything of the kind two years ago? But it is clearly quite impossible for him to go on as at present--if there is really no reason for believing his mind disordered.'
A cab was summoned for Mrs Carter, and she took her leave, suppressing her native cheerfulness to the tone of the occasion. A minute or two after, Milvain left the house.
He had walked perhaps twenty yards, almost to the end of the silent street in which his friends' house was situated, when a man came round the corner and approached him. At once he recognised the figure, and in a moment he was face to face with Reardon. Both stopped. Jasper held out his hand, but the other did not seem to notice it.
'You are coming from Mrs Yule's?' said Reardon, with a strange smile.
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