He spoke in a strangely sudden agitation. The arm with which he leaned upon the table trembled violently. After a moment's pause he added, in a thick voice:
'Leave me. I will speak to you again in the morning.'
Impressed in a way she did not understand, Marian at once obeyed, and rejoined her mother in the parlour. Mrs Yule gazed anxiously at her as she entered.
'Don't be afraid,' said Marian, with difficulty bringing herself to speak. 'I think it will be better.'
'Was that a telegram that came?' her mother inquired after a silence.
'Yes. I don't know where it was from. But father said he would have to leave town for a few days.'
'Perhaps your uncle is very ill,' said the mother in a low voice.
The evening passed drearily. Fatigued with her emotions, Marian went early to bed; she even slept later than usual in the morning, and on descending she found her father already at the breakfast-table. No greeting passed, and there was no conversation during the meal. Marian noticed that her mother kept glancing at her in a peculiarly grave way; but she felt ill and dejected, and could fix her thoughts on no subject. As he left the table Yule said to her:
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