At the house he met Kirby's wife, a fair young woman, who clung desperately here in the wilderness, to the traditions, and to as many of the customs as might be, of her south-of-England home.
Landor had been good to her. She would have gone through anything rather than have hurt him. And yet it was always a relief now when he went away. She was glad when he was ordered into the field at the beginning of the spring. Of old she had been sufficiently sorry to have him go. But of old she had not felt the bit galling.
He lay thinking for a while, then had her send the striker for Ellton, who promptly, and awkwardly, replied to the anxious question as to what might be the trouble, that he was not quite sure, but perhaps it had to do with these—"these" being a small roll of newspaper clippings he took from his portfolio.
"Well?" said he, questioningly, setting his mouth. It answered to the duellist's "On guard!" She had seen him set his mouth before, and she knew that it meant that he was not to be opposed. Nevertheless there was a principle involved now. It must be fought for. And it would be the first fight of their marriage, too. As he had told Cairness once, she was very amiable.
Cairness sat for a long time, smoking and thinking. Then Felipa's voice called to him and he went in to her. She was by the window in a flood of moonlight, herself all in flowing white, with the mantle of black hair upon her shoulders.