As for Gervase himself, he was entirely absorbed by this business. He went, indeed, to Madeline for sympathy, and told her all that was happening, and how he was tormented and kept in pain by the innumerable delays and all the vexatious fuss and formality through which he was{132} dragged before his business could be accomplished. The renunciation of all the money, which had indeed been gained by his own exertions, cost him nothing. He did not think of it; but the waiting, the confabulations, the meetings that had to be called, the papers that had to be signed, the special consent on all hands to make the transaction as odious and as tiresome as possible, did affect him, and that most painfully. He was harassed to death during those early summer days, in which London looks its best, and all the crowd of fashion pours in. Madeline, though her society was not that of fashion, yet had, as everybody has, a greater amount of engagements, 온라인바카라 a quickened current of life during the season, that high tide of English hurry. And though her{133} heart was with the lover, who was no longer a lover, who seemed to have forgotten everything, both in the present and the future, except this one dogged resolve to get rid of his money, and silence at once and for ever all criticism or censure,—yet she was compelled to carry on the routine of her usual life, to go out, to lose herself more or less in the bustle and commotion of the period, and could not be entirely at his command, as he seemed to expect. In short, there fell between them, if not a cloud, yet a mist which veiled each from the other, making Gervase believe that her sympathy had failed, and tormenting Madeline with the thought that his love was no longer what it was, and that she had lost her place in his life. He came to her, but he talked{134} of nothing but his business, of the stage at which he had now arrived, of the prospect there was of coming to a conclusion. And she had so often to hurry on these long explanations, to say “Gervase, I must go. Don’t think me unkind,—I would rather stay with you a thousand times, but I must go.” He would give her a look which she scarcely understood, whether it was reproach or consent. “I know, I know,” he would say, and go off heavily, never looking behind him. This lasted like a fever for weeks: he always absorbed in the business which it was so difficult to get done with; she full of wretched thoughts, thinking she had lost him, not without a feeling that he had lost himself, going on with her gaieties, which was worse. If it had but hap{135}pened at another time of the year, it would not have been quite so bad; and oh, if Gervase had but stayed at home, if he had but gone into the business, if he had kept everything straight, if it had never happened at all!