When her father thus retracted his own words, away went Grace's last faint hope that Henry lived; and now she must die for him, or live for others.
She thought of Jael Dance, and chose the latter.
Another burst or two of agony, and then her great aim and study appeared to be to forget herself altogether. She was full of attention for her father, and, whenever Mr. Coventry came, she labored to reward him with kind words, and even with smiles; but they were sad ones.
As for Coventry, he saw, with secret exultation, that she was now too languid and hopeless to resist the joint efforts of her father and himself, and, that some day or other, she must fall lifeless into his arms.
He said to himself, "It is only a question of time."
He was now oftener at the villa than at Hillsborough, and, with remarkable self-denial, adhered steadily to the line of soothing and unobtrusive devotion.
One morning at breakfast the post brought him a large envelope from Hillsborough. He examined it, and found a capital "L" in the corner of the envelope, which "L" was written by his man Lally, in compliance with secret instructions from his master.
Coventry instantly put the envelope into his pocket, and his hand began to shake so that he could hardly hold his cup to his lips. His agitation, however, was not noticed.