'Is this all you mean to give me, then?'
'It is all I CAN give you,' said my aunt. 'You know I have had losses, and am poorer than I used to be. I have told you so. Having got it, why do you give me the pain of looking at you for another moment, and seeing what you have become?'
'I have become shabby enough, if you mean that,' he said. 'I lead the life of an owl.'
'You stripped me of the greater part of all I ever had,' said my aunt. 'You closed my heart against the whole world, years and years. You treated me falsely, ungratefully, and cruelly. Go, and repent of it. Don't add new injuries to the long, long list of injuries you have done me!'
'Aye!' he returned. 'It's all very fine - Well! I must do the best I can, for the present, I suppose.'
In spite of himself, he appeared abashed by my aunt's indignant tears, and came slouching out of the garden. Taking two or three quick steps, as if I had just come up, I met him at the gate, and went in as he came out. We eyed one another narrowly in passing, and with no favour.
'Aunt,' said I, hurriedly. 'This man alarming you again! Let me speak to him. Who is he?'
'Child,' returned my aunt, taking my arm, 'come in, and don't speak to me for ten minutes.'