On this hint Wilson bounced out and left the patient to his misery.
At her next visit she laid a nosegay on his bed and gossiped away, talking of everything in the world except Miss Rolleston.
At last she came to a pause, and Seaton laid his hand on her arm directly, and looking piteously in her face spoke his first word.
"What, still harping on _her?"_ said Wilson. "Well, she doesn't hate him, I suppose, or she would not marry him."
"For pity's sake don't trifle with me! Does she love him?"
"La, James, how can I tell? She mayn't love him quite as much as I could love a man that took my fancy" (here she cast a languishing glance on Seaton); "but I see no difference between her and other young ladies. Miss is very fond of her papa, for one thing; and he favors the match. Ay, and she likes her partner well enough. She is brighter like, now he is in the house, and she reads all her friends' letters to him ever so lovingly; and I do notice she leans on him out walking, a trifle more than there is any need for."
At this picture James Seaton writhed in his bed like some agonized creature under vivisection; but the woman, spurred by jealousy, and also by egotistical passion, had no mercy left for him.
"And why not?" continued she; "he is young and handsome and rich and he dotes on her. If you are really her friend you ought to be glad she is so well suited."