PublicBookshelf Book Club
Mary Roberts Rinehart
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At midnight Howard Cardew reached home again, a tired and broken man. Grace had been lying awake in her bedroom, puzzled by his unexplained absence, and brooding, as she now did continually, over Lily's absence.
At half past eleven she heard Anthony Cardew come in and go upstairs, and for some time after that she heard him steadily pacing back and forth overhead. Sometimes Grace felt sorry for Anthony. He had made himself at such cost, and now when he was old, he had everything and yet nothing.
They had never understood women, these Cardews. Howard was gentle with them where Anthony was hard, but he did not understand, either. She herself, of other blood, got along by making few demands, but the Cardew women were as insistent in their demands as the men. Elinor, Lily--She formed a sudden resolution, and getting up, dressed feverishly. She had no plan in her mind, nothing but a desperate resolution to put Lily's case before her grandfather, and to beg that she be brought home without conditions.
She was frightened as she went up the stairs. Never before had she permitted things to come to an issue between herself and Anthony. But now it must be done. She knocked at the door.
Anthony Cardew opened it. The room was dark, save for one lamp burning dimly on a great mahogany table, and Anthony's erect figure was little more than a blur of black and white.