"About Miss Jethro, of course! Has she said anything of me which your kindness has concealed?"
Alban seemed to be a little hurt by the doubt which her question implied. "Was that your motive," he asked, "for answering my letter as cautiously as if you had been writing to a stranger?"
"Indeed you are quite wrong!" Emily earnestly assured him. "I was perplexed and startled--and I took Mr. Wyvil's advice, before I wrote to you. Shall we drop the subject?"
Alban would have willingly dropped the subject--but for that unfortunate allusion to Mr. Wyvil. Emily had unconsciously touched him on a sore place. He had already heard from Cecilia of the consultation over his letter, and had disapproved of it. "I think you were wrong to trouble Mr. Wyvil," he said.
The altered tone of his voice suggested to Emily that he would have spoken more severely, if Cecilia had not been in the room. She thought him needlessly ready to complain of a harmless proceeding--and she too returned to the subject, after having proposed to drop it not a minute since!
"You didn't tell me I was to keep your letter a secret," she replied.
Cecilia made matters worse--with the best intentions. "I'm sure, Mr. Morris, my father was only too glad to give Emily his advice."
Alban remained silent--ungraciously silent as Emily thought, after Mr. Wyvil's kindness to him.