Sir Thomas came home again that evening, very sour in temper, and nothing could be said to him. He was angry with everybody, and Lady Tringle hardly dared to go near him, either then or on the following morning. On the Tuesday evening, however, he returned somewhat softened in his demeanour. The millions had perhaps gone right, though his children would go so wrong. When he spoke either to his younger daughter or of her he did so in that jeering tone which he afterwards always assumed when allusion was made to Captain Batsby, and which, disagreeable as it was, seemed to imply something of forgiveness. And he ate his dinner, and drank his glass of wine, without making any allusion to the parsimonious habits of his son-in-law, Mr Traffick. Lady Tringle, therefore, considered that she might approach him with Tom's request.
"You go to Stalham!" he exclaimed.
"Well, my dear, I suppose I could see her?"
"And what could you learn from her?"
"I don't suppose I could learn much. She was always a pigheaded, stiff-necked creature. I am sure it wouldn't be any pleasure to me to see her."
"What good would it do?" demanded Sir Thomas.
"Well, my dear; he says that he won't go unless he can get a message from her. I am sure I don't want to go to Stalham. Nothing on earth could be so disagreeable. But perhaps I could bring back a word or two which would make him go upon his journey." "What sort of word?"
"Why -- if I were to say that she were engaged to this Colonel Stubbs, then he would go. He says that he would start at once if he knew that his cousin were really engaged to somebody else." "But if she be not?"