HER calmness, which was not the stupor of grief, from this point onwards shocked her friend and disturbed her enemy in the house. The Rector could not but feel it a slight upon his dead brother and an attitude most unbecoming to so young a widow; but Mrs. James was made uncomfortable by an attitude for which she had not been prepared. Whatever the girl's faults may have been, she had never been brazen. Why, then, was she brazen now? Why almost -- yes, indecent in her indifference? Mary proposed nothing, objected to nothing; took no part in the funeral arrangements, answered no letters, read none, allowed her sister-in-law entire control, sank back, with evident contentment, to be the cipher in her own house, which, of course, she ought to have been from the first. There was something behind all this; Mrs. James was far too intelligent to misread it. This did not mean that Mary was overwhelmed -- by grief, or shame, either; it did not mean that she felt herself in disgrace. No. This was impudence -- colossal.
The Rector, to whom this reading of the girl was