Ah, here is Mrs. Thornbury,” he began with some relief in his voice. “You have heard, of course. My wife feels that she was in some way responsible. She urged poor Miss Vinrace to come on the expedition. I’m sure you will agree with me that it is most unreasonable to feel that. We don’t even know–in fact I think it most unlikely–that she caught her illness there. These diseases–Besides, she was set on going. She would have gone whether you asked her or not, Alice.
The strongest wish in her being at this moment was to be able to do something for the unhappy people–to see them–to assure them–to help them. It was dreadful to be so far away from them. But Mr. Flushing shook his head; he did not think that now–later perhaps one might be able to help. Here Mrs. Flushing rose stiffly, turned her back to them, and walked to the dressing-room opposite. As she walked, they could see her breast slowly rise and slowly fall. But her grief was silent. She shut the door behind her.
When she was alone by herself she clenched her fists together, and began beating the back of a chair with them. She was like a wounded animal. She hated death; she was furious, outraged, indignant with death, as if it were a living creature. She refused to relinquish her friends to death. She would not submit to dark and nothingness. She began to pace up and down, clenching her hands, and making no attempt to stop the quick tears which raced down her cheeks. She sat still at last, but she did not submit. She looked stubborn and strong when she had ceased to cry.
In the next room, meanwhile, Wilfrid was talking to Mrs. Thornbury with greater freedom now that his wife was not sitting there.