Nutty foregathered with Mr Prescott and took the letters from him.
The mere fact that her brother, whose usual mode of progression was a languid saunter, should be actually running, was enough to tell Elizabeth that the letter which Nutty had read was from the London lawyers.
'Nutty, darling, what is it?' cried Elizabeth, every maternal instinct in her aroused.
Her thoughts were all for Nutty. It did not need the sight of him, gasping and gurgling before her, to tell her how overwhelming was his disappointment.
Nutty's reason--such as it was--tottered on its throne.
She was a soft-hearted girl, easily distressed by the sight of suffering; and she was aware that Nutty was scarcely of the type that masks its woes behind a brave and cheerful smile.
'About now,' said Nutty, sepulchrally, 'the blighter is ringing for his man to prepare his bally bath and lay out his gold-leaf underwear.
Nutty having the air of one who is still engaged in picking up the pieces, she had not the heart to ask him to play his customary part in the household duties, so she washed the dishes and made the beds herself.
She went out into the grounds to try to find Nutty. There had been no signs of him in the house.