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9. Chapter IX
"This is a terrible thing," he said, the moment we got out into the street.
I realised that he had come away with me in order to discuss once more what he had been already discussing for hours with his sister-in-law.
"We don't know who the woman is, you know," he said. "All we know is that the blackguard's gone to Paris."
"I thought they got on so well."
"So they did. Why, just before you came in Amy said they'd never had a quarrel in the whole of their married life. You know Amy. There never was a better woman in the world."
Since these confidences were thrust on me, I saw no harm in asking a few questions.
"But do you mean to say she suspected nothing?"
"Nothing. He spent August with her and the children in Norfolk. He was just the same as he'd always been. We went down for two or three days, my wife and I, and I played golf with him. He came back to town in September to let his partner go away, and Amy stayed on in the country. They'd taken a house for six weeks, and at the end of her tenancy she wrote to tell him on which day she was arriving in London. He answered from Paris. He said he'd made up his mind not to live with her any more."
"What explanation did he give?"
"My dear fellow, he gave no explanation. I've seen the letter. It wasn't more than ten lines."
"But that's extraordinary."
We happened then to cross the street, and the traffic prevented us from speaking. What Colonel MacAndrew had told me seemed very improbable, and I suspected that Mrs. Strickland, for reasons of her own, had concealed from him some part of the facts. It was clear that a man after seventeen years of wedlock did not leave his wife without certain occurrences which must have led her to suspect that all was not well with their married life. The Colonel caught me up.
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