"My dear Ellinor, there can be no doubt about it. Your father himself always referred to the losses he had sustained by Dunster's disappearance."
Ellinor covered her face with her hands. "God forgive us all," she said, and relapsed into the old unbearable silence. Mr. Ness had undertaken to discuss her future plans with her, and he was obliged to go on.
"Now, my dear child--I have known you since you were quite a little girl, you know--we must try not to give way to feeling"--he himself was choking; she was quite quiet--"but think what is to be done. You will have the rent of this house, and we have a very good offer for it--a tenant on lease of seven years at a hundred and twenty pounds a year--"
"I will never let this house," said she, standing up suddenly, and as if defying him.
"Not let Ford Bank! Why? I don't understand it--I can't have been clear--Ellinor, the rent of this house is all you will have to live on!"
"I can't help it, I can't leave this house. Oh, Mr. Ness, I can't leave this house."
"My dear child, you shall not be hurried--I know how hardly all these things are coming upon you (and I wish I had never seen Corbet, with all my heart I do!)"--this was almost to himself, but she must have heard it, for she quivered all over--"but leave this house you must. You must eat, and the rent of this house must pay for your food; you must dress, and there is nothing but the rent to clothe you. I will gladly have you to stay at the Parsonage as long as ever you like; but, in fact, the negotiations with Mr. Osbaldistone, the gentleman who offers to take the house, are nearly completed--"
"It is my house!" said Ellinor, fiercely. "I know it is settled on me."
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