‘When I was last here,’ I faltered, ‘Miss Dartle told me he was sailing here and there. The night before last was a dreadful one at sea. If he were at sea that night, and near a dangerous coast, as it is said he was; and if the vessel that was seen should really be the ship which — ’
‘Rosa!’ said Mrs. Steerforth, ‘come to me!’
She came, but with no sympathy or gentleness. Her eyes gleamed like fire as she confronted his mother, and broke into a frightful laugh.
‘Now,’ she said, ‘is your pride appeased, you madwoman? Now has he made atonement to you — with his life! Do you hear? — -His life!’
Mrs. Steerforth, fallen back stiffly