"Good afternoon, Bullfinch," said Mrs Forrester. "I wish to see your master."
Mrs Bullfinch hesitated for a second, then held the door wide open. "Come in, ma'am." She turned her head, "Albert, here's Mrs Forrester to see you."
Mrs Forrester went in quickly and there was Albert sitting by the fire, leaning back in an old armchair and reading the evening paper.
"How are you, my dear?" said Albert cheerfully, putting aside the paper. "Keeping well, I hope?"
"Won't you sit down, ma'am?" said Mrs Bullfinch, pushing a chair forward.
"Could I see you alone, Albert?" Mrs Forrester asked, sitting down.
"I'm afraid not," Albert answered, "because of Mrs Bullfinch. I think she should be present."
"As you wish."
"Well, my dear, what have you to say to me?" Albert asked.
Mrs Forrester gave him her best smile. "I don't blame you for anything, Albert, I know it isn't your fault and I'm not angry with you, but a joke's a joke and should not be carried too far. I've come to take you home."
"Then I think you're wasting time, my dear," said Albert. "Nothing will ever make me live with you again."
"Have you not been happy with me, Albert?" asked Mrs Forrester in a deeper tone, trying not to show that her feelings were hurt.
"We have been married for thirty-five years, my dear. It's a very long time, isn't it? You're a good woman in your own way, but not suitable for me. You're literary and I'm not. You're artistic and I'm not."
"But all this time I've been doing everything in my power to interest you in art and literature," said Mrs Forrester.
"That's true, and I can only blame myself if I didn't react properly. But I don't like the books you write. And I don't like the people who surround you. Let me tell you a secret, my dear. At your parties I often very much wanted to take off my clothes just to see what would happen."