He did not hear the words, but he received the message. He sighed and looked back at the intricate nonsense of the cornice going nowhere. Growling deep in his gut and a hollow ache rising to his chest, he felt torn. The valid accusations of this woman he still loved. Or the well-being of the daughter he adored. He had wanted her to grow into the richness of this rural community his wife could not see. The eternal values of the earth and the courage of the people who depended on it. Without looking down, he picked up the dainty china cup and crushed it in his hands.