My edition has a period followed by a dash. I’m not sure what that’s meant to signify – a strange interruption of self? Is it because the next sentence begins with “And”? (And if you’ve spent any time with my writing, you may have noticed this is one of my favorite grammar rules to break.)
Gertrude chooses to say, “I shall obey you.” in response to a request that seems softer than a command by virtue of its beginning with “Sweet Gertrude.” There are layers in “I shall obey you.” – a conceding to the request, if not the premise of the request somehow. It is a careful answering of one thing without addressing the other. It feels coded.