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For a moment it was a mere tussle of will between them, and Norah’s reasons were the stronger. She looked at him a moment, and knew she had won, and without more words went back to the library and put on her over-boots, and gathered up the book-slips she had made that evening. He followed her as far as the hall, and waited for her.

‘Don’t look at my feet,’ she said gaily. ‘They{141} are officially invisible like the legs of the Queen of Spain.’

The grim mouth smiled, and the stern eyes grew kindly. She knew that transformation so well now.

‘You are very obstinate,’ he said. ‘Why don’t you let me walk home with you?’

‘I am right,’ she said. ‘And I think your plan was wrong.’

‘They weren’t rude to you?’ he asked, growing grim again.

‘Ah, you shouldn’t have asked that,’ she 佛山桑拿按摩女服务 said. ‘They were exceedingly polite.’

He let her out into the snow, and felt that fire went with her; then returned to the drawing-room where he found unquestionable ice. Little sour wreaths of mist were already afloat in Mrs Keeling’s mind, which, though not yet condensed into actual thought, were chilling down to it in that narrow receptacle. Alice took her embroidery, and went upstairs, but his wife sat rather upright by the fire, looking at the evening paper which she held upside down. She meant to behave with perfect propriety again, but wished him to begin, so as to launch her propriety on a fair and even keel.

For his part he had known so many of those evenings, when the dinner-party went away precisely at half-past ten, and he was left to hear long comments by his wife on the soup and the{142} beef and the grouse and the 黄岐桑拿体验 pudding and the savoury, and what Dr Inglis said, and what Mrs Fyson thought. He hoped, when he first came back, after seeing Norah fade into the snow-storm, that he was to be regaled with such reminiscences, but hoped rather against hope. No reminiscences came to his aid, and he began to be aware, from the ice-bound conditions, that he must expect something far less jovial and trivial. But he had no accusing conscience, and if she chose to read her evening paper upside down in silence, he could at least read the morning paper the right way up. Then, as he would not give her a lead, make some remark, that is to say, to which she could take exception, she had to begin.

‘I must say I am surprised at your not seeing Miss Propert home,’ she said. ‘After bringing her into my drawing-room and forcing me to be civil to her, you might 佛山桑拿经理 have had the civility yourself to see her to her house.’

He was aware that she was intending to exercise the dead-weight somewhere. It was not many weeks ago that she had brought it into play regarding Mr Silverdale and his Romish practices, when she had refused to leave his church for the simpler rites of the Cathedral. He had yielded there, because he did not really care whether she and Alice chose to attend a milliner-church or not. They might if they liked: it did not seriously matter. But the dead-weight, if she was{143} intending to exercise it over the question of Norah, mattered very much.

‘Would it have pleased you better if I had seen her home?’ he asked.

‘I can’t say whether I should have been pleased or not,’ she said. ‘It didn’t happen. But I’m sure I don’t know why you sent your typewriter in here to talk to 佛山桑拿蒲友网 me. I don’t know what you think I should find to say to her. With Alice here too.’

She had said too much, and knew it the moment she had said it. But the mists had congealed, and she felt obliged, as she would have expressed it, say, to Mrs Fyson, to speak her mind. She did not really speak her mind; she spoke what some perfectly groundless jealousy dictated to her.

He dropped the paper, and stood up by the fireplace.

‘You said, “With Alice here too,.”’ he said. ‘Oblige me by telling me what you mean.’

She saw that in a reasonable frame of mind she would not have meant anything. But she was cross and surfeited, and the cold in the head which had spared her so long was seriously threatening. She wanted, out of sheer perverseness, to defend an indefensible position.

‘Well, I’m sure Alice must have thought it very odd your 佛山夜生活兼职mm bringing your typewriter into my drawing-room,’ she said.

‘No, you didn’t mean that!’ said Keeling.{144}

Mrs Keeling got up.

‘If you only want to contradict me,’ she said, ‘you can do it by yourself, Thomas. I’m not going to answer you. That rude girl came in here——’

‘Rude? You said, “rude.” How was she rude?’

He knew he was being unwise in bandying stupid words with his wife. But she continued to make accusations, and his want of breeding, to use a general term, did not allow him to pass them over in the silence that he knew they deserved.

‘How was she rude?’ he repeated.

‘She said something about the British Museum Library that I did not understand,’ she said.

‘And because you couldn’t understand, you think she was rude? Was that it?’

‘Well, if you had heard her say it——’ she began.

‘You know I did not. But I am quite 佛山洗浴按摩论坛 certain that Miss Propert was not rude. And now about Alice’s being here, when I brought her in. What of that? I wish you to tell me if you meant anything. If you did not, I wish you to say so.’

He knew quite well that he was adopting a bullying tone. But he had no inclination to be bullied himself. One or other of them had to be vanquished over this, and he was quite determined that he would not hold the white flag. There was something to be fought for, something which he could not give up.{145}

‘You must allow it was very odd that your secretary should appear in the middle of my dinner-party,’ she said, ‘and simply stroll across to your room. I had been talking of your room half dinner-time with Mr Fyson, saying that none of us was allowed there. And then, in came this girl——’

He cut her short.

‘What has that to do with 佛山桑拿夜生活论坛 Alice?’ he repeated.

‘I was going to say that, only you always interrupt me,’ she said. ‘Then when our guests are gone, you bring her in here, just as if she was Julia Fyson, into my drawing-room. And Alice—well, Alice would

think it very odd too, just as Mrs Fyson did. Of course it was not that which Mrs Fyson thought odd: I know you will try to catch me up, and ask me how Mrs Fyson knew, but that is always your way, Thomas. I know quite well that Mrs Fyson had gone away before you brought her in here.’

‘I don’t want to catch you up,’ he said. ‘I only want to know why Alice should not be here when I bring Miss Propert in to wait for a cab. You can’t give me any reason because there is no reason. Let’s get that clear, and then I want to talk about something else.’

Suddenly the whole of the vague internal movements of her mind flashed into his vision, as intelligible as some perfectly simple business{146} proposition. She had a certain justification too: it was awkward that Norah had run into the exit of the ladies, that his wife had been saying

that none of them ever entered the library. He knew the mind of Bracebridge pretty well, the slightly malicious construction that women like Mrs Fyson would find themselves compelled to put on it all. He knew also the mind of his wife, and the effect which it clearly had had on her. Her sense of propriety, of dignity had been assaulted: it was a queer thing to have happened. Then there was Norah’s presence in her drawing-room. He had insisted on that, for, at the moment, it seemed the most straightforward thing to do. But he was beginning to think it had been a mistake. Something about the girl, her beauty (and never had that struck him so forcibly as when he saw her standing by Alice), her air of breeding, of education, of simplicity in front of those draped easels and painted looking-glasses had stirred some long latent

potentiality for jealousy in his wife. It was that suggestion which suddenly enraged him.

‘Don’t be such a damned fool, Emmeline,’ he said angrily, answering his own thoughts. He had divined hers quite correctly, and the justice that lay behind this rude speech struck her full. Her only course was to take refuge in her own propriety. She knew how to behave.

‘Well, Mr Keeling,’ she said, ‘you can’t expect{147} me to say anything more about it, if all you want to do is to swear at me. Perhaps you would like to swear at me again. Pray do.’

‘No, that’s all,’ he said. ‘I’ve told you not to be a damned fool, and I meant it. The wisest thing you can do is to take my advice.’

She moistened her lips very genteelly with the tip of her tongue.

‘Then if you have finished with that,’ she said, ‘shall we pass on to the other 佛山桑拿按摩qq matter you said you wanted to talk to me about.’