’It’s an awkward alliance, my dear, a very awkward alliance. What will people say? Besides, he’s a Jew.’
Jewish babies; he was thinking of them too.
Jane thought, bother the babies. Perhaps there wouldn’t be any, and if there were, they’d only be a quarter Jew. Anyhow, it wasn’t them she wanted; it was Arthur.
Arthur opened doors and windows. You got to the edge of your own thought, and then stepped out beyond into his thought. And his thought drove sharp and hard into space.
But more than this, Jane loved the way his hair grew, and the black line his eyebrows made across his forehead, and the way he stood, tall and lean and slouching, and his keen thin face and his long thin hands, and the way his mouth twisted up when he smiled, and his voice, and the whole of him. She wondered if he loved her like that—if he turned hot and cold when he saw her in the distance. She believed that he did love her like that. He had loved her, as she had loved him, all that time he had thought she was lying to every one about Oliver’s death.
‘It isn’t what people do,’ said Jane, ’that makes one love them or stop loving them.’
‘Is this,’ she thought, ’what Clare felt for Oliver? I didn’t know it was like this, or I wouldn’t have taken him from her. Poor old Clare.’ Could one love Oliver like that? Any one, Jane supposed, could be loved like that, by the right person. And people like Clare loved more intensely than people like her; they felt more, and had fewer other occupations.
Jane hadn’t known that she could feel so much about anything as she was feeling now about Gideon. It was interesting. She wondered how long it would last, at this pitch.
THE PRECISIAN AT WAR WITH THE WORLD
Jane’s baby was born in January. As far as babies can be like grown human beings, it was like its grandfather—a little Potter.
Lord Pinkerton was pleased.
‘He shall carry on the papers,’ he said, dandling it on his arm. ‘Tootooloo, grandson!’ He dug it softly in the ribs. He understood this baby. However many little Yids Jane might achieve in the future, there would be this little Potter to carry on his own dreams.
Clare came to see it. She was glad it wasn’t like Oliver; Jane saw her being glad of that. She was beginning to fall in love with a young naval officer, but still she couldn’t have seen Oliver in Jane’s child without wincing.
Gideon came to see it. He laughed.
‘Potter for ever,’ he said.
He added. ’It’s symbolic. Potters will be for ever, you know. They’re so strong....’
The light from the foggy winter afternoon fell on his face as he sat by the window. He looked tired and perplexed. Strength, perpetuity, seemed things remote from him, belonging only to Potters. Anti-Potterism and the Weekly Fact were frail things of a day, rooted in a dream. So Gideon felt, on these days when the fog closed about him....