An inexpressible tenderness filled him. He had a sudden sense of the poignant and tremendous adventure on which they were embarked together. They had been two lives, and now they were one life, altering completely the lives they would have led singly: a new sea, a new ship on a new, strange sea. What lay before them?
His thoughts continued: One life! One life out of two lives; one nature out of two natures! Mysterious and extraordinary metamorphosis. She had brought her nature to his, and he his nature to hers, and they were to mingle and become one nature.... Absurdly and inappropriately his mind picked up and presented to him the grotesque words, “High Jinks and Low Jinks.” A note of laughter was irresistibly tickled out of him.
She said very sleepily, “Mark, are you laughing? What are you laughing at?”
He patted her shoulder. “Oh, nothing.”
One nature? In the fifth year of their married life thoughts of her and of the poignant and tremendous adventure on which they were embarked together were no longer possible while she lay in bed beside him. They had come to occupy separate rooms.
In the fifth year of their married life measles visited Penny Green. Mabel caught it. Their bedroom was naturally the sick room. Sabre went to sleep in another room,—and the arrangement prevailed. Nothing was said between them on the matter, one way or the other. They naturally occupied different rooms during her illness. She recovered. They continued to occupy different rooms. It was the most natural business in the world.
The sole reference to recognition of permanency in this development of the relations between them was made when Sabre, on the first Saturday afternoon after Mabel’s recovery—he did not go to his office at Tidborough on Saturdays—carried out his idea, conceived during her sickness, of making the bedroom into which he had moved serve as his study also. He had never got rid of his distaste for his “den.” He had never felt quite comfortable there.
At lunch on this Saturday, “I tell you what I’m going to do this afternoon,” he said. “I’m going to move my books up into my room.”
He had been a little afraid the den business would be reopened by this intention, but Mabel’s only reply was, “You’d better have the maids help you.”
“Yes, I’ll get them.”
“No, I’ll give the order, if you don’t mind.”
And in the afternoon the books were moved, the den raped of them, his bedroom awarded them. High Jinks and Low Jinks rather enjoyed it, passing up and down the stairs with continuous smirks at this new manifestation of the master’s ways. The bookshelves proved rather a business. There were four of them, narrow and high. “We’ll carry these longways,” Sabre directed, when the first one was tackled. “I’ll shove it over. You two take the top, and I’ll carry the foot.”