“Yes,” said Barbara. Then she began to cry.
At home she was sent to bed. Her mother read her a chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and then left her; she lay there, sick with crying, her eyes stiff and red, wondering how she would ever get through the weeks and weeks of life that remained to her. She thought: “I’ll never love any one again. Mary took my Friend away—and then she wasn’t there herself. There isn’t anybody.”
Then it suddenly occurred to her that she need never be put through the agony of her denials again, that she could believe what she liked, make up stories.
Her Friend would, of course, never come to see her any more, but at least now she would be able to think about him. She would be allowed to remember. Her brain was drowsy, her eyes half closed. Through the humming air something was coming; the dark curtains were parted, the light of the late afternoon sun was faint yellow upon the opposite wall—there was a little breeze. Drowsily, drowsily, her drooping eyes felt the light, the stir of the air, the sense that some one was in the room.
She looked up; she gave a cry! He had come back! He had come back after all!
Sarah Trefusis lived, with her mother, in the smallest house in March Square, a really tiny house, like a box, squeezed breathlessly between two fat buildings, but looking, with its white paint and green doors, smarter than either of them. Lady Charlotte Trefusis, Sarah’s mother, was elegant, penniless and a widow; Captain B. Trefusis, her husband, had led the merriest of lives until a game of polo carried him reluctantly from a delightful world and forced Lady Charlotte to consider the problem of having a good time alone on nothing at all. But it may be said that, on the whole, she succeeded. She was the best-dressed widow in London, and went everywhere, but the little house in March Square was the scene of a most strenuous campaign, every day presenting its defeat or victory, and every minute of the day threatening overwhelming disaster if something were not done immediately. Lady Charlotte had the smallest feet and hands outside China, a pile of golden hair above the face of a pink-and-white doll. Staring from this face, however, were two of the loveliest, most unscrupulous of eyes, and those eyes did more for Lady Charlotte’s precarious income than any other of her resources. She wore her expensive clothes quite beautifully, and gave lovely little lunches and dinners; no really merry house-party was complete without her.