Septimus walked back to his club after his dinner with Zora, blessing his stars for two reasons: first, because a gracious providence had restored him to favor in his goddess’s sight, and, secondly, because he had escaped without telling her of the sundered lives of Emmy and himself. By the time he went to bed, however, having pondered for some hours over the interdependent relations between Zora, Sypher, Emmy, and himself, he had entangled his mind into a condition of intricate complication. He longed to continue to sun himself in the presence of his divinity. But being a married man (no matter how nominally), too much sunning appeared reprehensible. He had also arranged for the sunning of Clem Sypher, and was aware of the indelicacy of two going through this delicious process at the same time. He also dreaded the possible incredulity of Zora when he should urge the ferociousness of his domestic demeanor as the reason for his living apart from his wife. The consequence was that after a sleepless night he bolted like a rabbit to his burrow at Nunsmere. At any rate, the mission of the dog’s tail was accomplished.
His bolt took place on Friday. On Saturday morning he was awakened by Wiggleswick.
The latter’s attire was not that of the perfect valet. He wore an old, colored shirt open at the throat, a pair of trousers hitched up to his shoulder blades by means of a pair of red braces, and a pair of dilapidated carpet slippers.
“Here’s a letter.”
“Oh, post it,” said Septimus sleepily.
“You haven’t written it. The missus has written it. It has a French stamp and the Paris postmark. You’d better read it.”
He put it on his master’s pillow, and went to the window to admire the view. Septimus aroused, read the letter. It was from Emmy. It ran:
“I can’t stand this loneliness in Paris any longer. I can’t, I can’t. If you were here and I could see you even once a week, I shouldn’t mind. But to go on day after day indefinitely without a comforting word from you is more than I can bear. You say the flat is ready. I am coming over at once with baby and Madame Bolivard, who swears she will never leave me. How she is going to get on in London without a word of English, I don’t know. I don’t mind if I meet Zora. Perhaps it will be better for you that I should. And I think it will be quite safe for me now. Don’t hate me and think me horrid and selfish, my dear Septimus, but I do want you. I do. I do. Thanks for the toy train. Baby enjoys the paint on the carriages so much; but Madame Bolivard says it isn’t good for him. Dear, if I thought you wouldn’t forgive me for being such a worry, I wouldn’t worry you.
“Your always grateful
Septimus lit the half-smoked pipe of the night before that lay on the coverlet, and becoming aware of Wiggleswick, disturbed his contemplation of nature by asking him if he had ever been married.