He was up at once and bending over her. “My darling, what a beast I am! I clean forgot you for a minute. What will you have? What about a hot toddy? Shall I make one?” he demanded, smiling. “Donovan taught me how, and I’m really rather good at it.”
She smiled back at him, and put her hand up to smooth his hair. “That would be another exchange, Peter,” she said, “and I don’t want it. Only one thing can warm me to-night and give me rest.”
He read what she meant in her eyes, and knelt beside the chair to put his arms around her. She leaned her face on his shoulder, and returned the kisses that he showered upon her. “Poor mayflies,” she said to herself, “how they love to dance in the sun!”
Ever after that next day, the Saturday, will remain in Peter’s memory as a time by itself, of special significance, but a significance, except for one incident, very hard to place. It began, indeed, very quietly, and very happily. They breakfasted again in their own room, and Julie was in one of her subdued moods, if one ever could say she was subdued. Afterwards Peter lit a cigarette and strolled over to the window. “It’s a beastly day,” he said, “cloudy, cold, windy, and going to rain, I think. What shall we do? Snow up in the hotel all the time?”
“No,” said Julie emphatically, “something quite different. You shall show me some of the real London sights, Westminster Abbey to begin with. Then we’ll drive along the Embankment and you shall tell me what everything is, and we’ll go and see anything else you suggest. I don’t suppose you realise, Peter, that I’m all but absolutely ignorant of London.”
He turned and smiled on her. “And you really want to see these things?” he said.
“Yes, of course I do. You don’t think I suggested it for your benefit? But if it will make you any happier, I’ll flatter you a bit. I want to see those things now, with you, partly because I’m never likely to find anyone who can show me them better. Now then. Aren’t you pleased?”
At that, then, they started. Westminster came first, and they wandered all over it and saw as much as the conditions of war had left for the public to see. It amused Peter to show Julie the things that seemed to him to have a particular interest—the Chapter House, St. Faith’s Chapel, the tomb of the Confessor, and so on. She made odd comments. In St. Faith’s she said: “I don’t say many prayers, Peter, but here I couldn’t say one.”
“Why not?” he demanded.
“Because it’s too private,” she said quaintly. “I should think I was pretending to be a saint if I went past everybody else and the vergers and things into a little place like this all by myself. Everyone would know that I was doing something which most people don’t do. See? Why don’t people pray all over the church, as they do in France in a cathedral, Peter?”