Barbara says that this figurative, allusive adumbration of Jaffery’s love affair is pure nonsense. Anything less like an ogre than our overgrown baby of a friend it would he impossible to imagine. But I hold to my theory; all the more because when Adrian and I returned from our stroll round the garden, we found Jaffery standing over her, legs apart, like a Colossus of Rhodes, and roaring at her like a sucking dove. I noticed a scared, please-don’t-eat-me look in her eyes. It was the ogre (trying to make himself agreeable) and the princess to the life.
Presently tea was brought out, and with it came Barbara, a quiet laugh about her lips, and Liosha, stately and smiling. My wife to put her at her ease (though she had displayed singularly little shyness), after dealing with maid and taxi, had taken her over the house, exhibited Susan at tea in the nursery, and as much of Doria’s trousseau as was visible in the sewing-room. The approaching marriage aroused her keen interest. She said very little during the meal, but smiled embarrassingly on the engaged pair. Jaffery stood glumly devouring cucumber sandwiches, till Barbara took him aside.
“She’s rather a dear, in spite of everything, and I think you’re treating her abominably.”
Jaffery grew scarlet beneath the brick-coloured glaze.
“I wouldn’t treat any woman abominably, if I could help it.”
“Well, you can help it—” and taking pity on him, she laughed in his face. “Can’t you take her as a joke?”