He looked at it this morning, and suddenly he felt that he must see her—a feeling she frequently inspired. He knew that she hated the telephone, so he sent her a little note.
“Dear June: Thank you for your beautifully-bound book. May I come round this afternoon? I long to see your hair.”
He wondered why he had put that: it was a silly sort of thing to say; so he scratched out the “hair” very carefully so that you could see nothing, and substituted “you.” Then he wrote “George” and, after a moment’s hesitation, added the postscript:
“Of course you saw that Macaulay had taken four wickets for two runs?”
Half an hour later her answer reached him.
“George dear, please come this afternoon. I was so hoping you would. Come whatever time suits you. I shall be happy and patient and impatient waiting for you.” ("That doesn’t mean anything,” he growled to himself. “Pity she can’t write more clearly.”) “Of course I saw about Macaulay. June.”
At five he was on her doorstep, and a very few moments later he was holding both her hands. They seemed somehow to have got lost in his. Her hair was crisper and rustier than ever, swirling about in competitive overlapping ripples. Her eyes, like a shallow Scotch brook, were laughing at him: like transparent toffee they were or burnt sugar or amber. “June,” he said, and his voice was funny and thick, “I had forgotten how pretty you were.”
“That was just a little plot you were making with yourself to please me,” she said.
They sat happily on a sofa and talked about the wonderful way Mr. Fender managed the Surrey bowling; they discussed the iniquities of the Selection Committee; they decided that no woman who played the base line game could ever be quite first class. They considered the relative merits of Cromer and Brighton from the point of view of George’s mother; they agreed that being braced was one thing and being overbraced another. Then June told George that he ought to marry, and George said that he was not a marrying man, and June said that men became the worst old maids and that a man’s place was in the home and George thought that she had got it wrong by accident.
June was perfectly happy. She loved talking to George—George who adored her without knowing that she had genius, only that she had sympathy—had no idea that she was a great woman, only that she was a charming one. He was looking at her with a worried expression.
“June,” he said, “you look tired.”
“Oh, but I’m not a bit.”
He put her feet up and covered them with a shawl.
“I wish you would stop writing,” he said. “What good do books do? Health is the only thing that matters.”
“Loving is the only thing that matters,” she murmured, “loving and being loved.”
“Well,” (George thought it so like a woman to go off at a tangent like that), “you’ve got Richard.”