Jerry went no more to the telephone. I kept an eye on it and I know. And when his car went out, Una or Jack went with him. Three days passed with no telephone calls from Briar Hills. When Jerry’s guests were with him, the duties of hospitality seemed sacred to him and he left nothing undone for their comfort or entertainment. At night Una sang to us, and Jerry was himself, but during most of the day he moved mechanically, only speaking to Jack or me when directly addressed.
“Acts like a sleepwalker,” said Jack to me. “It’s hypnotic, sheer moon-madness!”
Only Una had the power to draw him out of himself. He always had a smile for her and a friendly word, but I knew that she knew that she had failed. Jerry was possessed of a devil, a she-devil, that none of the familiar friendly gods could cast out.
The end came soon and with a startling suddenness. We were out driving in Jack’s motor one morning before lunch, Jack at the wheel, with Una beside him, Jerry and I in the rear seat, when in passing along a quiet road not far from Briar Hills, we saw at some distance ahead of us and going our way, a red runabout, containing a man and a girl. Jack was running the car very slowly, as the road was none too good, and we ran close up behind the pair before they were aware of us. I saw Jerry lean forward in his seat, peering with the strange set look I had recently seen so often in his eyes. I followed his gaze and, as I looked, the man in the red car put his arm around the girl’s neck and she raised her chin and they kissed. All of us saw it. Jack chuckled and blew his horn violently. The pair drew apart suddenly and the man tried quickly to get away, but Jack with a laugh had already put on the power and we passed them before they could get up speed. The girl hid her face but the man was Channing Lloyd.