It was long past midnight. Jerry went to bed. But I sat oblivious of the passing hours, wide awake, somber, my gaze fixed upon the square of the window which turned from moonlight to dark and then at last shimmered with the dusk of the dawn.
It was at Jerry’s request that I stayed on at Horsham Manor, working as I could upon my book, and now I think with a new knowledge of the meaning of life as I had learned it through Jerry’s failure. I discovered comfort in the words of St. Paul, and prayed that out of spiritual death the seed of a new life might germinate. Jerry had told me nothing on leaving the Manor of his plans or purposes, and I made no move to seek him out, aware of a new confidence growing in me that wherever Jerry was, whatever he was doing, no new harm would come to him. He had found himself at last.
Upon the occasion of my infrequent visits to the city I did myself the honor of calling at the house in Washington Square, where I made the acquaintance of a fair majority of the feminine Habberton family, enjoying long chats with Una in which the bonds of our friendship were still more firmly cemented. She told me much of her work and of course we spoke of Jerry, but if she had any news of him she gave no sign of it, and I always left the house no wiser as to his occupation or whereabouts than when I had entered it. But in the early days of the following autumn something in her manner, I cannot tell what, perhaps the very quality of her content, advised me that she was in some sort of communication with Jerry and that she was no longer borrowing trouble in his behalf. As I made my way back to the Manor in the train next day, I found the conviction growing in my mind that Jerry must be somewhere in New York. Una’s orbit had not changed. Could it be that Jerry’s was adapting itself to hers? Jack Ballard had told me that Jerry had not been seen at the office and that Ballard, Senior, had washed his hands of him in despair, but had agreed to have large amounts deposited at stated intervals in the bank. Of course this proved nothing, for Jerry might have been using his bank for a forwarding address, but the little I knew fitted surprisingly well with my own guesses as to Jerry’s destiny. Perhaps the wish was father to the thought. At any rate, I returned to the Manor and resumed my work with a singularly tranquil mind, aware for the first time in months of a quiet exhilaration which made the mere fact of existence a delight. Perhaps after all I—my philosophy—Jerry—were still to be vindicated!