“Yes, Paul,” she answered.
“My friend, Paul.”
“Jacqueline, I am going to take you home,” I said, hoping that she would tell me something, but I dared ask her no more. I meant to take her to Quebec and make inquiries there. Thus I hoped to learn something of her, even if the sight of the town did not awaken her memories.
“I am going to take you home, Jacqueline,” I repeated.
“Yes, Paul,” she answered in that docile manner of hers.
“It is lucky you have your furs, because the winter is cold where your home is.”
“Yes, Paul,” she repeated as before, and a few more probings on my part convinced me that she remembered nothing at all. Her mind was like a person’s newly awakened in a strange land. But this state brought with it no fear, only a peaceful quietude and faith which was very touching.
“We have forgotten a lot of things that troubled us, haven’t we, Paul?” she asked me presently. “But we shall not care, since we have each other for friends. And afterwards perhaps we shall pick them up again. Do you not think so, Paul?”
“Yes, Jacqueline,” I answered.
“If we remembered now the memory of them might make us unhappy,” she continued wistfully. “Do you not think so, Paul?”
There was a faint and vague alarm in her eyes which made me glad for her sake that she did not know.
“Now, Jacqueline,” I said, “we shall have to begin to make ready for our journey.”
I had just remembered that the storage company which was to warehouse my few belongings was to call that day. The van would probably be at the house early in the morning, and it was essential that we should be gone before it arrived.
Fortunately I had arranged to leave the door unlocked in case my arrangements necessitated my early departure, and this was understood, so that my absence would cause no surprise.
I showed Jacqueline the bathroom and drew the curtains. Then I went into the kitchenette and made coffee on the gas range, and, since it was too early for the arrival of my morning loaf, which was placed just within the street door by the baker’s boy every day, I made some toast and buttered it.
I remember reflecting, with a relic of my old forced economy, how fortunate it was that my pound of butter had just lasted until the morning when I was to break up housekeeping.
When I took in the breakfast Jacqueline was waiting for me, looking very dainty and charming. She was hungry, too, also a good sign.
She did not seem to understand that there was anything strange in the situation in which we found ourselves. I did not know whether this was due to her mental state or to that strange unsophistication which I had already observed in her. At any rate, we ate our breakfast together as naturally as though we were a married couple of long standing.