Gilbert was cool and dry, pretending she hadn’t hurt him. He would always take hurts like that, with that deadly, steely lightness. By its deadliness, its steeliness, she knew that it was all true (and much more besides) that she had heard about Rosalind and her patients.
She walked down to the bus with hot eyes. Rosalind had yawned softly and largely behind her as she went down the front steps. Wicked, monstrous creature! Lying about Gilbert’s clever, nervous, eager life in great soft folds, and throttling it. If Gilbert had been a man, a real male man, instead of a writer and therefore effeminate, decadent, he would have beaten her into decent behaviour. As it was she would ruin him, and he would go under, not able to bear it, but cynically grinning still. Perhaps the sooner the better. Anything was better than the way Rosalind went on now, disgracing him and getting talked about, and making him hate his mother for disliking her. He hadn’t even come with her to the bus, to carry her parcels for her.... That wasn’t like Gilbert. As a rule he had excellent manners, though he was not affectionate like Jim.
Jim, Jim, Jim. Should she go to Harley Street? What was the use? She would find only Margery there; Jim would be out. Margery had no serious faults except the one, that she had taken the first place in Jim’s affections. Before Margery, Neville had had this place, but Mrs. Hilary had been able, with Neville’s never failing and skilful help, to disguise this from herself. You can’t disguise a wife’s place in her husband’s heart. And Jim’s splendid children too, whom she adored—they looked at her with Margery’s brown eyes instead of Jim’s grey-blue ones. And they preferred really (she knew it) their maternal grandmother, the jolly lady who took them to the theatres.
Mrs. Hilary passed a church. Religion. Some people found help there. But it required so much of you, was so exhausting in its demands. Besides, it seemed infinitely far away—an improbable, sad, remote thing, that gave you no human comfort. Psycho-analysis was better; that opened gates into a new life. “Know thyself,” Mrs. Hilary murmured, kindling at the prospect. Most knowledge was dull, but never that.
“I will ring up from Waterloo and make an appointment,” she thought.
The psycho-analyst doctor was little and dark and while he was talking he looked not at Mrs. Hilary but down at a paper whereon he drew or wrote something she tried to see and couldn’t. She came to the conclusion after a time that he was merely scribbling for effect.
“Insomnia,” he said. “Yes. You know what that means?”
She said, foolishly, “That I can’t sleep,” and he gave her a glance of contempt and returned to his scribbling.
“It means,” he told her, “that you are afraid of dreaming. Your unconscious self won’t let you sleep.... Do you often recall your dreams when you wake?”