“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“Do?” She raised her eyebrows. “I am going, of course.”
“Sais pas. Let go my hands, please; you hurt me—Beau-papa!”
He flung away from her and stood by the window, staring with blinded eyes into the street.
“This is really no good, you know,” she went on in a conversational tone; “we quarrel and squabble and are no earthly use to each other—the whole position is bad. I think I will tell Theo, and go.”
He did not answer, and after a pause she added: “Or marry him by special license the day after to-morrow, and make him take me—somewhere—for a few months.”
She smiled at his groan.
“You and I have made fools of ourselves, haven’t we? But it was natural. I am very beautiful, and you are a very great genius, so——”
Maddened at her tone of indifferent justice, he turned, his face drawn with pain.
“So it was natural? A childish fancy on your part, a senile one on mine? A thing to—laugh at already! Oh, how can you torture me like this? You—you——”
“Devil? Or demon?” Her voice was mocking, but her lips had paled, and she gasped a little as if breathless.
“Let’s not be melodramatic, please. Call it what you like. I was at least perfectly sincere.”
“You were sincere——”
“Yes. Listen.” Advancing swiftly to where he stood, she had the amazing courage to give a little laugh. Then she laid her hand on his shoulder. “Seriously, let’s be good friends and forget all—the rest. I have been a fool, but you have not; for after all, I am fairly attractive, and you are not the first! So let’s make a bargain: I will never again attract you; you will never again play at me. And then things will be quite comfy. Shall we? I have been an awful pig to Theo, who is a darling, and from now on I shall try to make up to him.”
He shrank back from her.
“What are you?” he whispered painfully. “What are you made of? And do you want to make me hate my own son?”
“Eh, bien, are things all right?”
Madame Joyselle had come in, followed by Theo. Joyselle, standing in the shadow, did not answer, but Brigit laughed gaily, and her gaiety was unfeigned, for she had assured herself, by watching him under torture, of the strength of Joyselle’s love for her.
The next morning at half-past six Madame Joyselle, creeping quietly downstairs, was, to her amazement, overtaken by Brigit.
“I have not slept,” the girl explained, “and am going for a walk. I have promised to take Tommy to see ‘Peter Pan’ this afternoon and must feel better when I do.”
“I am sorry you did not sleep. I am going marketing—and to Mass.”