His voice trembled and he spoke very slowly.
“I am—going away. I don’t know where. To Italy, probably, with the Lenskys. And I shall, I daresay, marry in the course of time.”
“Whom are you going to marry?” he cried furiously, forgetting that she had just said that she loved him, and mad with jealousy.
She laughed. “Qui sait? I don’t. Possibly Lord Pontefract—he has just come back from the Andes—possibly someone whom—you do not know.”
“Then,” returned Joyselle very quietly, “I will kill him.”
And she could have laughed aloud.
“You will tell Theo?” she asked, picking up her gloves.
“No, I will not. I cannot. And you shall not go. Or, yes—Brigit—you shall go—with me. If you will not marry him, then there is nothing between us. I have fought, I have done my best, but I can bear no more. We will go, you and I——”
Catching her in his arms he held her close, whispering incoherent, broken words in her ear, while the little yellow dog, thinking it was a game, snapped playfully at her trailing skirts.
“You will go with me, my woman? You and I alone, all alone? For ever and ever and ever?”
And putting her arms round his neck she answered, “Yes, I will go with you. For ever.”
Brigit Mead did not go to bed at all that night. All night she worked in her little flat making her plans, packing, and writing letters.
She had burnt her boats and the relief was great. Having broken with her mother, there was no need for her to write to Kingsmead. To Tommy she sent a note, saying that she was going away, but would write soon and explain.
To Pam Lensky she wrote a rather long letter, for there were some few things she wanted made clear.
“Dear Pam,”—she began abruptly—“I am going away with Victor Joyselle. I wonder if you will blame me? In case you do, here is my only defence. I hate my present life, I am miserable without Joyselle, and he is miserable without me. My mother, with whom I have been on fairly decent terms since Tommy has been ill, is hopeless. Gerald Carron shot himself to-day, and mother, just, I honestly believe, to indulge her own taste for sentimental scenes, turned on me about him and pretended to believe a story he told her just before I left Pont Street—that I was Joyselle’s mistress, in fact. If she believed the story I would forgive her, though it is not true, but I cannot forgive the kind of mind that can amuse itself with such vulgar melodrama. I have always disliked my mother, and now I simply cannot bear her any longer.
“And I have no other ties except Tommy. Tommy, to whom I shall write before long, is nearly well. He will be forbidden to come to see me, but he will come, and I do not think it will hurt him.
“As to Theo, Pam, I am deeply grieved. He is a remarkably nice young man, but I cannot marry him, and the mere fact of his father’s loving me will not much hurt him. Whatever his father does, Theo in the long run thinks right, and he, too, will forgive us.