“Then there is poor Felicite. She has been very kind to me, but she has been stupid and over-self-confident, and I cannot consider her. I must consider him. She will suffer and I am indeed sorry, poor soul, but he—he shall be happy. So good-bye, Pam. Remember your own father and mother, and understand. We go to Paris by the eleven o’clock train to-morrow, and thence—to Arcadia, as your people used to say. My love to you. “Brigit.”
Re-reading this letter, which she was far too self-engrossed to consider selfish, Brigit addressed it.
Then she looked over her clothes, packed them in three boxes, one of which she labelled, “To be called for,” the other two of which were to go with her.
It was long after one when she had finished her work and sat down to rest. She was not tired, nor did she feel any special excitement. It had happened, that was all, and it seemed to her that she had always foreseen this night, with its letter writing and packing.
To-morrow at this time they, she and Victor, would be in Paris. And then they would go—where-ever he chose. She did not care.
And, although she did not know it, this unformulated mental attitude was the first sign in her of any approach to an unselfish love.
Through the long hours she sat in her brilliantly lighted little sitting-room, waiting for day. At five o’clock she switched off the electricity and opened the blinds. A wan light came in.
“It is day. It is to-day,” she told herself aloud, her beautiful mouth quivering with happiness. “In four hours he will come.”
She made herself a cup of tea and then lay down on the sofa where her mother had lain the day before, and went to sleep.
She dreamed that she stood in a sloping, very green meadow; in the distance a flock of dingy sheep browsed, and some invisible person was playing a pipe! “Il etait une bergere he ron, ron, ron,”—it was the nursery song Joyselle had played to Tommy when the little boy was ill. She smiled and moved her head.
Then suddenly she was awake, and Theo stood before her. “Brigit,” he said quietly, “my mother is dead. Will you come to father?”
Felicite had died in her sleep beside her husband. An hour before he had waked, and, lying quietly by her, thinking no doubt of the woman for whom he was going to desert her, he had by chance touched her hand as it lay on the counterpane, with the shabby black rosary in it, and—the hand was cold.
They had not called a doctor, for there was no doubt that she was dead, and she had hated doctors. She had been very happy the day before, and in the evening she had asked Joyselle to play to her, a thing she very rarely did. He had played, they had drunk some Norman cider, and gone to bed early.