In these moments nothing human could have been accounted for in Sally. In these moments the fire of the enraged animal glittered in her eyes, the incoherent mutterings of dumb passion vibrated in her breath.
A man passing down through the dark shadows of the alley into the street, turned and gazed at her. She took no notice. Did not even see him. The car was just beginning to move out into the traffic. As it turned, too eager to follow it, she stepped on to the pavement.
Traill’s eyes caught her then, saw her begin to quicken her steps, break even into a run following their tardy progress as they squeezed a way through the press of other vehicles. He looked out through the small, square window in the back of the hood and could still see her, forcing her way through the crowds of people, sometimes jostling them upon the path, then running in the gutter for the greater freedom of passage.
“God!” he muttered under his breath, as he turned back again.
“What is it?” asked Coralie.
“Oh, nothing,” he replied; “nothing.”
Mrs. Durlacher caught her lips between her teeth to crush the smile that rose to them. Now she was sure at least that Sally’s power was broken. Her subtle use of that word “allow” had served its double purpose. Not only had it delicately questioned the possession of that authority which she knew he held above all things; but also, in permitting it, the admission had been deftly drawn from him that Sally was his mistress. She had known it before, as women do know things. Now she was certain of it and, in her certainty, realized that this was the moment—to strike when he was weakest. A man, shaken free of the ties that bind him to one woman, is more ready than another in the reaction of indifference which follows to fetter himself again in order that life may seem less void, less hollow than he finds it.
To Coralie, then, in the dressing-room of the restaurant, as they took off their cloaks, she said—
“My dear girl, you’re making that brother of mine in love with you.”
And to Traill, she jested as they said good night—
“My dear boy, considering your obligations to other women, do you think it’s fair? The girl’s losing her heart to you, or will be if she sees you again.”
The congestion of the traffic, the knotted lines of carriages conveying to their houses the thousands of people whom the theatres had disgorged into the streets, enabled Sally to keep Mrs. Durlacher’s car in sight until it passed through the wide portals of a restaurant in the Strand where, from the street, she could see them dismount and pass into the building. They had gone to supper. Traill had told her nothing about that. Then it had only been decided since he had met them; he must be enjoying himself in the society of these very people whose society