A voice behind Gyp said: “My God! What’s this? An angel?”
Fiorsen was standing hall-way in the darkened room staring out into the garden, where the girl had halted, transfixed before the window, her eyes as round as saucers, her mouth open, her limbs rigid with interest and affright. Suddenly she turned and, gathering her garment, fled, her limbs gleaming in the moonlight.
And Gyp sat looking up at the apparition of her husband. She could just see his eyes straining after that flying nymph. Miss Daphne’s faun! Why, even his ears were pointed! Had she never noticed before, how like a faun he was? Yes—on her wedding-night! And she said quietly:
“Daphne Wing was rehearsing her new dance. So you’re back! Why didn’t you let me know? Are you all right—you look splendid!”
Fiorsen bent down and clutched her by the shoulders.
“My Gyp! Kiss me!”
But even while his lips were pressed on hers, she felt rather than saw his eyes straying to the garden, and thought, “He would like to be kissing that girl!”
The moment he had gone to get his things from the cab, she slipped out to the music-room.
Miss Daphne was dressed, and stuffing her garments into the green linen bag. She looked up, and said piteously:
“Oh! Does he mind? It’s awful, isn’t it?”
Gyp strangled her desire to laugh.
“It’s for you to mind.”
“Oh, I don’t, if you don’t! How did you like the dance?”
“Lovely! When you’re ready—come along!”
“Oh, I think I’d rather go home, please! It must seem so funny!”
“Would you like to go by this back way into the lane? You turn to the right, into the road.”
“Oh, yes; please. It would have been better if he could have seen the dance properly, wouldn’t it? What will he think?”
Gyp smiled, and opened the door into the lane. When she returned, Fiorsen was at the window, gazing out. Was it for her or for that flying nymph?
September and October passed. There were more concerts, not very well attended. Fiorsen’s novelty had worn off, nor had his playing sweetness and sentiment enough for the big Public. There was also a financial crisis. It did not seem to Gyp to matter. Everything seemed remote and unreal in the shadow of her coming time. Unlike most mothers to be, she made no garments, no preparations of any kind. Why make what might never be needed? She played for Fiorsen a great deal, for herself not at all, read many books—poetry, novels, biographies—taking them in at the moment, and forgetting them at once, as one does with books read just to distract the mind. Winton and Aunt Rosamund, by tacit agreement, came on alternate afternoons. And Winton, almost as much under that shadow as Gyp herself, would take the evening train after leaving her, and spend the next day racing or cub-hunting, returning the morning of the day after to pay his next visit. He had no dread just then like that of an unoccupied day face to face with anxiety.