“Let us remember this hour,” the Bishop begged, “as something solemn in our lives. The Council of Labour shall justify itself, shall voice the will or the people, fighting for victory.”
“For the Peace which comes through Victory!” Julian echoed.
The Bishop and Catherine, a few weeks later, walked side by side up the murky length of St. Pancras platform. The train which they had come to meet was a quarter of an hour late, and they had fallen into a sort of reminiscent conversation which was not without interest to both of them.
“I left Mr. Stenson only an hour ago,” the Bishop observed. “He could talk about nothing but Julian Orden and his wonderful speeches. They say that at Sheffield and Newcastle the enthusiasm was tremendous, and at three shipbuilding yards on the Clyde the actual work done for the week after his visit was nearly as much again. He seems to have that extraordinary gift of talking straight to the hearts of the men. He makes them feel.”
“Mr. Stenson wrote me about it,” Catherine told her companion, with a little smile. “He said that no dignity that could be thought of or invented would be an adequate offering to Julian for his services to the country. For the first time since the war, Labour seems wholly and entirely, passionately almost, in earnest. Every one of those delegates went back full of enthusiasm, and with every one of them, Julian, before he has finished, is going to make a little tour in his own district.”
“And after to-morrow,” the Bishop remarked with a smile, “I suppose he will not be alone.”
She pressed his arm.
“It is very wonderful to think about,” she said quietly. “I am going to try and be Julian’s secretary—whilst we are away, at any rate.”
“It isn’t often,” the Bishop reflected, “that I have the chance of a few minutes’ quiet conversation, on the day before her wedding, with the woman whom I am going to marry to the man I think most of on earth.”
“Give me some good advice,” she begged.
The Bishop shook his head.
“You don’t need it,” he said. “A wife who loves her husband needs very few words of admonition. There are marriages so often in which one can see the rocks ahead that one opens one’s prayer-book, even, with a little tremor of fear. But with you and Julian it is different.”
“There is nothing that a woman can do for the man whom she loves,” she declared softly, “which I shall not try to do for Julian.”
They paced up and down for a few moments in silence. The Bishop’s step was almost buoyant. He seemed to have lost all that weary load of anxiety which had weighed him down during the last few months. Catherine, too, in her becoming grey furs, her face flushed with excitement, had the air of one who has thrown all anxiety to the winds.
“Julian’s gift of speech must have surprised even himself,” the Bishop remarked. “Of course, we always knew that ‘Paul Fiske’, when he was found, must be a brilliant person, but I don’t think that even Julian himself had any suspicion of his oratorical powers.”