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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.

Gyp sat with it on her knee, vaguely taking in her surroundings—­a thin old gentleman anxiously weighing himself in a corner, a white-calved footman crossing with a tea-tray; a number of hats on pegs; the green-baize board with its white rows of tapelike paper, and three members standing before it.  One of them, a tall, stout, good-humoured-looking man in pince-nez and a white waistcoat, becoming conscious, removed his straw hat and took up a position whence, without staring, he could gaze at her; and Gyp knew, without ever seeming to glance at him, that he found her to his liking.  She saw her father’s unhurried figure passing that little group, all of whom were conscious now, and eager to get away out of this sanctum of masculinity, she met him at the top of the low steps, and said: 

“I want to talk to you, Dad.”

He gave her a quick look, selected his hat, and followed to the door.  In the cab, he put his hand on hers and said: 

“Now, my dear?”

But all she could get out was: 

“I want to come back to you.  I can’t go on there.  It’s—­it’s—­I’ve come to an end.”

His hand pressed hers tightly, as if he were trying to save her the need for saying more.  Gyp went on: 

“I must get baby; I’m terrified that he’ll try to keep her, to get me back.”

“Is he at home?”

“I don’t know.  I haven’t told him that I’m going to leave him.”

Winton looked at his watch and asked: 

“Does the baby ever go out as late as this?”

“Yes; after tea.  It’s cooler.”

“I’ll take this cab on, then.  You stay and get the room ready for her.  Don’t worry, and don’t go out till I return.”

And Gyp thought:  ’How wonderful of him not to have asked a single question.’

The cab stopped at the Bury Street door.  She took his hand, put it to her cheek, and got out.  He said quietly: 

“Do you want the dogs?”

“Yes—­oh, yes!  He doesn’t care for them.”

“All right.  There’ll be time to get you in some things for the night after I come back.  I shan’t run any risks to-day.  Make Mrs. Markey give you tea.”

Gyp watched the cab gather way again, saw him wave his hand; then, with a deep sigh, half anxiety, half relief, she rang the bell.

XVII

When the cab debouched again into St. James’ Street, Winton gave the order:  “Quick as you can!” One could think better going fast!  A little red had come into his brown cheeks; his eyes under their half-drawn lids had a keener light; his lips were tightly closed; he looked as he did when a fox was breaking cover.  Gyp could do no wrong, or, if she could, he would stand by her in it as a matter of course.  But he was going to take no risks—­make no frontal attack.  Time for that later, if necessary.  He had better nerves than most people, and that kind of steely determination and resource which makes many Englishmen of his class formidable in small operations.  He kept his cab at the door, rang, and asked for Gyp, with a kind of pleasure in his ruse.

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