“It’s over, darling. Never again—I promise you!”
Ah, he might promise—might even keep that promise. But he would suffer, always suffer, thinking of that other. And she said:
“You can only have me as I am, Bryan. I can’t make myself new for you; I wish I could—oh, I wish I could!”
“I ought to have cut my tongue out first! Don’t think of it! Come home to me and have tea—there’s no one there. Ah, do, Gyp—come!”
He took her hands and pulled her up. And all else left Gyp but the joy of being close to him, going to happiness.
Fiorsen, passing Markey like a blind man, made his way out into the street, but had not gone a hundred yards before he was hurrying back. He had left his hat. The servant, still standing there, handed him that wide-brimmed object and closed the door in his face. Once more he moved away, going towards Piccadilly. If it had not been for the expression on Gyp’s face, what might he not have done? And, mixed with sickening jealousy, he felt a sort of relief, as if he had been saved from something horrible. So she had never loved him! Never at all? Impossible! Impossible that a woman on whom he had lavished such passion should never have felt passion for him—never any! Innumerable images of her passed before him—surrendering, always surrendering. It could not all have been pretence! He was not a common man—she herself had said so; he had charm—or, other women thought so! She had lied; she must have lied, to excuse herself!
He went into a cafe and asked for a fine champagne. They brought him a carafe, with the measures marked. He sat there a long time. When he rose, he had drunk nine, and he felt better, with a kind of ferocity that was pleasant in his veins and a kind of nobility that was pleasant in his soul. Let her love, and be happy with her lover! But let him get his fingers on that fellow’s throat! Let her be happy, if she could keep her lover from him! And suddenly, he stopped in his tracks, for there on a sandwich-board just in front of him were the words: “Daphne Wing. Pantheon. Daphne Wing. Plastic Danseuse. Poetry of Motion. To-day at three o’clock. Pantheon. Daphne Wing.”
Ah, she had loved him—little Daphne! It was past three. Going in, he took his place in the stalls, close to the stage, and stared before him, with a sort of bitter amusement. This was irony indeed! Ah—and here she came! A Pierrette—in short, diaphanous muslin, her face whitened to match it; a Pierrette who stood slowly spinning on her toes, with arms raised and hands joined in an arch above her glistening hair.