Jon, on the other hand, sat awake at his window with a bit of paper and a pencil, writing his first “real poem” by the light of a candle because there was not enough moon to see by, only enough to make the night seem fluttery and as if engraved on silver. Just the night for Fleur to walk, and turn her eyes, and lead on-over the hills and far away. And Jon, deeply furrowed in his ingenuous brow, made marks on the paper and rubbed them out and wrote them in again, and did all that was necessary for the completion of a work of art; and he had a feeling such as the winds of Spring must have, trying their first songs among the coming blossom. Jon was one of those boys (not many) in whom a home-trained love of beauty had survived school life. He had had to keep it to himself, of course, so that not even the drawing-master knew of it; but it was there, fastidious and clear within him. And his poem seemed to him as lame and stilted as the night was winged. But he kept it, all the same. It was a “beast,” but better than nothing as an expression of the inexpressible. And he thought with a sort of discomfiture: ’I shan’t be able to show it to Mother.’ He slept terribly well, when he did sleep, overwhelmed by novelty.
To avoid the awkwardness of questions which could not be answered, all that had been told Jon was:
“There’s a girl coming down with Val for the week-end.”
For the same reason, all that had been told Fleur was: “We’ve got a youngster staying with us.”
The two yearlings, as Val called them in his thoughts, met therefore in a manner which for unpreparedness left nothing to be desired. They were thus introduced by Holly:
“This is Jon, my little brother; Fleur’s a cousin of ours, Jon.”
Jon, who was coming in through a French window out of strong sunlight, was so confounded by the providential nature of this miracle, that he had time to hear Fleur say calmly: “Oh, how do you do?” as if he had never seen her, and to understand dimly from the quickest imaginable little movement of her head that he never had seen her. He bowed therefore over her hand in an intoxicated manner, and became more silent than the grave. He knew better than to speak. Once in his early life, surprised reading by a nightlight, he had said fatuously “I was just turning over the leaves, Mum,” and his mother had replied: “Jon, never tell stories, because of your face nobody will ever believe them.”