Jon looked at his watch. “By Jove!” he said, “mine’s stopped; too.”
They walked on again, but only hand in hand.
“If the grass is dry,” said Fleur, “let’s sit down for half a minute.”
Jon took off his coat, and they shared it.
“Smell! Actually wild thyme!”
With his arm round her waist again, they sat some minutes in silence.
“We are goats!” cried Fleur, jumping up; “we shall be most fearfully late, and look so silly, and put them on their guard. Look here, Jon We only came out to get an appetite for breakfast, and lost our way. See?”
“Yes,” said Jon.
“It’s serious; there’ll be a stopper put on us. Are you a good liar?”
“I believe not very; but I can try.”
“You know,” she said, “I realize that they don’t mean us to be friends.”
“I told you why.”
“But that’s silly.”
“Yes; but you don’t know my father!”
“I suppose he’s fearfully fond of you.”
“You see, I’m an only child. And so are you—of your mother. Isn’t it a bore? There’s so much expected of one. By the time they’ve done expecting, one’s as good as dead.”
“Yes,” muttered Jon, “life’s beastly short. One wants to live forever, and know everything.”
“And love everybody?”
“No,” cried Jon; “I only want to love once—you.”
“Indeed! You’re coming on! Oh! Look! There’s the chalk-pit; we can’t be very far now. Let’s run.”
Jon followed, wondering fearfully if he had offended her.
The chalk-pit was full of sunshine and the murmuration of bees. Fleur flung back her hair.
“Well,” she said, “in case of accidents, you may give me one kiss, Jon,” and she pushed her cheek forward. With ecstasy he kissed that hot soft cheek.
“Now, remember! We lost our way; and leave it to me as much as you can. I’m going to be rather beastly to you; it’s safer; try and be beastly to me!”
Jon shook his head. “That’s impossible.”
“Just to please me; till five o’clock, at all events.”
“Anybody will be able to see through it,” said Jon gloomily.
“Well, do your best. Look! There they are! Wave your hat! Oh! you haven’t got one. Well, I’ll cooee! Get a little away from me, and look sulky.”
Five minutes later, entering the house and doing his utmost to look sulky, Jon heard her clear voice in the dining-room:
“Oh! I’m simply ravenous! He’s going to be a farmer—and he loses his way! The boy’s an idiot!”