Julian made a motion with his hand, otherwise lay still, his pale face turned upwards.
“I shall be back very quickly,” Waymark added, taking his hat. Then, turning back for a moment, “You mustn’t give way like this, old fellow; this is horrible weakness. Dare I leave you alone?”
Julian stretched out his hand, and Waymark pressed it.
Waymark received from the police a confirmation of all that Julian had said, and returned home. Julian still lay on the couch, calmer, but like one in despair. He begged Waymark to let him remain where he was through the night, declaring that in any case sleep was impossible for him, and that perhaps he might try to pass the hours in reading. They talked together for a time; then Waymark lay down on the bed and shortly slept.
He was to be at the police court in the morning. Julian would go to the hospital as usual.
“Shall you call at home on your way?” Waymark asked him.
“But what do you mean to do?”
“I must think during the day. I shall come to-night, and you will tell me what has happened.”
So they parted, and Waymark somehow or other whiled away the time till it was the hour for going to the court. He found it difficult to realise the situation; so startling and brought about so suddenly. Julian had been the first to put into words the suspicion of them both, that it was all a deliberate plot of Harriet’s; but he had not been able to speak of his own position freely enough to let Waymark understand the train of circumstances which could lead Harriet to such resoluteness of infamy. Waymark doubted. But for the unfortunate fact of Ida’s secret necessities, he could perhaps scarcely have entertained the thought of her guilt. What was the explanation of her being without employment? Why had she hesitated to tell him, as soon as she lost her work? Was there not some mystery at the bottom of this, arguing a lack of complete frankness on Ida’s part from the first?
The actual pain caused by Ida’s danger was, strange to say, a far less important item in his state of mind than the interest which the situation inspired. Through the night he had thought more of Julian than of Ida. What he had for some time suspected had now found confirmation; Julian was in love with Ida, in love for the first time, and under circumstances which, as Julian himself had said, might well suffice to change his whole nature. Waymark had never beheld such terrible suffering as that depicted on his friend’s face during those hours of talk in the night. Something of jealousy had been aroused in him by the spectacle; not jealousy of the ordinary gross kind, but rather a sense of humiliation in the thought that he himself had never experienced, was perhaps incapable of, such passion as racked Julian in every nerve. This was the passion which Ida