For Ida they were sad, long days. Troubles which she had previously managed to keep in the background now again beset her. She had attached herself to her grandfather; gratitude for all that he was doing at her wish strengthened her affection, and she awaited each new day with fear. Waymark seemed colder to her in these days than he had ever been formerly. The occasion ought, she felt, to have brought them nearer together; but on his side there appeared to be no such feeling. The time hung very heavily on her hands. She tried to go on with her studies, but it was a mere pretence.
Soon, she learnt that there was no hope; the sick man had sunk into a state of unconsciousness from which he would probably not awake. She haunted the neighbourhood of the house, or, in her lodging, sat like one who waits, and the waiting was for she knew not what. There was once more to be a great change in her life, but of what kind she could not foresee. She wished her suffering had been more acute; her only relative was dying, yet no tear would come to her eyes; it was heartless, and to weep would have brought relief to her. She could only sit and wait.
When Waymark came, on the evening of the next day, he heard that all was over. Ida saw him, but only for a few minutes. In going away, he paused by the gates of the silent house.
“The slums have avenged themselves,” he said to himself sadly, “though late.”
On a Sunday afternoon in October, when Abraham Woodstock had lain in his grave for three months, Waymark met Julian Casti by appointment in Sloane Square, and they set forth together on a journey to Peckham. They were going thither by invitation, and, to judge from the laughter which accompanied their talk, their visit was likely to afford them entertainment. The merriment on Julian’s side was not very natural; he looked indeed too ill to enjoy mirth of any kind. As they stood in the Square, waiting for an omnibus, he kept glancing uneasily about him, especially in the direction whence they had come. It had the appearance of a habit, but before they had stood much more than a minute, he started and exclaimed in a low voice to his companion—
“I told you so. She is just behind there. She has come round by the back streets, just to see if I’d told her the truth.”
Waymark glanced back and shrugged his shoulders.
“Pooh! Never mind,” he said. “You’re used to it.”
“Used to it! Yes,” Julian returned, his face flushing suddenly a deep red, the effect of extraordinary excitement; “and it is driving me mad.”
Then, after a fit of coughing—
“She found my poem last night, and burnt it.”
“Yes; simply because she could not understand it. She said she thought it was waste paper, but I saw, I saw.”