’I am, ’Yours truly,
On the following day he received a note from Bosinney:
’Philip Baynes Bosinney, ’Architect, ’309D, Sloane street, S.W., ’May 18. ’Dear Forsyte,
’If you think that in such a delicate matter as decoration I can bind myself to the exact pound, I am afraid you are mistaken. I can see that you are tired of the arrangement, and of me, and I had better, therefore, resign.
‘Philip Baynes Bosinney.’
Soames pondered long and painfully over his answer, and late at night in the dining-room, when Irene had gone to bed, he composed the following:
’62, Montpellier square, S.W., ’May 19, 1887. ’Dear Bosinney,
’I think that in both our interests it would be extremely undesirable that matters should be so left at this stage. I did not mean to say that if you should exceed the sum named in my letter to you by ten or twenty or even fifty pounds, there would be any difficulty between us. This being so, I should like you to reconsider your answer. You have a “free hand” in the terms of this correspondence, and I hope you will see your way to completing the decorations, in the matter of which I know it is difficult to be absolutely exact.
Bosinney’s answer, which came in the course of the next day, was:
OLD JOLYON AT THE ZOO
Old Jolyon disposed of his second Meeting—an ordinary Board—summarily. He was so dictatorial that his fellow directors were left in cabal over the increasing domineeringness of old Forsyte, which they were far from intending to stand much longer, they said.
He went out by Underground to Portland Road Station, whence he took a cab and drove to the Zoo.
He had an assignation there, one of those assignations that had lately been growing more frequent, to which his increasing uneasiness about June and the ‘change in her,’ as he expressed it, was driving him.
She buried herself away, and was growing thin; if he spoke to her he got no answer, or had his head snapped off, or she looked as if she would burst into tears. She was as changed as she could be, all through this Bosinney. As for telling him about anything, not a bit of it!
And he would sit for long spells brooding, his paper unread before him, a cigar extinct between his lips. She had been such a companion to him ever since she was three years old! And he loved her so!
Forces regardless of family or class or custom were beating down his guard; impending events over which he had no control threw their shadows on his head. The irritation of one accustomed to have his way was roused against he knew not what.