This was the case for the defence, and young Jolyon sighed.
‘The core of it all,’ he thought, ’is property, but there are many people who would not like it put that way. To them it is “the sanctity of the marriage tie”; but the sanctity of the marriage tie is dependent on the sanctity of the family, and the sanctity of the family is dependent on the sanctity of property. And yet I imagine all these people are followers of One who never owned anything. It is curious!
And again young Jolyon sighed.
’Am I going on my way home to ask any poor devils I meet to share my dinner, which will then be too little for myself, or, at all events, for my wife, who is necessary to my health and happiness? It may be that after all Soames does well to exercise his rights and support by his practice the sacred principle of property which benefits us all, with the exception of those who suffer by the process.’
And so he left his chair, threaded his way through the maze of seats, took his hat, and languidly up the hot streets crowded with carriages, reeking with dusty odours, wended his way home.
Before reaching Wistaria Avenue he removed old Jolyon’s letter from his pocket, and tearing it carefully into tiny pieces, scattered them in the dust of the road.
He let himself in with his key, and called his wife’s name. But she had gone out, taking Jolly and Holly, and the house was empty; alone in the garden the dog Balthasar lay in the shade snapping at flies.
Young Jolyon took his seat there, too, under the pear-tree that bore no fruit.
BOSINNEY ON PAROLE
The day after the evening at Richmond Soames returned from Henley by a morning train. Not constitutionally interested in amphibious sports, his visit had been one of business rather than pleasure, a client of some importance having asked him down.
He went straight to the City, but finding things slack, he left at three o’clock, glad of this chance to get home quietly. Irene did not expect him. Not that he had any desire to spy on her actions, but there was no harm in thus unexpectedly surveying the scene.
After changing to Park clothes he went into the drawing-room. She was sitting idly in the corner of the sofa, her favourite seat; and there were circles under her eyes, as though she had not slept.
He asked: “How is it you’re in? Are you expecting somebody?”
“Yes that is, not particularly.”
“Mr. Bosinney said he might come.”
“Bosinney. He ought to be at work.”
To this she made no answer.
“Well,” said Soames, “I want you to come out to the Stores with me, and after that we’ll go to the Park.”
“I don’t want to go out; I have a headache.”
Soames replied: “If ever I want you to do anything, you’ve always got a headache. It’ll do you good to come and sit under the trees.”