“I see,” she said dreamily. And through her veins, like a soothing draught, ran the premonition of surrender. Delicious to let herself go, to trust him, to get away from all the familiar sights and faces! She turned in the darkness and laid both hands on his shoulders. “I’ll be ready on Sunday,” said she gravely. “I suppose, as a younger girl, I would have thought myself mad to think of this. But I have been wrong about so many of those old ideas; I don’t feel sure of anything any more. Life in this house isn’t right, Stephen, and certainly the old life at Auntie’s,—all debts and pretense and shiftlessness,—isn’t right either.”
“You’ll not be sorry, dear,” he told her, holding her hands.
An instant later they were warned, by a sudden flood of light on the porch, that Mr. Coleman had come to the open French window.
“Come in, you idiots!” said Peter. “We’re hunting for something to eat!”
“You come out, it’s a heavenly night!” Stephen said readily.
“Nothing stirring,” Mr. Coleman said, sauntering toward them nevertheless. “Don’t you believe a word she says, Mr. Bocqueraz, she’s an absolute liar!”
“Peter, go back, we’re talking books,” said Susan, unruffled.
“Well, I read a book once, Susan,” he assured her proudly. “Say, let’s go over to the hotel and have a dance, what?”
“Madman!” the writer said, in indulgent amusement, as Peter went back. “We’ll be in directly, Coleman!” he called. Then he said quickly, and in a low tone to Susan. “Shall you stay here until Sunday, or would you rather be with your own people?”
“It just depends upon what Ella and Emily do,” Susan answered. “Kenneth may not tell them. If he does, it might be better to go. This is Tuesday. Of course I don’t know, Stephen, they may be very generous about it, they may make it as pleasant as they can. But certainly Emily isn’t sorry to find some reason for terminating my stay here. We’ve—perhaps it’s my fault, but we’ve been rather grating on each other lately. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that I will go home on Wednesday or Thursday.”
“Good,” he said. “I can see you there!”
“Oh, will you?” said Susan, pleased.
“Oh, will I! And another thing, dear, you’ll need some things. A big coat for the steamer, and some light gowns—but we can get those. We’ll do some shopping in Paris—–”
He had touched a wrong chord, and Susan winced.
“I have some money,” she assured him, hastily, “and I’d rather— rather get those things myself!”
“You shall do as you like,” he said gravely. Silently and thoughtfully they went back to the house.