Athene. I don’t think—
Guy. [Abruptly] Good-bye, Annie. Here’s five bob for the movies.
Annie. Oh! good-bye, sir, and thank you. I was goin’ there now with my young man. He’s just round the corner.
Guy. Be very careful of him.
Annie. Oh! yes, sir, I will. Good-bye, sir. Goodbye, Miss.
Guy. So her father has a firm hand too. But it takes her back to the nest. How’s that, Athene?
Athene. [Playing with a leathern button on his coat] If you’d watched it ever since you could watch anything, seen it kill out all—It’s having power that does it. I know Father’s got awfully good points.
Guy. Well, they don’t stick out.
Athene. He works fearfully hard; he’s upright, and plucky. He’s not stingy. But he’s smothered his animal nature-and that’s done it. I don’t want to see you smother anything, Guy.
Guy. [Gloomily] I suppose one never knows what one’s got under the lid. If he hadn’t come here to-day—[He spins the wedding ring] He certainly gives one pause. Used he to whack you?
Athene. With the best intentions. You see, he’s a Town Councillor, and a magistrate. I suppose they have to be “firm.” Maud and I sneaked in once to listen to him. There was a woman who came for protection from her husband. If he’d known we were there, he’d have had a fit.
Guy. Did he give her the protection?
Athene. Yes; he gave her back to the husband. Wasn’t it—English?
Guy. [With a grunt] Hang it! We’re not all like that.
Athene. [Twisting his button] I think it’s really a sense of property so deep that they don’t know they’ve got it. Father can talk about freedom like a—politician.
Guy. [Fitting the wedding ring on her finger] Well! Let’s see how it looks, anyway.
Athene. Don’t play with fire, Guy.
Guy. There’s something in atavism,
darling; there really is. I like it
A knock on the door.
Athene. That sounds like Annie again. Just see.
Guy. [Opening the door] It is. Come in, Annie. What’s wrong now?
Annie. [Entering in confusion] Oh! sir, please, sir—I’ve told my young man.
Athene. Well, what does he say?
Annie. ’E was ’orrified, Miss.
Guy. The deuce he was! At our conduct?
Annie. Oh! no, sir—at mine.
Athene. But you did your best; you left us.
Annie. Oh! yes, Miss; that’s why ’e’s horrified.
Guy. Good for your young man.