“What have you got to be jealous of?” he asked, somewhat gruffly, as she paused.
“Your work,” Rachael said simply; “everything that keeps you away from me!”
“And you think going to Saint Luke’s every Sunday morning at eleven o’clock, and listening to Billy Graves, will fix it all up?” he smiled not unkindly. But as she did not answer his smile, and as the tears he disliked came into her eyes, his tone changed. “Now I’ll tell you what’s the matter with you, my dear,” he said with a brisk kindliness that cut her far more just then than severity would have done, “you’re all wound up in self-analysis and psychologic self-consciousness, and you’re spinning round and round in your own entity like a kitten chasing her tail. It’s a perfectly recognizable phase of a sort of minor hysteria that often gets hold of women, and curiously enough, it usually comes about five or six years after marriage. We doctors meet it over and over again. ’But, Doctor, I’m so nervous and excited all the time, and I don’t sleep! I worry so—and much as I love my husband, I just can’t help worrying!’”
Looking up and toward his wife as she sat opposite him in the lamp-light, Warren Gregory found no smile on the beautiful face. Rachael’s hurt was deeper than her pride; she looked stricken.
“Don’t put yourself in their class, my dear!” her husband said leniently. “You need some country air. You’ll get down to Clark’s Hills in a week or two and blow some of these notions away. Meanwhile, why don’t you run down to the club every morning, and play a good smashing game of squash, and take a plunge. Put yourself through a little training!” He reopened his book.
Rachael did not answer. Presently glancing at her he saw that she was reading, too.
That his overtired nerves and her exhausted soul and body would have recovered balance in time, did not occur to Rachael. She suffered with all the intensity of a strongly passionate nature. Warren had changed to her; that was the terrible fact. She went about stunned and sick, neglecting her meals, forgetting her tonic, refusing the distractions that would have been the best thing possible for her. Little things troubled her; she said to herself bitterly that everything, anything, caused irritation between herself and Warren now. Sometimes the atmosphere brightened for a few days, then the old hopeless tugging at cross purposes began again.
“You’re sick, Rachael, and you don’t know it!” said Magsie Clay breezily. June was coming in, and Magsie was leaving town for the Villalonga camp. She told Rachael that she was “crazy” about Kent Parmalee, and Rachael’s feeling of amazement that Magsie Clay could aspire to a Parmalee was softened by an odd sensation of relief at hearing Magsie’s plans—a relief she did not analyze.
“I believe I am sick!” Rachael agreed. “I shall be glad to get down to the shore next week.” She told Warren of Magsie’s admission that night.