“No!” He shrugged wearily. “No. The truth is, I want to get away,” he said in an undertone.
“Ah, well!” Magsie understood that. “Of course you want to get away from the fuss and the talk, Greg,” she said eagerly. “I think we all ought to get away: Rachael to Long Island, I to Vera, you anywhere! We can’t possibly be married for months—–” Suddenly her voice sank, she dropped his hands, and locked her smooth little arms about his neck. “But I’ll be waiting for you, and you for me, Greg,” she whispered. “Isn’t it all settled now, isn’t it only a question of all the bother, lawyers and arrangements, before you and I belong to each other as we’ve always dreamed we might?”
He looked down gravely, almost sadly, and yet with tenderness, upon the eager face. He had always found her lovable, endearing, and sweet; even out of this hideous smoke and flame she emerged all charming and all desirable. He tightened his arms about the thinly wrapped little figure.
“Yes. I think it’s all settled now, Magsie!” he said.
“Well, then!” She sealed it with one of her quick little kisses. “Now sit down and read a magazine, Greg,” she said happily, “and in ten minutes you’ll see me in my new hat, all ready to go to lunch!”
The blue tides rose and fell at Clark’s Hills, the summer sun shone healingly down upon Rachael’s sick heart and soul. Day after day she took her bare-headed, sandalled boys to the white beach, and lay in the warm sands, with the tonic Atlantic breezes blowing over her. Space and warmth and silence were all about; the incoming breakers moved steadily in, and shrank back in a tumble of foam and blue water; gulls dipped and wheeled in the spray. As far as her dreaming eyes could reach, up the beach and down, there was the same bath of warm color, blue sea melting into blue sky, white sand mingling with yellow dunes, until all colors, in the distance, swam in a haze of dull gold.
Now and then, when even the shore was hot, the boys elected to spend their afternoon by the bay on the other side of the village. Here there was much small traffic in dingies and dories and lobster-pots; the slower tides rocked the little craft at the moorings, and sent bright swinging light against the weather-worn planks under the pier. Rachael smiled when she saw Derry’s little dark head confidently resting against the flowing, milky beard of old Cap’n Jessup, or heard the bronzed lean younger men shout to her older son, as to an equal, “Pitch us that painter, will ye, Jim!”
She spoke infrequently but quietly of Warren to Alice. The older woman discovered, with a pang of dismay, that Rachael’s attitude was fixed beyond appeal. There was such a thing as divorce, established and approved; she, Rachael, had availed herself of its advantages; now it was Warren’s turn.
Rachael would live for her sons. They must of course be her own. She would take them away to some other atmosphere: “England, I think,” she told Alice. “That’s my mother country, you know, and children lead a sane, balanced life there.”