d a trick of 鏉窞妗戞嬁缇庡コ humor that made her intimate in an adjective, and made him laugh. She also had a trick of allotting to him prejudices. 鈥淵ou鈥檇 call our leading man a very bad character, but I like him: I think one needs to have faults to be truly charitable. I鈥檇 ask you to join us, but鈥斺€?You wouldn鈥檛 get on with theatrical people; you 鏉窞涓濊鑺?rather鈥擨 know, so you needn鈥檛 deny it鈥攜ou rather despise them. I think they鈥檙e the jolliest crowd. We dance every night when the show is ended and have late suppers, and鈥攜ou can guess.鈥?
It was after receiving this that he made up his mind, in preparation for her return, to learn the latest dances. He wondered where she could have gathered the impression that he was puritanical.
But there were other letters in which she joined his future with hers. 鈥淧erhaps you鈥檒l write a great play one day, and allow me to be 鏉窞娲楁荡妗戞嬁灏忓鏀惰垂 your leading lady.鈥?
He paused to let the picture form before he went further. It would be rather fun. He saw himself holding hands with her and bowing to applauding audiences. As husband and wife they鈥檇 travel the world together, emancipated beings who never gave a thought to money, each contributing to the other鈥檚 鏉窞瓒虫荡搴楀ぇ淇濆仴 triumph. Fun! Yes. But unsettling. The life that he had always planned was a kind of glorified Eden Row existence without the worries. He thought of Jimmie Boy and Dearie, and all the quiet bonds of dependence they had built up by living always in one place together.
His eyes went back to her letter. 鈥淵ou鈥檒l come and see me, won鈥檛 you, Meester Deek, if ever I become a great actress? And I shall.鈥擮h, did I tell you? Horace is on his way over. I wonder what he and Fluffy will do? Perhaps quarrel. Perhaps just 鏉窞spa鍝濂?dawdle.鈥?
He was tempted to go to her; but she hadn鈥檛 really invited him. He felt that she wouldn鈥檛 be his in her nomad setting. He couldn鈥檛 bear to have to share her with these butterfly people who viewed love as a diversion, and marriage as a catastrophe.
Sometimes he doubted whether he was as unhappy as he fancied. He searched 鐖辨澀宸為緳鍑?19璁哄潧 through books to prove to himself that his case was by no means solitary鈥攖hat it was the common lot of lovers. He became an admirer of the happy ending in novels. He sought for fiction-characters 鏉窞钃濋捇澶╂垚缇庡コ upon whose handling of similar situations he could pattern his conduct One writer informed him that the secret of success in love was to keep a woman guessing; another, that with blonde women a heated courting brought the best results,
while with women of a darker complexion a little coldness paid excellently. All 鏉窞鎸夋懇蹇澶氬皯閽?this was too calculating鈥攖oo like diplomacy. He fell back on the advice of Madame Josephine: 鈥淒on鈥檛 judge鈥攖ry to understand. When a good man tries to be fair, he鈥檚 unjust.鈥?As an atonement for the disloyalty of his research, he sent Desire a needlessly large box of flowers.
鈥淚t鈥檚 only two weeks, after all,鈥?she had said. But 鏉窞妗戞嬁灏忓 the two weeks had come and gone. All his plans were dependent on hers, and she seemed to be without any. Already he was receiving inquiries from Eden Row as to when he could be ex