- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 344MB
"Are you an officer?" said the startled Captain as soon as he could gain words. "I'm a Captain. I'll not surrender to any one under my rank."
Mrs. Backfield was the one to bear the brunt of these economies. She had been a trifle pampered during the latter days of her marriage, and set far more store than her sons on dainty food; also the work which she performed so well was a tax on her unaccustomedness. But she never grumbled, and this was not only because escape was near at hand. Strange to say, in these new days of his lordship, Reuben began to fill a place in her heart which he had never filled before. While her husband was alive, he had never really come inside her life, he had been an aloof, inarticulate being whom she did not understand. But now that he had asserted himself, she found herself turning towards him. She would have worked without prospect of releaseindeed, as the days went by, Harry and his home and her promised idleness dwindled in her thoughts.
Sometimes Caro in her innocence would think that she ought to speak to Rose, warn her, and plead with her to go carefully. But a vague fright sealed her lips, and she was held at a distance by the reserve in which the merry communicative Rose had suddenly wrapped herself. Those few minutes by the brookside had changed her, though it would be hard to say exactly in what the change lay. Caro was both repelled and baffled by it. A more skilled observer would say that Rose had become suddenly adult in her outlook as well as her emotions. For the first time she had seen in its sorrowful reality the force which she had played with for so many years. The shock disorganised her, drove her into a strange silence. Love and she had always been hail-fellow-well-met, they had romped and rollicked together through life; she had never thought that her good comrade could change, or rathermore unimaginable stillthat she should suddenly discover that she had never really known him.Dancing!... dancing!... Dying!... dying! Even the tune had faded now, and she could see nothingonly a grey patch where the window had been. She was not frightened, only very lonely. Her legs were like ice, and the inside of her mouth felt all rough and numb.
Through the long night they wrestled with him, blind and raving. At first it seemed as if Naomi's presence soothed him, and he would let her stroke his arms and hands. But after a time he ceased to [Pg 49]recognise her. He gabbled about her a good deal, but did not know she was there. His delirium was full of strange tagsa chicken brood he was raising, a sick cow, a jaunt into Rye with Realf of Grandturzel, a dozen harmless homely things which were all transfused with an alien horror, all somehow made frightful, so that Reuben felt he could never look on chickens, cows or Rye again without a shudder.