"It is very disagreeable when one's income becomes a burden," said
She was finding in Le Moyne something that she needed just then--a
solidity, a sort of dependability, that had nothing to do with heaviness.
She felt that here was a man she could trust, almost confide in. She liked
his long hands, his shabby but well-cut clothes, his fine profile with its
strong chin. She left off her little affectations,--a tribute to his own
lack of them,--and sat back in her chair, watching the fire.
When K. chose, he could talk well. The Howes had been to Bermuda on their
wedding trip. He knew Bermuda; that gave them a common ground. Christine
relaxed under his steady voice. As for K., he frankly enjoyed the little
visit--drew himself at last with regret out of his chair.
"You've been very nice to ask me in, Mrs. Howe," he said. "I hope you will
allow me to come again. But, of course, you are going to be very gay."
It seemed to Christine she would never be gay again. She did not want him
to go away. The sound of his deep voice gave her a sense of security. She
liked the clasp of the hand he held out to her, when at last he made a move
toward the door.
"Tell Mr. Howe I am sorry he missed our little party," said Le Moyne.
"Will you come again?" asked Christine rather wistfully.
"Just as often as you ask me."
As he closed the door behind him, there was a new light in Christine's
eyes. Things were not right, but, after all, they were not hopeless. One
might still have friends, big and strong, steady of eye and voice. When
Palmer came home, the smile she gave him was not forced.
The day's exertion had been bad for Anna. Le Moyne found her on the couch
in the transformed sewing-room, and gave her a quick glance of
apprehension. She was propped up high with pillows, with a bottle of
aromatic ammonia beside her.
"Just--short of breath," she panted. "I--I must get down. Sidney--is
coming home--to supper; and--the others--Palmer and--"
That was as far as she got. K., watch in hand, found her pulse thin,
stringy, irregular. He had been prepared for some such emergency, and he
hurried into his room for amyl-nitrate. When he came back she was almost
unconscious. There was no time even to call Katie. He broke the capsule
in a towel, and held it over her face. After a time the spasm relaxed, but
her condition remained alarming.