At nine o'clock that night he found Grace. She had moved to a cheap
apartment which she shared with two other girls from the store. The others
were out. It was his lucky day, surely.
His drunkenness was of the mind, mostly. His muscles were well controlled.
The lines from his nose to the corners of his mouth were slightly
accentuated, his eyes open a trifle wider than usual. That and a slight
paleness of the nostrils were the only evidences of his condition. But
Grace knew the signs.
"You can't come in."
"Of course I'm coming in."
She retreated before him, her eyes watchful. Men in his condition were apt
to be as quick with a blow as with a caress. But, having gained his point,
he was amiable.
"Get your things on and come out. We can take in a roof-garden."
"I've told you I'm not doing that sort of thing."
He was ugly in a flash.
"You've got somebody else on the string."
"Honestly, no. There--there has never been anybody else, Palmer."
He caught her suddenly and jerked her toward him.
"You let me hear of anybody else, and I'll cut the guts out of him!"
He held her for a second, his face black and fierce. Then, slowly and
inevitably, he drew her into his arms. He was drunk, and she knew it.
But, in the queer loyalty of her class, he was the only man she had cared
for. She cared now. She took him for that moment, felt his hot kisses on
her mouth, her throat, submitted while his rather brutal hands bruised her
arms in fierce caresses. Then she put him from her resolutely.
"Now you're going."
"The hell I'm going!"
But he was less steady than he had been. The heat of the little flat
brought more blood to his head. He wavered as he stood just inside the
"You must go back to your wife."
"She doesn't want me. She's in love with a fellow at the house."
"Lemme come in and sit down, won't you?"
She let him pass her into the sitting-room. He dropped into a chair.
"You've turned me down, and now Christine--she thinks I don't know. I'm no
fool; I see a lot of things. I'm no good. I know that I've made her
miserable. But I made a merry little hell for you too, and you don't kick
"You know that."