He pointed to Delia in her blackdress with the gold spangles. Far away sheheard
the sounds of the London night; a horn hooted; a siren wailedon the river. She
turned her watch on her wrist and looked at it surreptitiously. He had not
caught the girls name, and she knew none of themeither. Then more feet stopped,
and the hemof a black skirt.
She had not said it, but she had tried to say
He broke off asentence and let it swim in his mind.
One has to egg it on,
hethought; somebody has to say something, or human society wouldcease.
now that she slept soundly, had given her dignity.
A little beast with pink
eyes, said North.
Her muscles began to twitch involuntarily. The dance was over
and they began walking towards the door.
Happy in this world, shethought, happy
with living people! And thenEleanor says the world is better, because two
people out of allthose millions are happy. Take Renny and Maggie, she heard
Eleanor saying. Long office tables, little typewriting tables, had been
pressedinto use. Doctors know very little about the body; absolutelynothing
about the mind. He noticed how the rings weresunk in her fingers, as if the
flesh had grown over them. Nothing wasfixed; nothing was known; life was open
and free before them.
He was still smiling, but his smile smoothed itself out
as shelooked at him. Always talking of the other world, he said. He was looking
at a couple at thefurther end of the room. He had a way of blowing his cheeks
in and out, ashe said tut-tut-tut and chew-chew-chew. But I mustnt make a fool
of myself again,she said to herself.
But I will take nomore notes; I will enjoy
myself, she thought suddenly.
She had been making that distinction
betweenpeople all her life.
There was an obscenity in unconsciousness, he
thought. Yet there it hung beforeher, the thing she had seen, the thing she had
not said. We musnt let him go back, Maggie, she said.
Her eyes were bright; her
cheeks wereflushed, or was it only the tan from her voyage to India? In
particular he wanted to avoid hissister Peggy; but there she was, standing
alone by the door.
And Milly said, Tut-tut-tut, North observed.