But did Blix care for him?
In the retired corner of his club, shut off by the Japanese screen, or going up and down
the city to and from his work, or sitting with her in the bay window of the little dining-
room looking down upon the city, blurred in the twilight or radiant with the sunset, Condy
asked himself the question. A score of times each day he came to a final, definite,
negative decision; and a score of times reopened the whole subject. Beyond the fact
that Blix had enjoyed herself in his company during the last months, Condy could find
no sign or trace of encouragement; and for that matter he told himself that the
indications pointed rather in the other direction. She had no compunction in leaving him
to go away to New York, perhaps never to return. In less than a month now all their
companionship was to end, and he would probably see the last of her.
He dared not let her know that at last he had really come to love her--that it was no
pretence now; for he knew that with such declaration their "good times" would end even
before she should go away. But every day; every hour that they were together made it
harder for him to keep himself within bounds.
What with this trouble on his mind and the grim determination with which he held to his
work, Condy changed rapidly. Blix had steadied him, and a certain earnestness and
seriousness of purpose, a certain STRENGTH he had not known before, came swiftly
Was Blix to go away, leave him, perhaps for all time, and not know how much he cared?
Would he speak before she went? Condy did not know. It was a question that
circumstances would help him to decide. He would not speak, so he resolved, unless he
was sure that she cared herself; and if she did, she herself would give him a cue, a hint
whereon to speak. But days went by, the time set for Blix's departure drew nearer and
nearer, and yet she gave him not the slightest sign.
These two interests had now absorbed his entire life for the moment--his love for Blix,
and his novel. Little by little "In Defiance of Authority" took shape. The boom restaurant
and the club of the exiles were disposed of, Billy Isham began to come to the front, the
filibustering expedition and Senora Estrada (with her torn calling card) had been
introduced, and the expedition was ready to put to sea. But here a new difficulty was
"What do I know about ships?" Condy confessed to Blix. "If Billy Isham is going to
command a filibustering schooner, I've got to know something about a schooner--
appear to, anyhow. I've got to know nautical lingo, the real thing, you know. I don't
believe a REAL sailor ever in his life said 'belay there,' or 'avast.' We'll have to go out
and see Captain Jack; get some more technical detail."