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Chapter V
Condy began his week's work for the supplement behindhand. Naturally he overslept
himself Tuesday morning, and, not having any change in his pockets, was obliged to
walk down to the office. He arrived late, to find the compositors already fretting for copy.
His editor promptly asked for the whaleback stuff, and Condy was forced into promising
it within a half-hour. It was out of the question to write the article according to his own
idea in so short a time; so Condy faked the stuff from the exchange clipping, after all.
His description of the boat and his comments upon her mission--taken largely at second
hand--served only to fill space in the paper. They were lacking both in interest and in
point. There were no illustrations. The article was a failure.
But Condy redeemed himself by a witty interview later in the week with an emotional
actress, and by a solemn article compiled after an hour's reading in Lafcadio Hearn and
the Encyclopedia--on the "Industrial Renaissance in Japan."
But the idea of the diver's story came back to him again and again, and Thursday night
after supper he went down to his club, and hid himself at a corner desk in the library,
and, in a burst of enthusiasm, wrote out some two thousand words of it. In order to get
the "technical details," upon which he set such store, he consulted the Encyclopedias
again, and "worked in" a number of unfamiliar phrases and odd-sounding names. He
was so proud of the result that he felt he could not wait until the tale was finished and in
print to try its effect. He wanted appreciation and encouragement upon the instant. He
thought of Blix.
"She saw the point in Morrowbie Jukes' description of the slope of the sandhill," he told
himself; and the next moment had resolved to go up and see her the next evening, and
read to her what he had written.
This was on Thursday. All through that week Blix had kept much to herself, and for the
first time in two years had begun to spend every evening at home. In the morning of
each day she helped Victorine with the upstairs work, making the beds, putting the
rooms to rights; or consulted with the butcher's and grocer's boys at the head of the
back stairs, or chaffered with urbane and smiling Chinamen with their balanced
vegetable baskets. She knew the house and its management at her fingers' ends, and
supervised everything that went forward. Laurie Flagg coming to call upon her, on
Wednesday afternoon, to remonstrate upon her sudden defection, found her in the act
of tacking up a curtain across the pantry window.
But Blix had the afternoons and evenings almost entirely to herself. These hours,
heretofore taken up with functions and the discharge of obligations, dragged not a little
during the week that followed upon her declaration of independence. Wednesday
afternoon, however, was warm and fine, and she went to the Park with Snooky. Without
looking for it or even expecting it, Blix came across a little Japanese tea-house, or