The Devil's Paw HTML version

Chapter 22
The Bishop and Catherine, a few weeks later, walked side by side up the murky length of
St. Pancras platform. The train which they had come to meet was a quarter of an hour
late, and they had fallen into a sort of reminiscent conversation which was not without
interest to both of them.
"I left Mr. Stenson only an hour ago," the Bishop observed. "He could talk about nothing
but Julian Orden and his wonderful speeches. They say that at Sheffield and Newcastle
the enthusiasm was tremendous, and at three shipbuilding yards on the Clyde the actual
work done for the week after his visit was nearly as much again. He seems to have that
extraordinary gift of talking straight to the hearts of the men. He makes them feel."
"Mr. Stenson wrote me about it," Catherine told her companion, with a little smile. "He
said that no dignity that could be thought of or invented would be an adequate offering to
Julian for his services to the country. For the first time since the war, Labour seems
wholly and entirely, passionately almost, in earnest. Every one of those delegates went
back full of enthusiasm, and with every, one of them, Julian, before he has finished, is
going to make a little tour in his own district."
"And after to-morrow," the Bishop remarked with a smile, "I suppose he will not be
She pressed his arm.
"It is very wonderful to think about," she said quietly. "I am going to try and be Julian's
secretary - whilst we are away, at any rate."
"It isn't often," the Bishop reflected, "that I have the chance of a few minutes' quiet
conversation, on the day before her wedding, with the woman whom I am going to marry
to the man I think most of on earth."
"Give me some good advice," she begged.
The Bishop shook his head.
"You don't need it," he said. "A wife who loves her husband needs very few words of
admonition. There are marriages so often in which one can see the rocks ahead that one
opens one's prayer-book, even, with a little tremor of fear. But with you and Julian it is
"There is nothing that a woman can do for the man whom she loves," she declared softly,
"which I shall not try to do for Julian."