The Return HTML version

Lawford slept far into the cloudy Monday morning, to wake steeped in sleep, lethargic,
and fretfully haunted by inconclusive remembrances of the night before. When Sheila,
with obvious and capacious composure, brought him his breakfast tray, he watched her
face for some time without speaking.
'Sheila,' he began, as she was about to leave the room again.
She paused, smiling.
'Did anything happen last night? Would you mind telling me, Sheila? Who was it was
Her lids the least bit narrowed. 'Certainly, Arthur; Mr Danton was here.'
'Then it was not a dream?'
'Oh no,' said Sheila.
'What did I say? What did HE say? It was hopeless, anyhow.'
'I don't quite understand what you mean by "hopeless," Arthur. And must I answer the
other questions?'
Lawford drew his hand over his face, like a tired child. 'He didn't--believe?'
'No, dear,' said Sheila softly.
'And you, Sheila?' came the subdued voice.
Sheila crossed slowly to the window. 'Well, quite honestly, Arthur, I was not very much
surprised. Whatever we are agreed about on the whole, you were scarcely yourself last
Lawford shut his eyes, and re-opened them full on his wife's calm scrutiny, who had in
that moment turned in the light of the one drawn blind to face him again.
'Who is? Always?'
'No,' said Sheila; 'but--it was at least unfortunate. We can't, I suppose, rely on Dr Bethany