Majendie some tea, and Lawson's Hannay's large form moved into the gap thus made, blocking Anne's view of the room. He stood looking down upon her with an extraordinary smile of mingled apology and protection. Gorst's return was followed by Majendie, wandering uneasily with his plate. He smiled at Anne, too; and his smile conveyed the same suggestion of desperation and distress.
"Is that a reason why I should make a friend of Mrs. Hannay?" "It's a reason why you should be civil to her. You will send an invitation to Gorst at the same time." She winced. "That I cannot do." "You can, dear, and you will. Gorst's in a pretty bad way. I knew he would be. He's got entangled now with some wretched girl, and I've got to disentangle him.
When she announced, at breakfast one Monday, that she had asked the Eliotts, the Gardners, Canon Wharton, and Miss Proctor, for dinner on Wednesday, she uttered each name as if it had been a challenge, and looked for some irritating maneuver in response. He would, of course, proclaim that he was going to dine with the Hannays, or he would effect a retreat to Mr. Gorst's rooms, or to his club.
He had not yet gone to see her. Some day, he supposed, he would have to go, to see whether the girl, as he phrased it vaguely, was "really all right." With little creatures like Maggie you never could be sure. There would always be the possibility of Gorst's successor, and he had no desire to make Maggie's maintenance easier for him.
Why should she?" "Well, my dear, if you kept her at arm's length if you let her see, for instance, that you preferred Mr. Gorst's society to hers " "Do you think I let her see it?" "No, I don't. And it wouldn't enter her head. But, considering that she can't receive Mr. Gorst into her own house " "Why should she?" "Edie if she cannot, how can you?" Edith closed her eyes.
He listened, glancing now and then at Anne with a smile of pride in his friend's performance. It was as if he were asking her to own that there must be some good in a fellow who could play like that. Anne was considering in what words she would intimate to him that Mr. Gorst's music was never to be heard again in that house.
"To receive a man of Mr. Gorst's character." "My dear girl, what right have you to expect me to turn him out?" "My right as your wife." "My wife has a right to ask me a great many things, but not that." "I ought not to have to ask you. You should have thought of it yourself. You should have had more care for my reputation." At this he laughed, greatly to his own annoyance and to hers.
"Thanks," said Gorst, checking the alacrity with which he rose to go to Edith. Oh yes, he knew it was the best thing he could do. Edith's voice called gladly to him as he tapped at her door. He entered noiselessly, wearing the wondering and expectant look with which a new worshipper enters a holy place. Perpetual backslidings kept poor Gorst's worship perpetually new.
Sir John Gorst's satire was so keen that they could not, themselves, help laughing over the fun which "The Lonely Sparrow on the House Top" made of "The Giant Eagle Flying Aloft." It went on for several numbers, perhaps half-a-dozen, when the Maoris informed Sir John that he must stop his paper, or they would throw his printing materials into the river.
Gorst's debts for him." The name called up no colour to her cheek. Maggie had forgotten Gorst, and all he had done for her. "And you're paying me back." She shook her head. "I can't ever pay you back." Poor little girl! Was that what her mind was always running on? There was silence again between them. And then Majendie looked at Maggie.