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Willie, suddenly competent, held the lantern while Rowcliffe poured the drench down her throat. Daisy, coughing and dribbling, stood and gazed at them with sad and terrified eyes. And while the undertaker's men screwed down the lid upon John Greatorex in his coffin, Jim Greatorex, his son, watched with Daisy in her stall.

"Well," said Gwenda. "He did." That night the Vicar scowled over his supper. And before it was ended he broke loose. "Which of you two sent for Dr. Rowcliffe?" "I did," said Gwenda. Mary said nothing. "And what do you mean by doing such a thing without consulting me?" "I mean," said Gwenda quietly, "that he should see Alice." "And I meant most particularly that he shouldn't see her.

"She's better." "Has that fellow Rowcliffe been here again?" "He called on you, I think." "And you made him see her?" he insisted. "He saw her." "Well?" "He says she's all right. She'll be well if only she'll go out in the open air." "It's what I've been dinning into her for the last three months. She doesn't want a doctor to tell her that." He drew her into the study and closed the door.

"I was only wondering whether the fate was really so malignant." "You mean that if he met me he'd dislike me?" "He always has disliked anybody we like. You see, he's a very funny father." "All fathers," said Rowcliffe, "are more or less funny." She laughed. Her laughter enchanted him. "Yes. But my father doesn't mean to be as funny as he is." "I see. He wouldn't really mean to dislike me.

And she had tried to be loyal to Mary and to Rowcliffe. She had said, "If we were three, we all had our innings, and he made his choice." And Robina, "It was Mary did the choosing." She had added that Gwenda was a little fool, and that she ought to have known that though Mary was as meek as Moses she was that sort. She went on, thinking, to the steady clanking of the hoofs.

She understood the meaning of the gross red mouth that showed itself in the fierce lifting of the ascetic, grim moustache. And she conceived a horror of his fatherhood. "No man ought to say that of his own daughter. How does he know what's her own and what's his?" she said. Rowcliffe stared at her in a sort of awful admiration. She was terrible; she was fierce; she was mad.

Alice went back to the chancel where Greatorex stood turning over the hymn books of the choir. "Jim," she said, "that was Dr. Rowcliffe. Do you think he saw us?" "It doesn't matter if he did," said Greatorex. "He'll not tell." "He might tell Father." Jim turned to her. "And if he doos, Ally, yo' knaw what to saay." "That's no good, Jim. I've told you so. You mustn't think of it."

"She's told me it's true what you think." In the silence that fell on the four Rowcliffe stayed where he stood, downcast and averted. It was as if he felt that Gwenda could have charged him with betrayal of a trust. The Vicar looked at his watch. He turned to Rowcliffe. "Is that fellow coming, or is he not?" "He won't funk it," said Rowcliffe. He turned. His eyes met Gwenda's.

Yet it was precisely these things that his romantic youth had cried for that solitary combat and communion, that holy and solitary aid. At thirty Rowcliffe was still in his romantic youth. He had all its appearances about him.

Ally, insisting a dozen times a day that she had killed poor Papa, was completely taken in by this play of her surreptitiously self-preserving soul. Even Rowcliffe was taken in by it. He called it a morbid obsession.

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