PART III

CHAPTER I
SOAMES GIVES ADVICE

On her return to Nettlefold from her night in town, Fleur had continued to 'eat her heart out' by 'the sad sea wave.' For still neither Jon nor his wife came to see her. Clearly she was labelled "poison." Twice she had walked over to Green Hill Farm hoping for another "jolly accident." She had seen there an attractive old house with aged farm buildings flanked by a hill and a wide prospect towards the sea. Calm, broad, and homelike, the place roused hostility in her. It could never be her home, and so was inimical, part of the forces working against her. Loose ends in Jon's life were all in her favour. In exploitation of those calm acres he would be secured to that girl his wife, out of her reach again, this time for good--the twice-burnt child! And yet, with all her heartache, she was still uncertain what, precisely, she wanted. Not having to grapple with actual decision, things seemed possible which, in her bones, she knew might not be possible. Even to fling her 'cap over the windmill,' did not seem like rank and staring madness. To retrieve Spain with Jon! Her hands clenched and her lips loosened at the thought of it--an Odyssey together, till in the shifting, tolerant, modern world, all was forgotten, if not forgiven! Every form of companionship with him from decorus and platonic friendship to the world well lost; from guilty and secret liaison to orderly and above-board glimpses of him at not too long intervals. According to the tides in her blood, all seemed possible, if not exactly probable, so long as she did not lose him again altogether.

To these feverish veerings of her spirit, a letter from her Aunt Winifred supplied a point of anchorage:

"I hear from Val that they are not going to Goodwood after all --their nice two-year-old is not in form. Such a bore. It's the most comfortable meeting of the year. They seem to be very busy. settling about the farm that Jon Forsyte is going to take. It will be pleasant for Val and Holly to have them so close, though I'm

-699-

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A Modern Comedy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Book I - The White Monkey 1
  • Part I 3
  • Part II 86
  • Chapter II - Victorine 97
  • Part III 167
  • Interlude - A Silent Wooing 250
  • Book II - The Silver Spoon 265
  • Part I 267
  • Part II 347
  • Part III 426
  • Book III - Swan Song 521
  • Part I 523
  • Part II 605
  • Chapter VII - Two Visits 653
  • Part III 699
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