The Forsyte Saga

By John Galsworthy; Geoffrey Harvey | Go to book overview

can cut your coat a bit longer in the future--I'm settling a thousand a year on you at once. June will have fifty thousand at my death, and you the rest. That dog of yours is spoiling the garden. I shouldn't keep a dog, if I were you!'

The dog Balthasar, seated in the centre of the lawn, was examining his tail.

Young Jolyon looked at the animal, but saw him dimly, for his eyes were misty.

'Yours won't come short of a hundred thousand, my boy,' said old Jolyon; 'I thought you'd better know. I haven't much longer to live at my age. I shan't allude to it again. How's your wife? and--give her my love.'

Young Jolyon put his hand on his father's shoulder, and, as neither spoke, the episode closed.

Having seen his father into a hansom, young Jolyon came back to the drawing-room and stood, where old Jolyon had stood, looking down on the little garden. He tried to realize all that this meant to him, and, Forsyte that he was, vistas of property were opened out in his brain; the years of half rations through which he had passed had not sapped his natural instincts. In extremely practical form, he thought of travel, of his wife's costume, the children's education, a pony for Jolly, a thousand things; but in the midst of all he thought, too, of Bosinney and his mistress, and the broken song of the thrush. Joy--tragedy! Which? Which?

The old past--he poignant, suffering, passionate, wonderful past, that no money could buy, that nothing could restore in all its burning sweetness--had come back before him.

When his wife came in he went straight up to her and took her in his arms; and for a long time he stood without speaking, his eyes closed, pressing her to him, while she looked at him with a wondering, adoring, doubting look in her eyes.


CHAPTER IV
VOYAGE INTO THE INFERNO

THE morning after a certain night on which Soames at last asserted his rights and acted like a man, he breakfasted alone.

He breakfasted by gaslight, the fog of late November wrapping

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