' JOLYON FORSYTE, Robin Hill.--Your son passed painlessly away on June 20th. Deep sympathy'--some name unknown to him.
He dropped it, spun round, stood motionless. The moon shone in on him; a moth flew in his face. The first day of all that he had not thought almost ceaselessly of Jolly. He went blindly towards the window, struck against the old armchair--his father's--and sank down on to the arm of it. He sat there huddled forward, staring into the night. Gone out like a candle flame; far from home, from love, all by himself, in the dark! His boy! From a little chap always so good to him--so friendly! Twenty years old, and cut down like grass--to have no life at all! 'I didn't really know him,' he thought, 'and he didn't know me; but we loved each other. It's only love that matters.'
To die out there--lonely--wanting them--wanting home! This seemed to his Forsyte heart more painful, more pitiful than death itself. No shelter, no protection, no love at the last! And all the deeply rooted clanship in him, the family feeling and essential clinging to his own flesh and blood which had been so strong in old Jolyon--was so strong in all the Forsytes--felt outraged, cut, and torn by his boy's lonely passing. Better far if he had died in battle, without time to long for them to come to him, to call out for them, perhaps, in his delirium!
The moon had passed behind the oak-tree now, endowing it with uncanny life, so that it seemed watching him--the oak-tree his boy had been so fond of climbing, out of which he had once fallen and hurt himself, and hadn't cried!
The door creaked. He saw Irene come in, pick up the telegram and read it. He heard the faint rustle of her dress. She sank on her knees close to him, and he forced himself to smile at her. She stretched up her arms and drew his head down on her shoulder. The perfume and warmth of her encircled him; her presence gained slowly his whole being.
JAMES IN WAITING
SWEATED to serenity, Soames dined at the Remove and turned his face toward Park Lane. His father had been unwell lately. This would have to be kept from him! Never till that moment
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Publication information: Book title: The Forsyte Saga. Contributors: John Galsworthy - Author, Geoffrey Harvey - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 554.
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