The Forsyte Saga

By John Galsworthy; Geoffrey Harvey | Go to book overview

'See her into the car, old man,' said Jolyon; 'and when she's gone, ask your mother to come back to me.'

Jon went. He waited in the hall. He saw her into the car. There was no chance for any word; hardly for a pressure of the hand. He waited all that evening for something to be said to him. Nothing was said. Nothing might have happened. He went up to bed, and in the mirror on his dressing-table met himself. He did not speak, nor did the image; but both looked as if they thought the more.


CHAPTER IV
IN GREEN STREET

UNCERTAIN, whether the impression that Prosper Profond was dangerous should be traced to his attempt to give Val the Mayfly filly; to a remark of Fleur's: 'He's like the hosts of Midian--*he prowls and prowls around'; to his preposterous inquiry of Jack Cardigan: 'What's the use of keepin' fit?' or, more simply, to the fact that he was a foreigner, or alien as it was now called. Certain, that Annette was looking particularly handsome, and that Soames had sold him a Gauguin and then torn up the cheque, so that Monsieur Profond himself had said: 'I didn't get that small picture I bought from Mr Forsyde.'

However suspiciously regarded, he still frequented Winifred's evergreen little house in Green Street, with a good-natured obtuseness which no one mistook for naïveté, a word hardly applicable to Monsieur Prosper Profond. Winifred still found him 'amusing,' and would write him little notes saying: 'Come and have a "jolly" with us'--it was breath of life to her to keep up with the phrases of the day.

The mystery, with which all felt him to be surrounded, was due to his having done, seen, heard, and known everything, and found nothing in it--which was unnatural. The English type of disillusionment was familiar enough to Winifred, who had always moved in fashionable circles. It gave a certain cachet or distinction, so that one got something out of it. But to see nothing in anything, not as a pose, but because there was nothing in anything, was not English; and that which was not English one

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