TWENTY-THREE
SIGHT OF OLD FRIENDS

George wrote, when I suggested paying him a visit:

"We shall be out at the Farm that week-end. If you can come over, I'll organize it immediately. You can meet some of the original party and some of the new blood that we've brought up ------"

Neither there nor in the rest of the letter was there any symptom of uneasiness. It sounded like George for so long, absorbed and contented in the little world.

On the Saturday afternoon a week after my return, I arrived at Eden's house. About a year previously, just as I was beginning to find my feet at the Bar, he had sent me a couple of cases, and since then several invitations to "stay in your old haunts." In the drawing-room, where we had argued over Martineau's renunciation, Eden received me cordially and comfortably. He was in his arm-chair, lying back in golf suit and slippers after an afternoon walk.

"You've done very well," he said. "You've done very well, of course. But I heard you weren't well last year. You must take care of that," he said. "You won't get anywhere without your health. And unless you learn to be your own doctor by the time you're thirty, you never will afterwards."

I had always enjoyed his company; he was hospitable and considerate. "If you want to talk to your friends while you're staying here, just consider the study upstairs as your private property." He got talking about "those days," his formula of invocation of his youth; and it was later after dinner than I intended when I caught the bus to the Farm.

As I walked across the fields, lights were shining from several of the Farm windows. George came to the door.

"Splendid," he said, with his hand outstretched. "I was wondering whether you'd lost your way." In his busy, elab-

-144-

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