THIRTY-FOUR
DINNER PARTY AFTER A BAD DAY

As soon as the court adjourned, we heard a great deal of talk upon Iris Ward's evidence. Everyone who spoke to us seemed to have believed her account; there was a continuous stir of gossip and curiosity into the lives of George and his friends. They were disapproved of with laughter and excitement: people thought that Porson had been right to force a scandal into notice. "He's won the case and shown them up at the same time," someone said in my hearing.

Getliffe himself was unusually grave. He kept talking of Iris's evidence, and seemed both moved and despondent. He was anxious over the result, of course -- but something else was taking hold of him.

Though we were to meet at Eden's house for dinner, he kept on talking in the robing-room long after the court had cleared. I went straight to George's and stayed for a couple of hours. The three of them were there alone; they had eaten every meal together since the trial began; only my presence tonight prevented an outburst of reproaches -- my presence, and the state into which George had fallen.

He scarcely spoke or protested; yet, as his eyes saw nothing but his own thoughts, his face was torn with suffering -- just as when he heard the call for Iris Ward.

When Jack spoke now, he assumed that George would obey. Only once did George make an effort to show himself their leader still. He heard me say that Martineau, who had promised to be in the town by that afternoon, had still not arrived. George stirred himself: "I insist on your tracing him at once. I tried to make Getliffe realize that it was essential to keep in touch with Martineau -- on the one occasion when

-232-

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