curtain. 'Do you know I even asked Uncle James-----' But, with a sudden dislike to mentioning that incident, she stopped; and presently, finding her friend so unresponsive, went away. She looked back from the pavement, and Irene was still standing in the doorway. In response to her farewell wave, Irene put her hand to her brow, and, turning slowly, shut the door. . . .
Soames went to the drawing-room presently, and peered at her through the window.
Out in the shadow of the Japanese sunshade she was sitting very still, the lace on her white shoulders stirring with the soft rise and fall of her bosom.
But about this silent creature sitting there so motionless, in the dark, there seemed a warmth, a hidden fervour of feeling, as if the whole of her being had been stirred, and some change were taking place in its very depths.
He stole back to the dining-room unnoticed.
JAMES AT LARGE
IT was not long before Soames's determination to build went the round of the family, and created the flutter that any decision connected with property should make among Forsytes.
It was not his fault, for he had been determined that no one should know. June, in the fulness of her heart, had told Mrs Small, giving her leave only to tell Aunt Ann--she thought it would cheer her, the poor old sweet! for Aunt Ann had kept her room now for many days.
Mrs Small told Aunt Ann at once, who, smiling as she lay back on her pillows, said in her distinct, trembling old voice:
'It's very nice for dear June; but I hope they will be careful-- it's rather dangerous!'
When she was left alone again, a frown, like a cloud presaging a rainy morrow, crossed her face.
While she was lying there so many days the process of recharging her will went on all the time; it spread to her face, too, and tightening movements were always in action at the corners of her lips.