He gasped out between his pants: 'It's nothing; a--little fresh!'
'I've never been in an accident.'
'Don't you move!' He took a look at her. She was smiling, perfectly calm. 'Sit still,' he repeated. 'Never fear, I'll get you home!'
And in the midst of all his terrible efforts, he was surprised to hear her answer in a voice not like her own:
'I don't care if I never get home!'
The carriage giving a terrific lurch, Swithin's exclamation was jerked back into his throat. The horses, winded by the rise of a hill, now steadied to a trot, and finally stopped of their own accord.
'When'-- Swithin described it at Timothy's--'I pulled 'em up, there she was as cool as myself. God bless my soul! she behaved as if she didn't care whether she broke her neck or not! What was it she said: "I don't care if I never get home!"' Leaning over the handle of his cane, he wheezed out, to Mrs Small's terror: 'And I'm not altogether surprised, with a finickin' feller like young Soames for a husband!'
It did not occur to him to wonder what Bosinney had done after they had left him there alone; whether he had gone wandering about like the dog to which Swithin had compared him; wandering down to that copse where the spring was still in riot, the cuckoo still calling from afar; gone down there with her handkerchief pressed to his lips, its fragrance mingling with the scent of mint and thyme. Gone down there with such a wild, exquisite pain in his heart that he could have cried out among the trees. Or what, indeed, the fellow had done. In fact, till he came to Timothy's, Swithin had forgotten all about him.
JAMES GOES TO SEE FOR HIMSELF
THOSE ignorant of Forsyte 'Change would not, perhaps, foresee all the stir made by Irene's visit to the house.
After Swithin had related at Timothy's the full story of his memorable drive, the same, with the least suspicion of curiosity,