It flashed through Winifred that here was the weapon she needed. He minded their knowing!
'No. Val knows. The others don't; they only know you went away.'
She heard him sigh with relief.
'But they shall know,' she said firmly, 'if you give me cause.'
'All right!' he muttered, 'hit me! I'm down!'
Winifred went up to the bed. 'Look here, Monty! I don't want to hit you. I don't want to hurt you. I shan't allude to anything. I'm not going to worry. What's the use?' She was silent a moment. 'I can't stand any more, though, and I won't! You'd better know. You've made me suffer. But I used to be fond of you. For the sake of that-----' She met the heavy-lidded gaze of his brown eyes with the downward stare of her green- grey eyes; touched his hand suddenly, turned her back, and went into her room.
She sat there a long time before her glass, fingering her rings, thinking of this subdued dark man, almost a stranger to her, on the bed in the other room; resolutely not 'worrying', but gnawed by jealousy of what he had been through, and now and again just visited by pity.
SOAMES doggedly let the spring come--no easy task for one conscious that time was flying, his birds in the bush no nearer the hand, no issue from the web anywhere visible. Mr Polteed reported nothing, except that his watch went on--costing a lot of money. Val and his cousin were gone to the war, whence came news more favourable; Dartie was behaving himself so far; James had retained his health; business prospered almost terribly--there was nothing to worry Soames except that he was 'held up,' could take no step in any direction.
He did not exactly avoid Soho, for he could not afford to let them think that he had 'piped off,' as James would have put it-- he might want to 'pipe on' again at any minute. But he had to be so restrained and cautious that he would often pass the door