Irene caught his hand. 'You were always more of a realist than Jon; and never so innocent.'
'That's true,' said Jolyon. 'It's queer, isn't it? You and I would tell our stories to the world without a particle of shame; but our own boy stumps us.'
'We've never cared whether the world approves or not.'
'Jon would not disapprove of us!'
'Oh! Jolyon, yes. He's in love, NNI feel he's in love. And he'd say: 'My mother once married without love! How could she have!' It'll seem to him a crime! And so it was!'
Jolyon took her hand, and said with a wry smile:
'Ah! why on earth are we born young? Now, if only we were born old and grew younger year by year, we should understand how things happen, and drop all our cursed intolerance. But you know if the boy is really in love, he won't forget, even if he goes to Italy. We're a tenacious breed; and he'll know by instinct why he's being sent. Nothing will really cure him but the shock of being told.'
'Let me try, anyway.'
Jolyon stood a moment without speaking. Between this devil and this deep sea--the pain of a dreaded disclosure and the grief of losing his wife for two months--he secretly hoped for the devil; yet if she wished for the deep sea he must put up with it. After all, it would be training for that departure from which there would be no return. And, taking her in his arms, he kissed her eyes, and said:
'As you will, my love.'
THAT 'small' emotion, love, grows amazingly when threatened with extinction. Jon reached Paddington station half an hour before his time and a full week after, as it seemed to him. He stood at the appointed book-stall, amid a crowd of Sunday travellers, in a Harris tweed suit exhaling, as it were, the emotion of his thumping heart. He read the names of the novels on the book-stall, and bought one at last, to avoid being regarded with