'Yes; the murder's out.'
He gave it to her, and walked away among the roses. Presently, seeing that she had finished reading and was standing quite still with the sheets of the letter against her skirt, he came back to her.
'It's wonderfully put. I don't see how it could be put better. Thank you, dear.'
'Is there anything you would like left out?'
She shook her head.
'No; he must know all, if he's to understand.'
'That's what I thought, but--I hate it!'
He had the feeling that he hated it more than she--to him sex was so much easier to mention between man and woman than between man and man; and she had always been more natural and frank, not deeply secretive like his Forsyte self.
'I wonder if he will understand, even now, Jolyon? He's so young; and he shrinks from the physical.'
'He gets that shrinking from my father, he was as fastidious as a girl in all such matters. Would it be better to rewrite the whole thing, and just say you hated Soames?'
Irene shook her head.
'Hate's only a word. It conveys nothing. No, better as it is.'
'Very well. It shall go to-morrow.'
She raised her face to his, and in sight of the big house's many creepered windows, he kissed her.
LATE that same afternoon, Jolyon had a nap in the old armchair. Face down on his knee was La Rôtisserie de la Reine Pédauque,* and just before he fell asleep he had been thinking: 'As a people shall we ever really like the French? Will they ever really like us!' He himself had always liked the French, feeling at home with their wit, their taste, their cooking. Irene and he had paid many visits to France before the War, when Jon had been at his private school. His romance with her had begun in Paris--his last and most enduring romance. But the French--