Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees

By Maurice Hewlett | Go to book overview

which excused her from looking back, and made the future indifferent. She thought neither of her husband with remorse nor of Duplessis with apprehension. She was not appalled by the flatness of her immediate prospect: of a return to town and its round of flurry, chatter, and dress; of Southover and its autumn rites. These things were shadows of life: the real life was hidden in her heart. She would send her tricked-out body to dinner-parties and other assemblies of dolls, while she herself would be elsewhere, in some blue immensity of air, breasting some great hill, breathing the breath -- which was food -- of her mother the Earth -- her mother! Their mother! She and her beloved were brother and sister. Entertainment here, for the flying miles, to which the threshing wheels lent processional music.

If she hardly knew herself it is no wonder. She crossed London by rote, reached Blackheath, walked sedately to her father's little house, entered the little dull door, and kissed her parents, whom she found at tea -- all in a dream. They made much of her, the great lady she was become; found it not amiss that she appeared in tumbled gown, with soiled blouse, and hat remarkable for its unremarkableness. Great ladies could do as they pleased, being a law unto themselves. Nor were they confused by her replies to the proper inquiries. "Mr. Germain?" she said, "I think he's very well. I haven't seen him since I left London. We don't see much of each other, you know, Mother." A stack of forwarded letters was

-344-

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Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Book I 1
  • I - Mr. Germin Takes Notice 3
  • II - Mr. Germain Revels Sedately 17
  • III - Ditplessis Prevaricates 23
  • IV - A Miss and a Catch 34
  • V - How to Break a Hedge 45
  • VI - Miss Middleham is Invited to Confirm a Vision 55
  • VII - Miss Middleham Has Visions of Her Own 65
  • VIII - Friendship's Garland 74
  • IX - The Welding of the Bolt 91
  • X - Cranylus with Marina: the Incredible Word 103
  • XI - Cool Comfort 113
  • XII - Alarums 123
  • XIII - What They Said at Home 140
  • XIV - The News Reaches the Pyrenees 153
  • XV - A Philosopher Embales 171
  • XVI - Wedding Day 181
  • XVII - The Wedding Night 192
  • Book II 205
  • I - In Which We Pay a First Visit to Southover 207
  • II - Reflections on Honeymoons and Suchlike 221
  • III - Matters of Election 235
  • IV - "London Nights and Days 253
  • V - Lord Gunner Ascertains Where We Are 262
  • VI - Senhouse on the Moral Law 271
  • VII - She Glosses the Text 286
  • VIII - Adventure Crowds Adventure 295
  • IX - The Patteran 304
  • X - The Brothers Touch Bottom 312
  • XI - Of Mary in the North 319
  • XII - Colloquy in the Hills 328
  • XIII - The Suamons 343
  • XIV - Vigil 356
  • XV - The Dead Hand 365
  • XVI - Wings 373
  • XVII - First Flight 385
  • Xviiii - Enter A. Bird-Catcher 393
  • XIX - Heartache and the Philosopher 407
  • XX - In Which Bingo is Unanswerable 418
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