ON waking from deep sleep next morning, Michael's first thought was: 'Fleur is back!' He then remembered.
To his: "O. K.?" whispered at her door, he received an emphatic nod from the nurse.
In the midst of excited expectation he retained enough modernity to think: 'No more blurb! Go and eat your breakfast quietly!'
In the dining-room Soames was despising the broken egg before him. He looked up as Michael entered, and buried his face in his cup. Michael understood perfectly: they had sat hand in hand! He saw, too, that the journal opened by his plate was of a financial nature.
"Anything about the Meeting, sir? Your speech must read like one o'clock!"
With a queer little sound Soames held out the paper. The headlines ran: 'Stormy Meeting--resignation of two directors--a vote of confidence.' Michael skimmed down till he came to:
"Mr. Forsyte, the director involved, in a speech of some length, said he had no intention of singing small. He deprecated the behaviour of the shareholders; he had not been accustomed to meet with suspicions. He tendered his resignation."
Michael dropped the sheet.
"By Jove!" he said--"'Involved--suspicions'! They've given it a turn, as though-----!"
"The papers!" said Soames, and resumed his egg.
Michael sat down, and stripped the skin off a banana.
'"Nothing became him like his death,"' he thought:
'Poor old boy!'