and I sat like a statue until he emerged from the door
by the harness room with his mouth full of bread and
butter. The afternoon was laleniug, but there was,
I think, a quietly commemorative glow from the west.
He stood with the sunset on his face and his final
swallowing of the mouthful appeared to epitomize his
astonishment. Taken aback he undoubtedly was,
but his voice kept its ordinary composure. "Why,
what's this?35 he asked, I told him.
Aunt Evelyn behaved like a brick about Gockbird.
(How was it that bricks became identified with
generous behaviour?) Of course she admired him
immensely and considered it very clever of me to have
bought him so cheap. But when it came to writing
out the cheque for him I was obliged, for the first
time in my life, to ask her to lend me some money.
She promised to let me have it in a lew days.
Next morning she went to London, "just to do a
little Christmas shopping at the Army arid Navy
Stores." I was in the drawing-room when she
returned. I heard the dogcart drive up to the front
door, and then Aunt Evelyn's voice telling Miriam
how tired she felt and asking her to make some tea.
I didn't bother to get up when she came into the
room, and after replying to my perfunctory inquiry
whether she'd had a good day she went to her bureau
and fussed about with some papers. Somewhat
irritably I wondered what she was in such a stew
about as soon as she'd got home. Her quill-pen
squeaked for a short time and then she came across
to the arm-chair where I was sitting with Edmund
Gosse's Father and Son on my knee.