The bearded man had dosed the door softly. He was
'What's the matter, darling? Helene Bradley had asked,
now in the darkness again.
'I must go.'
'Don't you see you can't go?'
c That man------'
* That's only Tommy,' Helene had said. 'He knows all
about these things. Don't mind him. Come on, darling.
'You must,' Helene had said. He could feel her shaking
and her head on his shoulder was trembling. 'My God,
don't you know anything? Haven't you any regard for a
'I have to go, said Richard Gordon.
In the darkness he had felt the slap across his face that
lighted flashes of light in his eyeballs. Then there was
another slap. Across his mouth this time,
'So that's the kind of man you are,,' she had said to him.
C7 thought you were a man of the world. Get out of here.'
That was this afternoon. That was how it had finished
at the Bradleys',
Now his wife sat with her head forward on her
hands that rested on the table and neither of them
said anything. Richard Gordon could hear the clock
ticking and he felt as hollow as the room was quiet.
After a while his wife said without looking at him:
Tm sorry it happened. But you see it's over, don't