Over the garden, the day brooded in the first-gathered warmth of summer. Mid-June of a fine year. The air was drowsy with hum and scent.
And Gyp, sitting in the shade, while the puppies rolled and snapped, searched her little world for comfort and some sense of safety, and could not find it; as if there were all round her a hot heavy fog in which things lurked, and where she kept erect only by pride and the will not to cry out that she was struggling and afraid.
Fiorsen, leaving his house that morning, had walked till he saw a taxi-cab. Leaning back therein, with hat thrown off, he caused himself to be driven rapidly, at random. This was one of his habits when his mind was not at ease-an expensive idiosyncrasy, ill-afforded by a pocket that had holes. The swift motion and titillation by the perpetual close shaving of other vehicles were sedative to him. He needed sedatives this morning. To wake in his own bed without the least remembering how he had got there was no more new to him than to many another man of twenty-eight, but it was new since his marriage. If he had remembered even less he would have been more at ease. But he could just recollect standing in the dark drawing-room, seeing and touching a ghostly Gyp quite close to him. And, somehow, he was afraid. And when he was afraid-like most people-he was at his worst.