Page:Triangles of life, and other stories.djvu/100

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88
TRIANGLES OF LIFE

kettle on, set out bread and cheese, and, at a jerk of Tom's head, went upstairs again.

Then Billy got up restlessly.

"I—I must go out 'n walk up an' down in the yard a bit, Tom," he said.

" All right, Billy—I'll go out with you."

"I ain't going away, Tom."

"It's all right, Billy, I'll go out with yer. I'll take me pipe an' have a smoke in the open."

Tom sat down on the old stump outside, and Billy walked to and fro rapidly.

He raved, maudlingly, at first. "I tried to be a good husband t'her, Tom!—I did try——" Then incoherently and insanely. Strange to say he never mentioned Bob's name. It was as though Bob were a detail—a forgotten accident, or the unknown man or men in Billy's great life trouble. Tom smoked in silence until the first likely interval.

"Billy, where's your pipe?" he said, smoking his.

"I—I can't smoke, Tom!—Tom—I did try——"

"You can smoke while you're walkin' up an' down. Gimme your pipe." Tom filled the pipe.

"Now light up."

Presently Billy sat down on the wash-stool and said: "You go into bed now, Tom, you've got to go to work in the morning. I'm alright. I'll be in presently."

"And what about you?" said Tom. "You've let your pipe go out—here, catch the matches."

"I'll go in now, Tom, I'm only keeping you up."

Billy sat down in the armchair. Tom on another,