Page:Twilight.djvu/208

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200
TWILIGHT

but ceased upon finding he was what she called a "medical man," one of the enemies of their creed. Before the dinner had passed the soup stage he hardly made a pretence of listening to her. Both men were absorbed in this regal Margaret. All her graciousness was for Gabriel, but she found occasion now and again for a smile and a word for Peter. Poor Peter! guest at this high feast where there was no food for him. But he made the most of the material provender, and proved fortunately to be an excellent trencherman. Otherwise Margaret's good cook had exerted herself in vain. For none of them had appetite but Peter; Margaret because she talked too much, and Gabriel because he could do nothing but listen; Anne because she was feeling the after-effects, and regretting she had yielded to the temptation of the aspirin.

The men sat together but a short time after the ladies left them. They had one subject in common of which neither wished to speak. Gabriel smoked only a cigarette, Peter praised the port, which happened to be exceptionally bad; the weather was a topic that drew blank. Fortunately they struck upon Pineland and its health-giving qualities, upon which both were enthusiastic. Peter Kennedy was in Gabriel's secret, but Gabriel had no intuition of his.

"Mrs. Capel seems to have derived great benefit from her stay. Probably from your treatment also,"