little reasonable thing, without a scrap of beauty."
"You care greatly for that," said Mrs. Tregent.
He hesitated. "Dont you?"
She smiled at him with her basking candor. "I used to. That's my husband," she added, with an odd, though evidently accidental inconsequence. She had reached out to a table for a photograph in a silver frame. "He was very good to me."
Maurice saw that Mr. Tregent had been many years older than his wife—a prosperous, prosaic, parliamentary person whom she couldn't impose on a man of the world. He sat an hour, and they talked of the mutilated season of their youth; he wondered at the things she remembered. In this little hour he felt his situation change—some thing strange and important take place; he seemed to see why he had come back to England. But there was an implication that worried him—it was in the very air, a reverberation of that old assurance of his mother's. He wished to clear the question up—it would matter for the beginning of a new