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An extraordinary chill came upon her. She could not herself say what had happened, the effect, but never the cause.

She disengaged herself from him. When he saw she wanted to go he made no effort to hold her.

"It is very late, isn't it?" He made no answer, and she repeated the question. "It's very late, isn't it?"

"I don't know."

"I wish you would look."

He took out his watch.

"Barely ten. You are tired?"

"Yes, a little."

"Margaret, you say you are lonely in this house, nervous. Would you feel better if I patrolled the garden, if you felt I was at hand?"

"Oh, no, no. I didn't know what I was saying."

All her mood had changed.

"I must have forgotten Stevens and the other maids."

Then she moved away from him, over to the round table where the dead lamp still gave an occasional flicker.

She tried it this way and that, but there was no flame, only flicker.

"You always take me so seriously, misunderstand me."

He came near her again.