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"Because I am a country doctor."

"Because you are—Peter Kennedy."

She knew then how comparatively thick-skinned he was; that if he had some sense or senses in excelsis, in others he was lacking, altogether lacking and unconscious. It is not paradoxical but plain that the more she saw of Gabriel Stanton the less heed she took of Peter Kennedy's freedom of speech and ways. The two men were as apart as the poles, that they both adored her proved nothing but her undoubted charm. She was not quite looking forward, like Gabriel Stanton, through the "decree absolute" to marriage. She lived in the immediate present; in the Saturdays to Mondays when she tortured Gabriel Stanton and in a way was tortured by him. For she had never met so fine a brain, nor honour and simplicity so clean and clear, and she was upborne by and with him. And the Tuesdays to Fridays she had attacks or crises of the nerves and Kennedy alternately doctored and clumsily courted her.

There came a time when she wrote and asked Gabriel to bring his sister next time he came, and that both of them should stay in the house with her, at Carbies. It was clear, if it had not been put into actual words, that they would marry as soon as she was free, and she thought it would please him that she should recognise the position.