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the trees wore their coronal of young green leaves, great clumps of primroses succeeded the yellow gorse of which they had tired, fields were already green with the autumn-sown corn, there was nothing to remind them of Carbies. For a long time the sea was out of sight. Never had they been happier together, for all they spoke so little.

At Ryde he played the host to her, and she sat on the verandah whilst he went in to give his orders. A few ships were aride in the bay, but the scene was very different from what she had ever seen it before, in Regatta time, when it was gay with bunting and familiar faces. Today they had it to themselves, the hotel she only knew as overcrowded, and the view of the town, so strangely quiet. And excellent was the luncheon served to them. A lobster mayonnaise and a fillet steak, a pie of early gooseberries, which nevertheless Margaret declared were bottled. They spoke of other meals they had had together, of one in the British Museum in particular. On this occasion it pleased her to declare that boiled cod, not crimped, but flabby and served with luke-warm egg sauce, was the most ambrosial food she knew.

"I don't know when I enjoyed a meal so much," she said reflectively.

"You wrote and reproached me for it." His eyes caressed and forgave her for it.