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self by driving for hours in the sun, and then encouraged to sit through a long dinner, talking all the time."

"She ought not to have played?" Peter Kennedy threw himself on to the sofa, desecrating it, bringing an angry flush to Gabriel's brow. But when he groaned and said:

"If one could only do anything for her!"

Gabriel forgave him in that instant. Gabriel had lived all his life with an invalid. Attacks of hysteria and faintness had been his daily menu for years.

"But surely an attack of faintness is not very unusual or alarming? My sister often faints…"

"She isn't Margaret Capel, is she?"

"You… you knew Mrs. Capel before she came to Carbies?"

"No, I didn't. But I know her now, don't I?" Gabriel was silent. He had seen a great many doctors too, before the Christian Scientists had broken their influence, but such a one as this was new to him. Margaret was so sacred and special to him that he did not know what to think. But Peter gave him little time for thinking. He fixed a gloomy eye upon him and said:

"A man's a man, you know, although he's nothing but a country practitioner." Gabriel was acutely annoyed, a little shocked, most supremely uncomfortable.