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fitfully, like an electric lamp with a broken wire. "Everything is over, everything."

"I don't see that."

She went on in that small colourless voice:

"I know. We don't see things the way Gabriel does. I promised to tell him, to consult him if she came again."

He hesitated, even stammered a little before he answered:

"He … he had better not be told of this."

She laughed again, that little incongruous hopeless laugh.

"I haven't any choice, I promised him."

"Promised him what?"

"To let him know if she came back again, if I heard anything more about it."

"This isn't exactly 'it.'" This is a fresh start altogether. I suppose you know how I hate what I am saying. The position can't be faced, it's got to be dodged. It's not only Gabriel Stanton she's got hold of …"

He did not want to go on, and she found some strange groundless hope in his hesitation.

"Not Gabriel Stanton?" she asked, and there seemed more tone in her voice, more interest. She leaned forward.

"Perhaps you'd like to see her letter." He gave it to her, then without a word went over to the other window, turned his face away from her.