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"You look well enough, considering. He won't notice nothing. The carriage is here." Stevens gave her gloves and a handkerchief.

Now she was bowling along the quiet country road, on the way to meet him. The sky was as blue, the air as sweet as she had anticipated. On the surface she was all throbbing expectation. She was going to meet her lover, nothing had come between them, could come between them.

But in her subconsciousness she was suffering acutely. It seemed she must faint again when the train drew in and she saw him on the platform, but the feeling passed. Never had she seen him look so completely happy. There was no hint or suggestion of austerity about him, or asceticism. The porter swung his bag to the coachman. Gabriel took his place beside her in the carriage. A greeting passed between them, only a smile of mutual understanding, content. Nothing had happened since they parted, she told herself passionately, else he had not looked so happy, so content.

"We'll drop the bag at the hotel, if you don't mind."

"Like we did the first time you came," Margaret answered. His hand lay near hers and he pressed it, keeping it in his.

"We might have tea there, on that iron table, as we did that day," he said.