He could not be mistaken in the certainty he felt that there was one meaning to everything she said. He wondered only how soon the inevitable point would be reached. Like a strayed child she caught at the hand holding his coat lapels together. I suppose so," he said, _speaking more tensely than before. Ah, I know." She chuckled roguishly. Time flies in a public, don't it, G'ronwy ? No circulating gossip had enlightened Liza, during the intervening years, on Mr. Jenkins' return to religion and she imagined him still to be the free-and-easy unthinking sport she had formally considered him. But in that moment he despised the weakness with which he. had yielded to Gabby's suggestion and her implication that boozing was habitual with him. He wanted to deny that he had so much as set foot inside the pub. He spat with an ugly scraping sound, in an effort to remove the acrid reminder from his mouth. You can't get home at this time of night." No ? Now he wanted to give her the ignominy of taking all the initiative. He waited, with a perverse kind of pleasure. Her words became more halting, as though she were unused to such stonewall guardedness. Perhaps I could put you up for the night ? He was relentless and unsatisfied, thinking that she sought to evade his purpose. There was no excess of words he would not have driven he^: to no humiliation, could be too great. And with each increase she made atonement for his error. Do you think you could spare me a bed, Liza ? he asked, more softly, as though acquiescing. She giggled to show her own submission, ready and girlish, like a reed in the wind. Spare or shate, what's the difference, boy ? Her words came with the shock of the anticipated. He stood mutely for a few seconds, while her baby-like, singsong died away in under- standing. Her inflexions tingled in his ears, with their subtle suggestion that she had succumbed passively to his will. He felt that he could have struck her to end the thing tersely, icily, saying no word. Then suddenly, a bare instant later, he knew that that would be wrong, palpably, irredeemably wrong. Since the moment when she spoke of her loneliness, he had been listening only to words, not even a voice, words loosed through the separating dark and listening as he might