THE WINDOWpity that, they should do it—a hand reached out,took a pear, and spoilt the whole thing. Insympathy she looked at Rose. She looked atRose sitting between jasper and Prue. Howodd that one’s child should do that!

How odd to see them sitting there, in a row,her children, jasper, Rose, Prue, Andrew, almostsilent, but with some joke of their own going on,she guessed, from the twitching at their lips. Itwas something quite apart from everything else,something they were hoarding up to laugh overin their own room. It was not about their father,she hoped. No, she thought not. What wasit, she wondered, sadly rather, for it seemed toher that they would laugh when she was notthere. There was all that hoarded behind thoserather set, still, mask-like faces, for they didnot join in easily; they were like watchers,surveyors, a little raised or set apart from thegrown-up people. But when she looked at Prueto—night, she saw that this was not now quite trueof her. She was just beginning, just moving,just descending. The faintest light was on herface, as if the glow of Minta opposite, someexcitement, some anticipation of happiness wasreflected in her, as if the sun of the love of menand women rose over the rim of the tab1e—cloth,and without knowing what it was she bent169

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