TIME PASSESto have triumphed. The saucepan had rustedand the mat decayed. Toads had nosed theirway in. Idly, aimlessly, the swaying shawlswung to and fro. A thistle thrust itself betweenthe tiles in the larder. The swallows nested inthe drawing-room; the floor was strewn withstraw; the plaster fell in shovelfuls; rafters werelaid bare; rats carried off this and that to gnawbehind the wainscots. Tortoise—shell butterfliesburst from the chrysalis and pattered their lifeout on the window·pane. Poppies sowed themselves among the dahlias; the lawn waved withlong grass; giant artichokes towered amongroses; a fringed carnation flowered among thecabbages; while the gentle tapping of a weed atthe window had become, on winters’ nights, adrumming from sturdy trees and thorned briarswhich made the whole room green in summer.

What power could now prevent the fertility,the insensibility of nature? Mrs. l\/IcNab's dreama lady, of a child, of a plate of milk soup?

had wavered over the walls like a spot of sunlight and vanished. She had locked the door; shehad

gone. It was beyond the strength of oneOman, she said. They never sent. They never

0te. There were things up there rotting in thedrawers—it was a shame to leave them so, shesaid.The place was gone to rack and ruin. Only213

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