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AT MAIDENHEAD

belief in you as no man can. With all their being they can do that.”

“Yes, I suppose they could.”

“They can. You have said already that women are necessary to make things real for you.”

“Not my work,” said Sir Richmond. “I admit that it might be like that, but it isn’t like that. It has not worked out like that. The two drives go on side by side in me. They have no logical connexion. All I can say is that for me, with my bifid temperament, one makes a rest from the other, and is so far refreshment and a renewal of energy. But I do not find women coming into my work in any effectual way.”

The doctor reflected further. “I suppose,” he began and stopped short.

He heard Sir Richmond move in his chair, creaking an interrogation.

“You have never,” said the doctor, “turned to the idea of God?”

Sir Richmond grunted and made no other answer for the better part of a minute.

As Dr. Martineau waited for his companion to speak, a falling star streaked the deep blue above them.

“I can’t believe in a God,” said Sir Richmond.

“Something after the fashion of a God,” said the doctor insidiously.

“No,” said Sir Richmond. “Nothing that reassures.”