Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/80

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§ 6

After tea Dr. Martineau left Sir Richmond in a chair upon the lawn, brooding darkly—apparently over the crime of the carbuncle. The doctor went to his room, ostensibly to write a couple of letters and put on a dinner jacket, but really to make a few notes of the afternoon’s conversation and meditate over his impressions while they were fresh.

His room proffered a comfortable armchair and into this he sank.... A number of very discrepant things were busy in his mind. He had experienced a disconcerting personal attack. There was a whirl of active resentment in the confusion.

“Apologetics of a rake,” he tried presently.

“A common type, stripped of his intellectual dressing. Every third manufacturer from the midlands or the north has some such undertow of ‘affairs.’ A physiological uneasiness, an imaginative laxity, the temptations of the trip to London—weakness masquerading as a psychological necessity. The Lady of the Carbuncle seems to have got rather a hold upon him. She has kept him in order for three or four years.”

The doctor scrutinized his own remarks with a judicious expression.

“I am not being fair. He ruffled me. Even if it is true, as I said, that every third manufac-