Very disposedly we paraded the length of the walk and at her request backed again. This time the child had got the better of his panic, but stood far off and doubting.
'The little fellow's watching us,' I said. 'I wonder if he'd like a ride.'
'They're very shy still. Very shy. But, oh, lucky you to be able to see them! Let's listen.'
I stopped the machine at once, and the humid stillness, heavy with the scent of box, cloaked us deep. Shears I could hear where some gardener was clipping; a mumble of bees and broken voices that might have been the doves.
'Oh, unkind!' she said weariedly.
'Perhaps they're only shy of the motor. The little maid at the window looks tremendously interested.'
'Yes?' She raised her head. 'It was wrong of me to say that. They are really fond of me. It's the only thing that makes life worth living—when they're fond of you, isn't it? I daren't think what the place would be without them. By the way, is it beautiful?'
'I think it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.'
'So they all tell me. I can feel it, of course, but that isn't quite the same thing.'
'Then have you never———?' I began, but stopped abashed.
'Not since I can remember. It happened when I was only a few months old, they tell me. And yet I must remember something, else how could I dream about colours. I see light in my dreams,