marks of time upon the face of that woman, the air of frailty and weary fatigue that had settled upon the eyes and temples of the `Never-tired Senora' (as Don Pepe years ago used to call her with admiration), touched him almost to tears. `Don't go yet. Today is all my own,' Mrs Gould urged, gently. `We are not back yet officially. No one will come. It's only tomorrow that the windows of the Casa Gould are to be lit up for a reception.'

The doctor dropped into a chair.

`Giving a tertulia?' he said, with a detached air.

`A simple greeting for all the kind friends who care to come.'

`And only tomorrow?'

`Yes. Charles would be tired out after a day at the mine, and so I-- It would be good to have him to myself for one evening on our return to this house I love. It has seen all my life.'

`Ah, yes!' snarled the doctor, suddenly. `Women count time from the marriage feast. Didn't you live a little before?'

`Yes; but what is there to remember? There were no cares.'

Mrs Gould sighed. And as two friends, after a long separation, will revert to the most agitated period of their lives, they began to talk of the Sulaco Revolution. It seemed strange to Mrs Gould that people who had taken part in it seemed to forget its memory and its lesson.

`And yet,' struck in the doctor, `we who played our part in it had our reward. Don Pepe, though superannuated, still can sit a horse. Barrios is drinking himself to death in jovial company away somewhere on his fundacion beyond the Bolson de Tonoro. And the heroic Father Roman -- I imagine the old padre blowing up systematically the San Tome mine, uttering a pious exclamation at every bang, and taking handfuls of snuff between the explosions -- the heroic Padre Roman says that he is not afraid of the harm Holroyd's missionaries can do to his flock, as long as he is alive.'

Mrs Gould shuddered a little at the allusion to the destruction that had come so near to the San Tome mine.

`Ah, but you, dear friend?'

`I did the work I was fit for.'

`You faced the most cruel dangers of all. Something more than death.'

`No, Mrs Gould! Only death -- by hanging. And I am rewarded beyond my deserts.'

Noticing Mrs Gould's gaze fixed upon him, he dropped his eyes.

`I've made my career -- as you see,' said the Inspector-General of State Hospitals, taking up lightly the lapels of his superfine black coat. The doctor's self-respect, marked inwardly by the almost complete disappearance from his dreams of Father Beron, appeared visibly in what, by contrast with former carelessness, seemed an immoderate cult of personal appearance. Carried out within severe limits of form and colour, and in perpetual freshness, this change of apparel gave to Dr Monygham an air at the same time professional and festive; while his gait and the unchanged crabbed character of his face acquired from it a startling force of incongruity.

`Yes,' he went on. `We all had our rewards -- the engineer-in-chief, Captain Mitchell--'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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