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      For a moment it was a mere tussle of will between them, and Norahs reasons were the stronger. She looked at him a moment, and knew she had won, and without more words went back to the library and put on her over-boots, and gathered up the book-slips she had made that evening. He followed her as far as the hall, and waited for her."Certainly; with the instruments I have named, the tables of figures, and a clear sky, so as to give good observations, he could determine his position with absolute accuracy. He gets his latitude by observing the sun at noon, and he gets his longitude by the chronometer and by observations of the moon. When he knows his latitude and longitude, he knows where he is, and can mark the place on the map."

      "Sea-sickness is a mystery," said he, "and the more you study it, the less you seem to understand it. Some persons are never disturbed by the motion of a ship, no matter how violent it may be, while others cannot endure the slightest rocking. Most of the sufferers recover in a short time, and after two or three days at sea are as well as ever, and continue so. On the other hand, there are some who never outlive its effects, and though their voyage may last a year or more, they are no better sailors at the end than at the beginning.

      No, but we must try to be friends now.

      Mr Silverdale, indeed, in spite of the special interest of Dr Ingliss discourse, was engrossing a good deal of Alice Keelings attention, and her imagination was very busy. He had spent an assiduous week in calling on his parishioners, but she had not been at home when he paid his visit to her mother, who had formed no ideas about him, and Alice was now looking forward with a good deal of excitement to to-night, when he was going to take supper with them, after evening service, as her mother had expressed it in her note, or after evensong, as he had expressed it in his answer."We hold, as all honest men oughtwith King Richard and the true commons!"


      She is utterly miserable, said Charles. It{325} couldnt be otherwise, could it? And you are miserable too, sir. I amI am awfully sorry for you both. But I suppose that has got to be. Norah could do nothing else than what she has done.



      He had grown to detest the time after dinner passed in the plushy, painted drawing-room. Hitherto, in all these years of increasing prosperity, during which the conscious effort of his brain had been directed to business and money-making, he had not objected after the work of the day to pass a quiescent hour or two before his early bedtime giving half an ear to his wifes babble, which, with her brain thickened with refreshment, always reached its flood-tide of voluble incoherence now, giving half an eye to Alice with her industrious{291} needle. All the time a vague simmer of mercantile meditation gently occupied him; his mind, like some kitchen fire with the damper pushed in, kept itself just alight, smouldered and burned low, and Alices needle was but like the bars of the grate, and his wifes prattle the mild rumble of water in the boiler. It was all domestic and normal, in accordance with the general destiny of prosperous men in middle age. Indeed, he was luckier in some respects than the average, for there had always been for him his secret garden, the hortus inclusus, into which neither his family nor his business interests ever entered. Now even that had been invaded, Norahs catalogue had become to him the most precious of his books: she was like sunshine in his secret garden or like a bitter wind, something, anyhow, that got between him and his garden beds, while here in the drawing-room in the domestic hour after dinner the fact of her made itself even more insistently felt, for she turned Lady Keelings vapidities, to which hitherto he had been impervious, into an active stinging irritation, and even poor Alices industrious needle and the ever-growing pattern of Maltese crosses on Mr Silverdales slippers was like some monotonous recurring drip of water that set his nerves on edge. This was a pretty state of mind, he told himself, for a hardheaded business man of fifty, and yet even as with all the force of resolution that was in him he tried to find something{292} in his wifes remarks that could awake a relevant reasonable reply, some rebellious consciousness in his brain would only concern itself with counting on the pink clock the hours that lay between the present moment and nine oclock next morning. And then the pink clock melodiously announced on the Westminster chime that it was half past ten, and Alice put her needle into the middle of the last Maltese cross, and Lady Keeling waddled across the room and tapped the barometer, which a marble Diana held in her chaste hand, to see if the weather promised well for the bazaar to-morrow. The evening was over, and there would not be another for the next twenty-four hours.Chapter 9