When she arrived at the hotel her excitement had begun to subside, and she realized with irritation that her exertions in the blazing sunshine had exhausted her more than she had at first supposed.
"Where is Monsieur?"
"Monsieur is in his room. He has not been out this afternoon."
She climbed the stairs slowly, supporting herself by the banister-rail. She hoped with all her heart that he would be in a good humour. The thought of another scene was unbearable to her.
"I'm too tired—far too tired!"
She opened the sitting-room door cautiously. It was empty. He was in the bedroom. She called to him, trying to make her voice sound gay, then, as he did not answer, she went in search of him.
The shutters were down, so that the room blinked at her in a greenish twilight. At first she could not see him, then, as her eyes became accustomed to the dusk, she perceived to her horror that he lay huddled uncomfortably on the fioor, between the two beds. One hand grasped at his counterpane, as though he had guessed that he were falling and had tried, pitifully enough, to steady himself; his face when she turned it up toward her was ashen-gray, with staring eyes and clenched mouth. Both his face and his hand were strangely cold in the thick damp heat of the tropical evening, and this coldness told her immediately that he was dead, that he had been dead for some hours.
For a few moments she continued to kneel in complete immobility beside him. During those moments she became as still, as cold, as he was; the sight of him seemed temporarily to have taken her own life away from her, and except for the buzzing of mosquitoes at the window the dim room was stagnant with the silence of death.