Here Marie came in with the lamps.
"Lina!" he cried, "you're paler than death! I know you don't believe I'm coming back."
"I do! I do! But please wait a minute, because there's so much to do. . . . Marie, Monsieur has to go away to-night—for a little time. His uncle is ill. Will you go up-stairs now and pack his clothes, and please order Jean and the horses in—half an hour."
"To-night? Monsieur is leaving to-night? Pas possible!"
"Hurry! Don't stop to argue! You have only half an hour."
Marie vanished without another word.
"I shall drive on to the town," he told her, "and get a calèche, with a change of horses along the road. I should be in Paris early to-morrow. And then a train will take me to Calais. From Calais I'll write to you, and from Dover, and from London, and from Chevis. I'll write to you every day, and you'11 know that my letters will be covered thick with kisses."
She went across to the window and sank down on the low chair where she rested often on summer afternoons.
"Guy, will you do something to please me?"
"Anything in the world, as you know."
"Then put out the lights, so that we can stay here quietly, in the twilight, until you must go."
"And now come here to me," she said.
He knelt down on the floor, his fair head resting on her lap, his arms locked about her body.
"Lina, my dove, my sweet, my dear beloved, won't you . . . couldn't you . . . can't you join me in England soon?"
"You know that's impossible," she whispered, her face hidden in his hair.