The old man shook off her hand.
"I'm very well. Help me up. Dine in my own room in future."
Raised to his feet, he walked slowly out; but in his sanctum he did not sit down, obsessed by this first overwhelming realisation of his helplessness. He stood swaying a little, holding on to the table, till the servant, having finished serving dinner, brought in his port.
"Are you waiting to sit down, sir?"
He shook his head. Hang it, he could do that for himself, anyway. He must think of something to fortify his position against that woman. And he said:
"Yes, sir." The man put down the port and went.
Old Heythorp filled his glass, drank, and filled again. He took a
cigar from the box and lighted it. The girl came in, a grey-eyed, dark-haired damsel, and stood with her hands folded, her head a little to one side, her lips a little parted. The old man said: