Jimmy s voice had been so soft that Rory thought he couldn t possibly have heard aright; Jimmy s words had been distorted, he imagined, by the grinding of the carriage wheels, so he said loudly, What did you say?
I said, it s Janie casinosenligneca.com.
Janie? A sudden cold sweat swept over his body and his own voice was scarcely audible now when he asked, What . . . what about Janie?
She s . . . she s back. She s . . . she s not dead, she wasn t drowned . . .
Rory didn t utter a word, no protest, nothing, but his body fell back and his head once more touched the upholstery, and as if he had been shot into a nightmare again he listened to Jimmy s voice saying, I was petrified. It was her voice, but . . . but I wouldn t open the door at first. And then . . . and then when I saw her, I still didn t believe it was her. She s . . . she s changed. Nobody . . . nobody would recognize her. It . . . it was the shock. Her hair s gone white, and her skin, her skin s all brown like an Arab s in Corstorphine Town. It s the sun, she said. She s . . . she s been in some place in France miles off the beaten track. She talks about a priest comin once every six months. She s changed, aye. I knew you d get a gliff but . . . but I had to come. If . . . if I hadn t she would have turned up herself. Eeh! she s changed. What ll you do, Rory? What ll you do?
His world was spinning about him. He watched it spiralling upwards and away, taking with it the new way of living and the prestige it had brought to him. Sir, he was called, Master. She had given him everything a woman could possibly give a man, a home, wealth, position, and now a child. He had never been so happy in his life as he had been since he married her; and his feelings for her were growing deeper every day. You couldn t live with a woman like that and receive so much from her and give nothing in return; something had been growing in him, and last night he had almost told her what it was, he had almost put a name to it. He had never thought he would be able to say to another woman, I love you. That kind of thing didn t happen twice, he had told himself. No; and he was right, that kind of thing didn t happen twice. But there were different kinds of love. It was even appearing to him that what he was feeling now would grow into a bigger love, a better love, a fuller love. Charlotte had said there were better marriages based on friendship than on professions of eternal love.