Halo did not care what her parents thought of her sham reasons, as long as they feigned to accept them; she was too busy examining the real ones. She knew that she had at last emerged into the bald light of day from the mist of illusion she had tried to create about her air jordan 7 marriage. That talk with Lewis had been a turning point: the inevitable stocktaking. Never again would she see him save as he was; but she would also, as inevitably, see herself as chained to him for life. The fact that he had reminded her of her obligation would make it perpetually present to her. The new carpets at Eaglewood, the Spear flat in New York, Mrs. Spear’s black velvet, Mr. Spear’s cigars, the funds for Lorry’s theatrical enterprise these were the links of her chain. They held her as tight as if divorce had never existed. For she knew now that all Lewis’s generosity (yes, yes, he WAS generous!) had proceeded not from the heart but from the head. He wanted her; she suited him; he had bought her. It was no more romantic than that. And being a gentleman, he punctiliously paid the annual tax on his acquisition, and would continue to as long as she continued to suit him. And it was her business to go on suiting him, since, the day she ceased to, the Spear household would fall to pieces. The idea frightened her, and as soon as he was safely at sea jordan shoes 3 she began to think how to conciliate him. Everything seemed easy when he was not there. His cold unreasonableness always silenced her at the moment, and then stung her to resistance; but she could make her submission in writing because, escape being impossible, common sense warned her to make the best of her fate. And something higher than common sense whispered that, after all, she was only paying her dues. She sent him, by the next steamer, a simple friendly letter, telling him that she knew she’d been stupid, but she’d been feeling dreadfully nervous and overtired, and he must forgive her, and not think of their disagreement. It was really providential, she added, that she hadn’t gone with him, because the doctor found she was rather rundown and anaemic, and badly in need of a rest, and she would just have been a drag on him, and unable to keep up the pace. But to show she was forgiven he must send her long cable letters with all his news and the review’s. She had written that her not going with him had been providential; but how true it was she did not dream till she heard those first chapters of Vance Weston’s. Under his touch the familiar setting of the Willows became steeped in poetry. It was his embodiment of the Past: that strange and overwhelming element had entered into his imagination in the guise of these funny turrets and balconies, turgid upholsteries and dangling crystals. Suddenly lifted out of a boundless contiguity of Euphorias, his mind struck root deep down in accumulated layers of experience, in centuries of struggle, passion, and aspiration so that this absurd house, the joke of Halo’s childhood, was to him the very emblem of man’s long effort, was Chartres, the Parthenon, the Pyramids. It was extraordinary, how this new vision of it reanimated the dusty scene. Countless details that Halo had taken for granted, or dismissed as negligible, were now ripe with meaning. The mere discovery that there were people who had been born and died in the same house was romance and poetry to Vance. It gave to all these anonymous particles a relief and a substance she had never guessed in them. And the fact that she could help him in his magical evocation, provide him with countless necessary details about these people who were so near yet so remote, so trivial yet so significant, could tell him how they spoke and felt and lived and died, made her feel of use again in the world. Every day at the same hour she came back to the jordan shoes uk Willows to meet him, so that there should be no break in his inspiration. Ah, now, indeed, the New Hour was to have its masterpiece! Chapter 30 Mrs. Tracy had recovered. The keys of the Willows were safely back in her drawer, and she and Laura Lou began again going to the house on stated days. On those days Vance usually stayed at home to write in the stuffy little dining room; or, if the stuffiness was too oppressive, wandered off up the mountain, past the gates of Eaglewood, past the highest-lying farms, to the open ridges below Thundertop. Mrs. Tracy’s day was Saturday. On her first return to the Willows she apparently discovered nothing unusual or out of order; if she had, Vance would certainly have heard of it. She had never thrown off the worry of having to entrust the keys to him, and had manifestly expected to find books dislodged and cigarette ends lying about, if nothing worseI told Mother you’d be ever so careful,Laura Lou reported afterward with a little smile of triumph; and Vance, pushing his manuscript aside, smiled back absently:After the scare I had in that house !” He was not afraid of scares now. He knew that on the days when he went to the Willows he was still supposed by his wife and mother-inlaw to beat the office.And so, technically, he was. After all, he had simply transferred his papers from a precarious desk corner at the New Hour to the sanctuary of Miss Lorburn’s library. He no longer needed Mrs. Tracy’s keys (those damned keys!) for Halo Tarrant had her own, and was always there before him. He did not remember how that tacit arrangement had been established, nor at whose suggestion he and she, when the afternoon’s work was over, invariably restored every book to its place, locked up the manuscript in a cupboard below the bookshelves, and buried their cigarette ends in the border outside of the window. On the day when Mrs. Tarrant had first surprised him in the library Vance had confessed that his wife and mother-in-law did not know of his coming to the Willows to work, and had told her his reasons for keeping his visits secret. She had understood in a flash when did she not? and all their subsequent precautions had grown out of that brief avowal, without any comment or question that he could remember. That was one of her rare qualities, to him perhaps the rarest: the way she took things for granted, didn’t forever come harping back on them. That, and her not asking questions personal questions. In the world of Euphoria and the Tracys the women did nothing but ask questions. They never stopped asking questions. The only things that seemed to interest them unfailingly were the things a man might conceivably want to keep to himself. They had noses like shooting dogs for those particular things, whatever they were; a good part of the time a man spent away from his women had to be devoted to inventing prevarications as to how he spent it. If a fellow had only strolled down to the station to see the Chicago express come in, he would invent something else from the mere force of habit.With Mrs. Tarrant cheap jordans uk it was different. She had a way of dashing straight at the essentials. And anyhow, she didn’t seem to care how Vance spent his time when he was away from her, an indifference as surprising to him in a woman friend as in wife or sweetheart. No one had ever cross-questioned him more searchingly than his own sisters; yet here was a woman with whom he was on terms of fraternal intimacy who shared with him almost daily the long hushed midsummer afternoons, yet seemed interested only in the hours they lived together in fervid intellectual communion. The truth was that, both as Halo Spear and as Halo Tarrant, she had always appeared to Vance less as a simple human creature than as the mysterious custodian of the unknown, a being who held the keys of knowledge and could render it accessible and lovely to him. The first day she had found him at work on his new tale she had plunged into his enchanted world with him, and there they met again each afternoon. She had entered instantly into his idea of evoking the old house and its dwellers, and as he advanced in his task she was there at each turn, her hands full of  
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