'Oh, there you are!' said Reardon, presenting himself with the dazzled eyes of one who has been in darkness; he spoke in a voice of genial welcome, though it still had the note of depression. 'When did you get back?'
Milvain began to recount what he had told in the first part of his conversation with Amy. As he did so, the latter withdrew, and was absent for five minutes; on reappearing she said:
'You'll have some supper with us, Mr Milvain?'
Shortly after, all repaired to the eating-room, where conversation had to be carried on in a low tone because of the proximity of the bedchamber in which lay the sleeping child. Jasper began to tell of certain things that had happened to him since his arrival in town.
'It was a curious coincidence--but, by-the-bye, have you heard of what The Study has been doing?'
'I should rather think so,' replied Reardon, his face lighting up. 'With no small satisfaction.'
'Delicious, isn't it?' exclaimed his wife. 'I thought it too good to be true when Edwin heard of it from Mr Biffen.'
All three laughed in subdued chorus. For the moment, Reardon became a new man in his exultation over the contradictory reviewers.