List Of Contents | Contents of Indian Summer of a Forsyte, by John Galsworthy
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is veree old.  I think your mother has trouble with him; I should
not like to be her."

Soames nodded at the shrewdness, the clear hard judgment in his
young wife; but it disquieted him a little.  The thought may have
just flashed through him, too: 'When I'm eighty she'll be
fifty-five, having trouble with me!'

"There's just one other house of my relations I must take you to,"
he said; "you'll find it funny, but we must get it over; and then
we'll dine and go to the theatre."

In this way he prepared her for Timothy's.  But Timothy's was
different.  They were delighted to see dear Soames after this long
long time; and so this was Annette!

"You are so pretty, my dear; almost too young and pretty for dear
Soames, aren't you?  But he's very attentive and careful--such a
good hush...."  Aunt Juley checked herself, and placed her lips
just under each of Annette's eyes--she afterwards described them to
Francie, who dropped in, as: "Cornflower-blue, so pretty, I quite
wanted to kiss them.  I must say dear Soames is a perfect
connoisseur.  In her French way, and not so very French either, I
think she's as pretty--though not so distinguished, not so
alluring--as Irene.  Because she was alluring, wasn't she? with
that white skin and those dark eyes, and that hair, couleur de--
what was it?  I always forget."

"Feuille morte," Francie prompted.

"Of course, dead leaves--so strange.  I remember when I was a girl,
before we came to London, we had a foxhound puppy--to 'walk' it was
called then; it had a tan top to its head and a white chest, and
beautiful dark brown eyes, and it was a lady."

"Yes, auntie," said Francie, "but I don't see the connection."

"Oh!" replied Aunt Juley, rather flustered, "it was so alluring,
and her eyes and hair, you know...."  She was silent, as if
surprised in some indelicacy.  "Feuille morte," she added suddenly;
"Hester--do remember that!"....

Considerable debate took place between the two sisters whether
Timothy should or should not be summoned to see Annette.

"Oh, don't bother!" said Soames.

"But it's no trouble, only of course Annette's being French might
upset him a little.  He was so scared about Fashoda.  I think
perhaps we had better not run the risk, Hester.  It's nice to have
her all to ourselves, isn't it?  And how are you, Soames?  Have you
quite got over your...."

Hester interposed hurriedly:

"What do you think of London, Annette?"

Soames, disquieted, awaited the reply.  It came, sensible,
composed: "Oh! I know London.  I have visited before."

He had never ventured to speak to her on the subject of the
restaurant.  The French had different notions about gentility, and
to shrink from connection with it might seem to her ridiculous; he
had waited to be married before mentioning it; and now he wished he

"And what part do you know best?" said Aunt Juley.

"Soho," said Annette simply.

Soames snapped his jaw.

"Soho?" repeated Aunt Juley; "Soho?"

'That'll go round the family,' thought Soames.

"It's very French, and interesting," he said.

"Yes," murmured Aunt Juley, "your Uncle Roger had some houses there
once; he was always having to turn the tenants out, I remember."

Soames changed the subject to Mapledurham.

"Of course," said Aunt Juley, "you will be going down there soon to
settle in.  We are all so looking forward to the time when Annette
has a dear little...."

"Juley!" cried Aunt Hester desperately, "ring tea!"

Soames dared not wait for tea, and took Annette away.

"I shouldn't mention Soho if I were you," he said in the cab.
"It's rather a shady part of London; and you're altogether above
that restaurant business now; I mean," he added, "I want you to
know nice people, and the English are fearful snobs."

Annette's clear eyes opened; a little smile came on her lips.

"Yes?" she said.

'H'm!' thought Soames, 'that's meant for me!' and he looked at her
hard.  'She's got good business instincts,' he thought.  'I must
make her grasp it once for all!'

"Look here, Annette!  it's very simple, only it wants
understanding.  Our professional and leisured classes still think
themselves a cut above our business classes, except of course the
very rich.  It may be stupid, but there it is, you see.  It isn't
advisable in England to let people know that you ran a restaurant
or kept a shop or were in any kind of trade.  It may have been
extremely creditable, but it puts a sort of label on you; you don't
have such a good time, or meet such nice people--that's all."

"I see," said Annette; "it is the same in France."

"Oh!" murmured Soames, at once relieved and taken aback.  "Of
course, class is everything, really."

"Yes," said Annette; "comme vous etes sage."

'That's all right,' thought Soames, watching her lips, 'only she's
pretty cynical.'  His knowledge of French was not yet such as to
make him grieve that she had not said 'tu.'  He slipped his arm
round her, and murmured with an effort:

"Et vous etes ma belle femme."

Annette went off into a little fit of laughter.

"Oh, non!" she said.  "Oh, non! ne parlez pas Francais, Soames.
What is that old lady, your aunt, looking forward to?"

Soames bit his lip.  "God knows!" he said; "she's always saying
something;" but he knew better than God.



The war dragged on.  Nicholas had been heard to say that it would
cost three hundred millions if it cost a penny before they'd done
with it!  The income-tax was seriously threatened.  Still, there
would be South Africa for their money, once for all.  And though
the possessive instinct felt badly shaken at three o'clock in the
morning, it recovered by breakfast-time with the recollection that
one gets nothing in this world without paying for it.  So, on the
whole, people went about their business much as if there were no
war, no concentration camps, no slippery de Wet, no feeling on the
Continent, no anything unpleasant.  Indeed, the attitude of the
nation was typified by Timothy's map, whose animation was
suspended--for Timothy no longer moved the flags, and they could
not move themselves, not even backwards and forwards as they should
have done.

Suspended animation went further; it invaded Forsyte 'Change, and
produced a general uncertainty as to what was going to happen next.
The announcement in the marriage column of The Times, 'Jolyon
Forsyte to Irene, only daughter of the late Professor Heron,' had
occasioned doubt whether Irene had been justly described.  And yet,
on the whole, relief was felt that she had not been entered as
'Irene, late the wife,' or 'the divorced wife,' 'of Soames
Forsyte.'  Altogether, there had been a kind of sublimity from the
first about the way the family had taken that 'affair.'  As James
had phrased it, 'There it was!'  No use to fuss!  Nothing to be had
out of admitting that it had been a 'nasty jar'--in the phraseology
of the day.

But what would happen now that both Soames and Jolyon were married
again?  That was very intriguing.  George was known to have laid
Eustace six to four on a little Jolyon before a little Soames.
George was so droll!  It was rumoured, too, that he and Dartie had
a bet as to whether James would attain the age of ninety, though
which of them had backed James no one knew.

Early in May, Winifred came round to say that Val had been wounded
in the leg by a spent bullet, and was to be discharged.  His wife
was nursing him.  He would have a little limp--nothing to speak of.
He wanted his grandfather to buy him a farm out there where he
could breed horses.  Her father was giving Holly eight hundred a
year, so they could be quite comfortable, because his grandfather
would give Val five, he had said; but as to the farm, he didn't
know--couldn't tell: he didn't want Val to go throwing away his

"But you know," said Winifred, "he must do something."

Aunt Hester thought that perhaps his dear grandfather was wise,
because if he didn't buy a farm it couldn't turn out badly.

"But Val loves horses," said Winifred.  "It'd be such an occupation
for him."

Aunt Juley thought that horses were very uncertain, had not
Montague found them so?

"Val's different," said Winifred; "he takes after me."

Aunt Juley was sure that dear Val was very clever.  "I always
remember," she added, "how he gave his bad penny to a beggar.  His
dear grandfather was so pleased.  He thought it showed such
presence of mind.  I remember his saying that he ought to go into
the Navy."

Aunt Hester chimed in: Did not Winifred think that it was much
better for the young people to be secure and not run any risk at
their age?

"Well," said Winifred, "if they were in London, perhaps; in London
it's amusing to do nothing.  But out there, of course, he'll simply
get bored to death."

Aunt Hester thought that it would be nice for him to work, if he
were quite sure not to lose by it.  It was not as if they had no
money.  Timothy, of course, had done so well by retiring.  Aunt
Juley wanted to know what Montague had said.

Winifred did not tell her, for Montague had merely remarked: "Wait
till the old man dies."

At this moment Francie was announced.  Her eyes were brimming with
a smile.

"Well," she said, "what do you think of it?"

"Of what, dear?"

"In The Times this morning."

"We haven't seen it, we always read it after dinner; Timothy has it
till then."

Francie rolled her eyes.

"Do you think you ought to tell us?" said Aunt Juley.  "What was

"Irene's had a son at Robin Hill."

Aunt Juley drew in her breath.  "But," she said, "they were only
married in March!"

"Yes, Auntie; isn't it interesting?"

"Well," said Winifred, "I'm glad.  I was sorry for Jolyon losing
his boy.  It might have been Val."

Aunt Juley seemed to go into a sort of dream.  "I wonder," she
murmured, "what dear Soames will think?  He has so wanted to have a
son himself.  A little bird has always told me that."

"Well," said Winifred, "he's going to--bar accidents."

Gladness trickled out of Aunt Juley's eyes.

"How delightful!" she said.  "When?"


Such a lucky month!  But she did wish it could be sooner.  It was a
long time for James to wait, at his age!

To wait!  They dreaded it for James, but they were used to it
themselves.  Indeed, it was their great distraction.  To wait!  For
The Times to read; for one or other of their nieces or nephews to
come in and cheer them up; for news of Nicholas' health; for that
decision of Christopher's about going on the stage; for information
concerning the mine of Mrs. MacAnder's nephew; for the doctor to
come about Hester's inclination to wake up early in the morning;
for books from the library which were always out; for Timothy to
have a cold; for a nice quiet warm day, not too hot, when they
could take a turn in Kensington Gardens.  To wait, one on each side
of the hearth in the drawing-room, for the clock between them to
strike; their thin, veined, knuckled hands plying knitting-needles
and crochet-hooks, their hair ordered to stop--like Canute's waves-
-from any further advance in colour.  To wait in their black silks
or satins for the Court to say that Hester might wear her dark
green, and Juley her darker maroon.  To wait, slowly turning over
and over, in their old minds the little joys and sorrows, events
and expectancies, of their little family world, as cows chew
patient cuds in a familiar field.  And this new event was so well
worth waiting for.  Soames had always been their pet, with his
tendency to give them pictures, and his almost weekly visits which
they missed so much, and his need for their sympathy evoked by the
wreck of his first marriage.  This new event--the birth of an heir
to Soames--was so important for him, and for his dear father, too,
that James might not have to die without some certainty about
things.  James did so dislike uncertainty; and with Montague, of
course, he could not feel really satisfied to leave no grand-
children but the young Darties.  After all, one's own name did
count!  And as James' ninetieth birthday neared they wondered what
precautions he was taking.  He would be the first of the Forsytes to
reach that age, and set, as it were, a new standard in holding on
to life.  That was so important, they felt, at their ages eighty-
seven and eighty-five; though they did not want to think of
themselves when they had Timothy, who was not yet eighty-two, to
think of.  There was, of course, a better world.  'In my Father's
house are many mansions' was one of Aunt Juley's favourite sayings-
-it always comforted her, with its suggestion of house property,
which had made the fortune of dear Roger.  The Bible was, indeed, a
great resource, and on very fine Sundays there was church in the
morning; and sometimes Juley would steal into Timothy's study when
she was sure he was out, and just put an open New Testament
casually among the books on his little table--he was a great
reader, of course, having been a publisher.  But she had noticed
that Timothy was always cross at dinner afterwards.  And Smither
had told her more than once that she had picked books off the floor
in doing the room.  Still, with all that, they did feel that heaven
could not be quite so cosy as the rooms in which they and Timothy
had been waiting so long.  Aunt Hester, especially, could not bear
the thought of the exertion.  Any change, or rather the thought of
a change--for there never was any--always upset her very much.
Aunt Juley, who had more spirit, sometimes thought it would be
quite exciting; she had so enjoyed that visit to Brighton the year
dear Susan died.  But then Brighton one knew was nice, and it was
so difficult to tell what heaven would be like, so on the whole she
was more than content to wait.

On the morning of James' birthday, August the 5th, they felt
extraordinary animation, and little notes passed between them by
the hand of Smither while they were having breakfast in their beds.
Smither must go round and take their love and little presents and
find out how Mr. James was, and whether he had passed a good night
with all the excitement.  And on the way back would Smither call in
at Green Street--it was a little out of her way, but she could take
the bus up Bond Street afterwards; it would be a nice little change
for her--and ask dear Mrs. Dartie to be sure and look in before she
went out of town.

All this Smither did--an undeniable servant trained many years ago
under Aunt Ann to a perfection not now procurable.  Mr. James, so
Mrs. James said, had passed an excellent night, he sent his love;
Mrs. James had said he was very funny and had complained that he
didn't know what all the fuss was about.  Oh! and Mrs. Dartie sent
her love, and she would come to tea.

Aunts Juley and Hester, rather hurt that their presents had not
received special mention--they forgot every year that James could
not bear to receive presents, 'throwing away their money on him,'
as he always called it--were 'delighted'; it showed that James was
in good spirits, and that was so important for him.  And they began
to wait for Winifred.  She came at four, bringing Imogen, and Maud,

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