Dark Entries
shaken, walked rapidly past all the remaining houses, and out of the street. He caught a bus to his lodging, and wondered all night if he were going mad.
     
    Earlier than usual the next morning, his landlady rapped at his door.
    ‘Are you all right, Mr Fenville?’
    Fenville had not slept, and now had heard her approaching slippers. He put on his dressing gown and opened the door. Most unexpectedly, Ann was standing in the passage behind her. She smiled at him.
    ‘Miss Terrington’s been telling me a long tale about you were taken ill last night,’ said the landlady. ‘You look all right to me.’
    ‘Of course, I’m all right. Ann, come in. I must explain to you.’
    ‘No visitors in bedrooms,’ said the landlady. ‘You know that as well as I do.’
    ‘See you later?’ asked Ann understandingly.
    Fenville nodded.
    But he had no idea what he could explain. He met the situation by absenting himself from the School of Architecture. He had no idea that he would ever see the other girl again, but he felt unable to face the kindness and imagination of Ann. The sensation of hopeless loss crunched through his nerves and froze his heart. Every simple movement required forethought and effort. Now and then, however, the image of the girl, the dire recollection ofher voice and her scentand of the sound of her feet tapping across the square were replaced by the memory of the man who had passed him in the street, of his menacing expression, alert step, and strange costume.
    The rules of the house would compel Fenville to leave it before ten o’clock, and he had nowhere to go. He told his landlady that after all he wasn’t very well; and what he said gained credence from his manifest lack of appetite. An exemption was grudgingly made of him: he was permitted to remain in his room.
    ‘But you must have a doctor.’
    ‘I’m not as ill as all that.’
    ‘Then you can’t stay here.’
    ‘All right. But I haven’t got a doctor.’
    ‘I’ll send for Dr Bermuda. He’s a specialist.’
    ‘Truly, I don’t need a doctor.’
    But by the time Dr Bermuda appeared, Fenville was in such straits that he rose avidly to enquiries as to whether he was worried about anything. Dr Bermuda was an unkempt, sympathetic little man, made shapeless by stretching points in favour of his patients. Not only did Fenville tell the story of his love, but he also found a conscientious and expert listener. Once when the landlady rapped at the door, the Doctor cried out: ‘Please, Mrs Stark. Apply yourself to your own duties, and leave me to mine.’ Fenville realised that he had not heard her approaching, and deduced that she had been eavesdropping. He lowered his voice, even though he heard her shuffling away.
    ‘I have no idea what to do next.’
    ‘That’s easy enough,’ said Dr Bermuda. ‘You go after her. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.’He quoted gently, like an elderly country priest who sought no monsignorate but only to serve his tiny simple flock.
    ‘But what can I do?’
    The Doctor produced a large dingy wallet from the gaping inner pocket of his jacket, and from itextracted a card.
    ‘The name of the street. Write it on the back.’ He gave Fenville the card between his third and fourth fingers,tarry with nicotine; then laboriously stooped to gather up the cigarette papers he had let drift to the floor.
    ‘I don’t know the name of the street. I didn’t notice.’
    ‘Ah, you are still unaccustomed to romance. One soon learns.’
    Fenville said nothing. He was too cast down even toresist this justified reflection upon his manhood.
    Dr Bermuda rose fumblingly to his feet. ‘Lie back,’ he said.
    ‘I don’t want any further examination.’
    ‘Back,’ repeated the Doctor, with a short sharp flicker of his left hand. Fenville saw that he was wearing a big ring with a stone the colour of old-fashioned sugar candy. He lay back.
    ‘Watch me,’ said Dr Bermuda, waving his left hand, like a dwarfish

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