Nothing makes a man more nationalistic than to think his country’s owned by foreigners. He can adjust in time to losing a war – that only means the enemy was stronger – but to lose his economy means the enemy was smarter.
Her leaving was what they had not talked about; they had avoided the subject as though it were a distant eventuality. It was not related to what-had-happened; it was something that was going to be. Marie had said she wanted to help him; he had accepted, assuming she was driven by false gratitude into staying with him for a day or so – and he was grateful for that. But anything else was unthinkable.
Which was they did not talk about it. Words and looks had passed between them, quiet laughter evoked, comfort established. At odd moments there were tentative rushes of warmth and they both understood and backed away. Anything else was unthinkable.
So they kept returning to the abnormality, to what-had-happened. To him more than to them, for he was the irrational reason for their being together … together in a room at a small village inn in Sitzerland. Abnormality. It was not part of the reasonable, ordered world of Marie St. Jacques, and because it was not, her orderly, analytical mind was provoked. Unreasonable things were to be examined, unraveled, explained. She became relentless in her probing, as insitent as Geoffrey Washburn had been on the Ille de Port Noir, but without the doctor’s patience. For she did not have the time; she knew it and it drove her to the edges of stridency.