he had had two wives in such rapid succession that their effect from a distance, so Tanqueray said, was scandalously simultaneous. The rector, indeed, had married his first wife for the sake of a child, and his second for the child's sake. He had thus achieved a younger family so numerous that it had kept him from providing properly for Jane. It was what Tanqueray called the "consecrated immorality" of Jane's father that had set Jane free.
Tanqueray's father was a retired colonel. A man of action, of rash and inconsiderate action, he regarded Tanqueray with a disapproval so warm and generous that it left the young man freer, if anything, than Jane.
"Anyhow," he went on, "we haven't let ourselves be drawn in. And yet that's our temptation, yours and mine."
Again he paused.
"If we were painters or musicians we should be safer. Their art draws them by one divine sense. Ours drags us by the heart and brain, by the very soul, into the thick of it. The unpardonable sin is separa