His sister's voice cut into his musing. She had two tones. One might be called her social register. It was smooth, gentle--the low-pitched and controlled voice of a gentlewoman. The other voice was hard and sharp. It could drive hard and cold across a desk, and bring businessmen to an understanding that here was a mind, not a woman.
At present she used her latter tone. Vance Cornish came into a shivering consciousness that she was sitting beside him. He turned his head slowly. It was always a shock to come out of one of his pleasant dreams and see that worn, hollow-eyed, impatient face.
"Are you forty-nine, Vance?"
"I'm not fifty, at least," he countered.
She remained imperturbable, looking him over. He had come to notice that in the past half-dozen years his best smiles often failed to mellow her expression. He felt that something disagreeable was coming.
"Why did Cornwall run away this morning? I hoped to take him on a trip."