Richard Milne, in the polite replies permitted him at intervals, was conscious of a subdued reservation, like excitement coming unreasonably into his mind. It was impatience, he discovered. He wanted to cloak it in random conversation, discussion of country doings, anything. He could have tried to arrange some provision for a long stay, but he knew that Mrs Hymerson would be offended if he immediately proposed a definite arrangement. And then his uncertainty recalled that he did not know himself how long or in what manner he would be staying.
He had washed the grime from hands and face in the kitchen, wiped on a prickly towel, and was sitting at the supper table where Mrs Hymerson, who insisted that they should