In that moment together in the passage a miracle had happened. Her room was quite changed--it was full of sweet light and the scent of hyacinth flowers. Even the furniture appeared different--exciting. Quick as a flash she remembered childish parties when they had played charades, and one side had left the room and come in again to act a word--just what she was doing now. The strange man went over to the stove and sat down in her arm-chair. She did not want him to talk or come near her--it was enough to see him in the room, so secure and happy. How hungry she had been for the nearness of someone like that--who knew nothing at all about her--and made no demands--but just lived. Viola ran over to the table and put her arms round the jar of hyacinths.
"Beautiful! Beautiful!" she cried--burying her head in the flowers--and sniffing greedily at the scent. Over the leaves she looked at the man and laughed.
"You are a funny little thing," said he lazily.
"Why? Because I love flowers?"
"I'd far rather you loved other things," said the strange man slowly. She broke off a little pink petal and smiled at it.
"Let me send you some flowers," said the strange man. "I'll send you a roomful if you'd like them."
His voice frightened her slightly. "Oh no, thanks--this one is quite enough for me."
"No, it isn't"--in a teasing voice.