This continued to be Violet’s great problem. She pondered it so deeply during all the remainder of the day that a little pucker settled on her brow, which someone (I will not mention who) would have been pained to see. Mrs. Postlethwaite, if she noticed it at all, probably ascribed it to her anxieties as nurse, for never had Violet been more assiduous in her attentions. But Mrs. Postlethwaite was no longer the woman she had been, and possibly never noted it at all.
At five o’clock Violet suddenly left the room. Slipping down into the lower hall, she went the round of the clocks herself, listening to every one. There was no perceptible difference in their tick. Satisfied of this and that it was simply the old man’s imagination which had supplied them each with separate speech, she paused before the huge one at the foot of the stairs,—the one whose dictate he had promised himself to follow,—and with an eye upon its broad, staring dial, muttered wistfully: