Women in Love

thinking. Evidently she noticed her sons.

“Are my children all there?” she asked him abruptly.

He laughed, startled, afraid perhaps.

“I scarcely know them, except Gerald,” he replied.

“Gerald!” she exclaimed. “He’s the most wanting of them all. You’d never think it, to look at him now, would you?”

“No,” said Birkin.

The mother looked across at her eldest son, stared at him heavily for some time.

“Ay,” she said, in an incomprehensible monosyllable, that sounded profoundly cynical. Birkin felt afraid, as if he dared not realise. And Mrs Crich moved away, forgetting him. But she returned on her traces.

“I should like him to have a friend,” she said. “He has never had a friend.”

Birkin looked down into her eyes, which were blue, and watching heavily. He could not understand them.

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