“Of course, for choice. Failing that, an amusing man.”
He laughed as he said it. Birkin sat down near the fire.
“What were you doing?” he asked.
“I? Nothing. I’m in a bad way just now, everything’s on edge, and I can neither work nor play. I don’t know whether it’s a sign of old age, I’m sure.”
“You mean you are bored?”
“Bored, I don’t know. I can’t apply myself. And I feel the devil is either very present inside me, or dead.”
Birkin glanced up and looked in his eyes.
“You should try hitting something,” he said.
“Perhaps,” he said. “So long as it was something worth hitting.”
“Quite!” said Birkin, in his soft voice. There was a long pause during which each could feel the presence of