The Amazing Interlude (Chapter 7, page 1 of 8)


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Chapter 7

Now up to this point Sara Lee's mind had come to rest at Calais. She
must get there; after that the other things would need to be worried
over. Henri had already in their short acquaintance installed himself
as the central figure of this strange and amazing interlude--not as a
good-looking young soldier surprisingly fertile in expedients, but as a
sort of agent of providence, by whom and through whom things were done.

And Henri had said she was to go to the Gare Maritime at Calais and make
herself comfortable--if she got there. After that things would be
arranged.

Sara Lee therefore took a hot bath, though hardly a satisfactory one,
for there was no soap and she had brought none. She learned later on
to carry soap with her everywhere. So she soaked the chill out of her
slim body and then dressed. The room was cold, but a great exultation
kept her warm. She had run the blockade, she had escaped the War
Office--which, by the way, was looking her up almost violently by
that time, via the censor. It had found the trunk she left at Morley's,
and cross-questioned the maid into hysteria--and here she was,
safe in France, the harbor of Calais before her, and here and there
strange-looking war craft taking on coal. Destroyers, she learned later.
Her ignorance was rather appalling at first.

It was all unreal--the room with its cold steam pipes, the heavy window
hangings, the very words on the hot and cold taps in the bathroom. A
great vessel moved into the harbor. As it turned she saw its name
printed on its side in huge letters, and the flag, also painted, of a
neutral country--a hoped-for protection against German submarines. It
brought home to her, rather, the thing she had escaped.

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