Dangerous Days (Chapter 6, page 1 of 13)

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Chapter 6

Months afterward, Clayton Spencer, looking back, realized that the night
of the dinner at the Chris Valentines marked the beginning of a new
epoch for him. Yet he never quite understood what it was that had
caused the change. All that was clear was that in retrospect he always
commenced with that evening, when he was trying to trace his own course
through the months that followed, with their various changes, to the
momentous ones of the following Summer.

Everything pertaining to the dinner, save the food, stood out with odd
distinctness. Natalie's silence during the drive, broken only by his few
questions and her brief replies. Had the place looked well? Very. And
was the planting going on all right? She supposed so. He had hesitated,
rather discouraged. Then: "I don't want to spoil your pleasure in the place, Natalie--" he had
said, rather awkwardly. "After all, you will be there more than I shall.
You'd better have it the way you like it."

She had appeared mollified at that and had relaxed somewhat. He fancied
that the silence that followed was no longer resentful, that she was
busily planning. But when they had almost reached the house she turned
to him.

"Please don't talk war all evening, Clay," she said. "I'm so ghastly
sick of it."

"All right," he agreed amiably. "Of course I can't prevent the others
doing it."

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