You are my evil spirit," answered Owen, much excited,--"you and the hard, coarse world
At the time of his old master's visit, Owen was probably on the point of taking up the relinquished task; but, by this sinister event, he was thrown back into the state whence he had been slowly emerging.
Owen Warland felt the impulse to give external reality to his ideas as irresistibly as any of the poets or painters who have arrayed the world in a dimmer and fainter beauty, imperfectly copied from the richness of their visions.
Sometimes he was startled by the rap of the watchman, who, when all the world should be asleep, had caught the gleam of lamplight through the crevices of Owen Warland's shutters.
She had worn a hole through her silver thimble, and wanted Owen to repair it.
Anything for your sake, Annie," said Owen Warland,--"anything, even were it to work at Robert Danforth's forge.
At the end of the second week the overwrought head appealed passionately for relief, and Owen was removed to the Postage Department, where, when he had leisure from answering Audrey's telephone calls, he entered the addresses of letters in a large book and took them to the post.
Owen never enjoyed these little chats with Authority.
His resemblance to a stuffed trout, always striking, was subtly accentuated, and Owen, an expert in these matters, felt that his fears had been well founded--there was trouble in the air.
A large man, seated with his back to the door, turned as he entered, and Owen recognized the well-remembered features of Mr Prosser, the literary loaf-slinger.
He was, it appeared, a Regius Professor and the author of some half-dozen works on sociology--a record, Owen felt, that almost justified loaf-slinging and earhole clipping in moments of irritation.
Owen, disapproving of the whole business, refused to buy a programme, and settled himself in his seat prepared for the worst.