Phyllis is not on the lawn with the rest of her family. She is hardly ever at home now during the day, for she has thrown herself with vigour into the work of the Girl Guide Association, of which she was made Honorary President, and an Executive one too as it has happened, soon after her marriage. She is aware that her efforts in this regard are in some measure an attempt to expiate her guilt. Not perhaps entirely without reason, she holds herself responsible for the change in Tom, or rather for his reversion to old habits.
For a few months after the marriage, the country had been full of hope: it seemed as though normalcy, good relation between the races, freedom of speech, safeguards against corruption, and all that sort of thing had been restored. Though not in the least vivacious in his good humour once she had accepted him, Tom had also seemed to be restrained, indeed thoughtful, in his exercise of power.
All that began to change from the night when she allowed him into her bed. When she had agreed to marry him she had insisted on separate bedrooms, and though after a few weeks he had begged her to change her mind she had stayed firm. After a couple of months however, during which he seemed to her to have behaved extremely well, she wondered whether she was perhaps being unfair. Scrupulous in her honesty, she was afterwards to tell herself that her decision had perhaps as element of selfishness in it too, for she recognised that the developing pregnancy of her daughter had stirred in her feelings which had long lain dormant. Whatever it was, she told Tom one evening after he had been especially sentimental as they sat listening to old records after dinner, Indra and Diana being out, ‘Jeanie with the light brown hair’ and ‘Ferdinand the Bull’ and suchlike, that she would keep her door unlocked that night.