"Distracted as she was by the anti-air-gun in the garden, though it was on the other side of the hotel and permitted you to get in a sentence or two before splitting your head with a couple of irregular explosions, she was still more distracted by a sudden vision—a remembrance of Christopher’s face when their boy had had a temperature of 105° with the measles, up at his sister’s house in Yorkshire. He had taken the responsibility, which the village doctor would not face, of himself placing the child in a bath full of split ice…She saw him bending, expressionless in the strong lamp-light, with the child in his clumsy arms over the glittering, rubbled surface of the bath…He was just as expressionless then as now…He reminded her now of how he had been then: some strain in the lines of the face perhaps that she could not analyse…Rather as if he had a cold in the head—a little suffocating, with suppressing his emotions, of course: his eyes looking at nothing. You would not have said that he even saw the child—heir to Groby and all that!…Something had said to her, just in between two crashes of the gun: ‘It’s his own child. He went as you might say down to hell to bring it back to life…’ She knew it was Father Consett saying that. She knew it was true: Christopher had been down to hell to bring the child back…Fancy facing its pain in that dreadful bath!…The thermometer had dropped, running down under their eyes…Christopher had said: ‘A good heart, he’s got! A good plucked one!’ and then held his breath, watching the thin filament of bright mercury drop to normal…She said now, between her teeth: ‘The child is his property as much as the damned estate…Well, I’ve got them both…’"
No More Parades
Parade’s End, Ford Madox Ford