With a queer obedience, she lay down on the blanket.
She lay still, in a kind of sleep, always in a kind of sleep. Her tormented modern-woman's brain still had no rest. And she knew, if she gave herself to the man, it was real.
The activity, the orgasm was his, all his; she could strive for herself no more. Why had it lifted a great cloud from her and given her peace? But if she kept herself for herself it was nothing. And at last, she could bear the burden of herself no more.
The hand stroked her face softly, softly, with infinite soothing and assurance, and at last there was the soft touch of a kiss on her cheek.
She lay quite still, in a sort of sleep, in a sort of dream.
Then she quivered as she felt his hand groping softly, yet with queer thwarted clumsiness, among her clothing. She knew that, when at last he roused and drew away from her. He drew her dress in the darkness down over her knees and stood a few moments, apparently adjusting his own clothing.
Yet the hand knew, too, how to unclothe her where it wanted. She must only wait, for she did not dare to break his mysterious stillness.
And he had to come in to her at once, to enter the peace on earth of her soft, quiescent body.
It was the moment of pure peace for him, the entry into the body of the woman.
She reads her aunt's diary and finds out (and graphically imagines) how she was taught in the ways of love by her gardener in 1901 at the age of 21.
She decides to continue the fruitful relationship to the personnel and gets it on with the handsome young gardener herself.
She had found her scrap of handkerchief and was blindly trying to dry her face. Then he cleared aside the chair and table, and took a brown, soldier's blanket from the tool chest, spreading it slowly. His face was pale and without expression, like that of a man submitting to fate.