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 keeper, squatting beside her, was also watching with an amused face the bold little bird in her hands. And he stood up, and stood away, moving to the other coop.
For suddenly he was aware of the old flame shooting and leaping up in his loins, that he had hoped was quiescent for ever. But it leapt, and leapt downwards, circling in his knees. She was kneeling and holding her two hands slowly forward, blindly, so that the chicken should run in to the mother-hen again.
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.
"You lie there," he said softly, and he shut the door, so that it was dark, quite dark.
He drew down the thin silk sheath, slowly, carefully, right down and over her feet. He lay there with his arms round her, his body on hers, his wet body touching hers, so close.