Miss Ensor, having finished her supper, sat smoking.
"Why must you preach?" she asked. "It doesn't seem to pay you." There was a curious smile about the girl's lips as she caught Joan's eye.
He turned to her with his last flicker of passion.
"Because to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth," he answered.
He sank back a huddled heap upon the chair. There was foam about his mouth, great beads of sweat upon his forehead. Mary wiped them away with a corner of her apron, and felt again his trembling hands. "Oh, please don't talk to him any more," she pleaded, "not till he's had his supper." She fetched her fine shawl, and pinned it round him. His eyes followed her as she hovered about him. For the first time, since he had entered the room, they looked human.
They gathered round the table. Mr. Baptiste was still pinned up in Mary's bright shawl. It lent him a curious dignity. He might have been some ancient prophet stepped from the pages of the Talmud. Miss Ensor completed her supper with a cup of tea and some little cakes: "just to keep us all company," as Mary had insisted.
The old fanatic's eyes passed from face to face. There was almost the suggestion of a smile about the savage mouth.
"A strange supper-party," he said. "Cyril the Apostate; and Julius who strove against the High Priests and the Pharisees; and Inez a dancer before the people; and Joanna a daughter of the rulers, gathered together in the house of one Mary a servant of the Lord."