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HOME > Short Stories > The Plain Man and His Wife > 第二小节
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 These reflections have surged up in my brain as I contemplate1 the recent case of my acquaintance, Mr. Omicron, and they are preliminary to a study of that interesting case. Scarce a week ago Omicron was sitting in the Omicron drawing-room alone with Mrs. Omicron. It was an average Omicron evening. Omicron is aged2 thirty-two. He is neither successful nor unsuccessful, and no human perspicacity3 can say whether twenty years hence he will be successful or unsuccessful. But anybody can see that he is already on the way to be a plain, well-balanced man. Somewhat earlier than usual he is losing the fanciful capricious qualities and settling down into the stiff backbone4 of the nation.  
Conversation was not abundant.
Said Mrs. Omicron suddenly, with an ingratiating accent:
“What about that ring that I was to have?”
There was a pause, in which every muscle of the man’s body, and especially the facial muscles, and every secret fibre of his soul, perceptibly stiffened5. And then Omicron answered, curtly6, rebuttingly, reprovingly, snappishly, finishingly:
“I don’t know.”
And took up his newspaper, whose fragile crackling wall defended him from attack every bit as well as a screen of twelve-inch armour-plating.
The subject was dropped.
It had endured about ten seconds. But those ten seconds marked an epoch7 in Omicron’s career as a husband—and he knew it not. He knew it not, but the whole of his conjugal8 future had hung evenly in the balance during those ten seconds, and then slid slightly but definitely—to the wrong side.
Of course, there was more in the affair than appeared on the surface. At dinner th............
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