In the kindly half light of the long, low apartment he stood poised like an ancient ramrod, worn and polished from long years of campaigning. About his person clung a pleasantly subtle suggestion of good soap and even better cigars. An expensive and thoroughly masculine smell. With meticulous care he began to remove his gloves, releasing each imprisoned finger as if the action were an independent and definitely unrelated operation, requiring individual attention. It was rather impressive, the way he took off his gloves—that is, if one's nerves and patience were in good working condition. But the woman sitting in one corner of the huge divan had never been heavily endowed with patience, and at present her nerves were not so good.