I couldn’t convince M. to go.
Almost I left without him, but to abandon him here? It seemed an impossible decision.
Especially because after that terrible night where I began to feel all that he was experiencing creep over me, things have seemed to get better. I have tried to return to my walks in this beautiful country, my books.
The best thing is that the white cat followed me home from the ruins. I found it on the doorstep the morning after that terrible night spent huddled and starting at shadows. I gave it some milk and it twined around my ankles. It curls up purring on my lap now, purring. But only when M. — and all of the men for that matter — are away. It hates them, slinks into hidden corners before I even know they are approaching.
It is how I know they are approaching.
M. has stopped overthinking his translations of that old manuscript, seems much more cheerful and has stopped muttering to himself. He’s stopped scribbling in his journal as well — until today. I shall have to try and get him to share it with me, but he refused to say anything when I first asked him. Normally I would respect his need to keep some privacy in our relationship, I told him, of course I would.
But not when I fear something is terribly terribly wrong.
And it still is, I can feel it creeping up on us again.
He is spending his time in that cave, trying to translate the inscriptions on the steles though he has also brought scans of them home. He took me once when Charteris and the others were away, the one time they were all busy with some other task… sometimes I feel they watch him. M showed me the bare place in the rock where the face had been.
I don’t know what I think about that place, don’t like it, don’t like M. there. Or us continuing here. M. refuses to join me in my walking, even after I described the miraculous pies of Bakewell.
He has no time for pie? Impossible. Steak and Stilton, I said. Lamb and Leek. Real Bakewell tarts. He has refused to join me. And something new has happened this morning, but he just shakes his head when I ask him and says everything is fine.
I can see it is not. I found him shaking, muttering about squirrels again, and I am afraid.