Orme agreed that what his wife said was true. As yet, not entirely awake, he accepted the blame: the sheriff's subordinates were in possession of the family home. This very minute they were in the act of dismantling it. The officials had arrived early in the morning from Ripon, the county seat. Evening would find him and his wife without shelter. And though he had reluctantly foreshadowed the consequences of his conduct - in fact, had thrust them into the crowded, unopened store-room of the unpleasant, and turned the key; now they burst the lock, and gravely walked out. He sat up in his wide mahogany bed as if to confront them and Alice. She stood before him and with extravagant gestures, in unlovely fury stridently set down the large figures of her husband's shiftlessness, prodigality, vice, until the total, even to her, was incalculable. Finally, she made sufficient pause in her incoherence to state clearly: "If you were a man, Robert, you'd get up and drive these people away."
He passed an uncertain hand over his gray, glazed face. Bewildered, he looked about him, started to rise, and in half-dazed soliloquy, as if fumbling for his thoughts, he said: "Has it really come to this?
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