"Off and on," she joked nervously.
Was the nail in the coffin, no pun intended, Evelyn joked weakly.
Jackson often joked that the day would come when she would spend more on a pair of shoes than he did on a car.
Jackson joked, "You realize there are only four of us here?"
But much as all the rest laughed, talked, and joked, much as they enjoyed their Rhine wine, saute, and ices, and however they avoided looking at the young couple, and heedless and unobservant as they seemed of them, one could feel by the occasional glances they gave that the story about Sergey Kuzmich, the laughter, and the food were all a pretense, and that the whole attention of that company was directed to-- Pierre and Helene.
The doctor came every day, felt her pulse, looked at her tongue, and regardless of her grief-stricken face joked with her.
He showed an interest in trifles, joked about de Beausset's love of travel, and chatted carelessly, as a famous, self-confident surgeon who knows his job does when turning up his sleeves and putting on his apron while a patient is being strapped to the operating table.