She guessed their shortage of funds. “You’re kinder than I thought First you prevent me from—well, from becoming seventy and then you take care of me with the last of your money. I’ve known a good many boys and men—they were all greedy, especially the men. But there’s something still more wonderful—something you haven’t done. You didn’t laugh at me when—— I’m always losing them one way or another. I’m in constant dread that Duke’ll see me without them. I know you won’t tell.”“I’m sorry. Terribly sorry.”“No. I know it. But what can we do? Poor you! I’m so sorry.”She pursed her mouth and began to do a sum on her fingers. When she had counted up to ten, she peeped at him from under her broad-brimmed hat. “Until it ends.” Then, patting his hand quickly, “But it’s only just started. Don’t let’s think about the end—— Here, this hotel will do. Dig the cocher in the back. I’ll sit in the fiacre till you return; then there’ll be no explanations.”Her tone sank to a honeyed sweetness. “You’re most awfully far away. If you don’t come nearer, we might just as well——”The landlady approached him with a severe expression. “She sent word for me to tell you she’d be down directly. These—these are strange goings-on. Dangerous vagaries, I call them. It’s none of my business—me not being your mother nor related; but I do hope you know what you’re doing, young gentleman.”
He nodded. “A long time ago.”Had he dared, he would have accepted the proffered assistance. But Desire would guess; they all would guess that he had acted a lie to gain an entrance. Contempt for the foolishness of his situation made him hurry. The car made a miraculous recovery—so miraculous that the blue eyes twinkled with dawning knowledge.They waded through bracken dew-wet, clinging and shoulder-high. Above them trees grew gnarled and dense, shutting out the sky. At each step the world grew more hushed and quiet. The sleepy calling of birds faded on the night Dank fragrances of earth and moss and bark made the air heavy. Little hands touched them; the hands of foxgloves and ferns and trailing vines. They seemed to pat them more in welcome than affright.“In the Rue St. Honor茅 at The Oxford and Cambridge; close by there are heaps of other hotels. You can easily find a good one.”They watched together. The sun climbed higher. Inside the farmhouse sounds began to stir.“Ah! Burnt me in effigy. That’s what Hal’s done, I expect. That’s where men make mistakes; they’re so impatient. Often a woman’s love begins at the point where a man’s ends. I wonder, one day will you get tired and do something like that to her?” canada goose online sale “Good at it! Phew! A regular steam-engine when he gets started.”As he stared between the rushing eyes of the car, watching the road ahead, his imagination painted pictures on the darkness. He saw her lifting her arms about his neck. He saw her lying close against his breast. He heard her whispering broken phrases—words which said so much by leaving so much unsaid. But whenever he stole a glance at her, he saw her gray eyes closed like a statue’s and her white hands folded. canada goose online sale He was certain of himself now. He was shaking like a leaf. If her voice could thrill and unnerve him when her body was absent, this must be more than passion.“Because——- It’s difficult to tell you. Because I couldn’t bear to lose you the moment we’ve met. I don’t think—well, of course, you can’t understand what you’ve been in my life. Don’t laugh, Desire; I’m not flirting—not exaggerating. I’ve always believed that I’d find you. I’ve lived for that. I’ve worked, and tried to be famous and worthy so that—so that you’d like me. I had an idea that somewhere, far out in the world, you were thinking of me and waiting for me.” He glanced at her shyly. “Were you?”“How to cater to people’s vanities. How to live without doing a stroke of work. My father’s been trying for years—he’s a promoter. You might tell us.”“Aren’t you extravagant? Money does burn holes in your pocket. You ought to give it to some one to take care of for you.”“You can’t go back alone. I’ll come with you. I’m not sailing.”“Not very.”“That’s what Mrs. Sheerug does when she doesn’t want to smile.” canada goose online sale Some one rose from a chair so hurriedly that it toppled over. Then the same voice exclaimed in a glad tone, “Why, it’s the shrimp!” canada goose online sale In the presence of her frailty he looked more robust, more of a Phoenician pirate than ever. She gloried in his picturesque lawlessness, in the unrestraint of his gestures, in his uncouth silences. What a lover for a woman to have! As she lay there in her weakness she recalled the passion of his arms about her: how he had often hurt her with his kisses, and she had been glad. She wished that she might feel his arms about her now.His high spirits came back. He laughed and leant his head against her shoulder. “I don’t know. I’m not very old yet.” canada goose online sale His lover’s eye detected a wealth of cleverness in her correspondence. He sincerely believed that she was more gifted as a writer than himself. Her letters were full of descriptions of Fluffy in her part, thumb-nail sketches of the other members of the cast and accounts of the momentously personal adventures of a theatrical company on tour. She had a trick of humor that made her intimate in an adjective, and made him laugh. She also had a trick of allotting to him prejudices. “You’d call our leading man a very bad character, but I like him: I think one needs to have faults to be truly charitable. I’d ask you to join us, but—— You wouldn’t get on with theatrical people; you rather—I know, so you needn’t deny it—you rather despise them. I think they’re the jolliest crowd. We dance every night when the show is ended and have late suppers, and—you can guess.”“I knew a boy once who called me ’Princess.’ He used to tell me—it was a queer, dear thing to tell me—he used to tell me that the babies came into my eyes when I was happy. But that was only when I’d been awfully nice to him.” When he stared at her, she nodded. “Really. He did. I’m not joking.”She was supple and slight and tall. She walked unhurriedly, with an air of pride, as though she had not yet shaken off her part. A man accompanied her. He was speaking earnestly; she gazed straight before her, taking little notice of what he said. Her hair was brushed back from her forehead to reveal the curve of her ears and the gleam of her shoulders. Her garment was of green and gold, caught in at the waist with a golden girdle; on her feet were golden sandals, which twinkled. The white intensity of her face and throat shone in the darkness. There was an ardency about her that arrested attention.The last morning. He had scarcely slept. The throb of the engines was slower. Overhead he could hear the creaking of pulleys, and the commotion of trunks being raised from the hold and piled upon the deck. He rose with the first flush of dawn to see the wraith of land stealing nearer. He had the feeling that, in so doing, he was proving his loyalty. Somewhere, over there to the westward, her eyes were closed and she was dreaming of him. It was his old idea that their thoughts could reach out and touch.Teddy’s arrival home scattered the last mists of his dream-world. As the cab drew up before the house, the door flew open and his father burst out, bundling a mildly protesting old gentleman down the steps.