“We’ve been hunting him all day.”“That October was her autobiography?”“When were the others?”Through the blue-gold blur of autumn afternoons they would drift off to a matin茅e or he would accompany her shopping. There was a peculiar intimacy attaching to being made the witness of her girlish purchases. She would take him into a millinery shop and try on a dozen hats, referring always to his judgment. The assistant would delight him by mistaking him for her husband. Desire would correct the wrong impression promptly by saying: “I don’t know which one I’ll choose; I guess I’ll have to bring my mother.” In the street she would confess to him that she’d done it for a lark and hadn’t intended to buy anything.“Won’t you tell me?”In the lumber-room, where so many happy hours had been spent, they sat with their faces pressed against the window.
canada goose online outlet He laughed softly. “You will marry me, Princess. You will. One day you’ll want to know everything. I’ll wait till you’re ready.”His hand set out on a voyage of discovery. It slipped into her muff and found her fingers.Outside her bedroom at parting she stopped laughing. “I am fond of you, dear Teddy.” canada goose online outlet canada goose online outlet canada goose online outlet “It was foolish of me,” he said humbly.“Who’s there?” he whispered. canada goose online outlet On the second message they sent back to Mr. Hughes they wrote, “A mystingry.” On the third, “The mystingry deepens.”“And yet I do wish you’d pilfer sometimes.” She clasped her hands against her throat. “I want you, and I don’t want you. I don’t want any. one to have you; but if I had you always to myself, I shouldn’t know what to do with you. You’d be awful strict, I expect” She sighed and sank back in her chair. “It’s such a large order—marriage. I’m so young. A girl mortgages her whole future.”With the reflected light from the table drifting up across her breast and her eyes brooding on him through the shadows, she looked both gorgeous and tragic. He couldn’t think of anything to say; he had always pictured her as wandering from happiness to happiness. While he struggled with his silence, a sob escaped her; she hurried from him.“But tell us—tell us. Did you know we were here? Did you come by accident?”Then the child, on his side of the wall, strolled away to dream of pigeons; and the older child, on the other side, stooped above his flowers.“What?” Her question was asked lazily, more out of politeness than curiosity.He read in her distrust the influence of the people among whom her girlhood had been spent, the Vashtis, Fluffys, and Mr. Daks—the slaves of freedom who, having disdained the best in life, used pleasure as a narcotic. He knew that it was not his inconstancy that she dreaded, but the chance that after marriage she herself might be fascinated by some man. The knowledge made him cautious. Nothing that he could say would carry any weight; he would be a defendant witnessing in his own defense. That she was willing to open her mind to him kept him hopeful. It was a step forward.For Nurse says I am not prettyCHAPTER XX—THE POND IN THE WOODLANDThey came thick and fast, funny little letters dashed off at top-speed in a round girlish handwriting and made to look longer than they were by being sprawled out over many pages. They were full of broken phrases like her speech, with dashes and dots for which he might substitute whatever tenderness his necessity demanded. Usually they began “Dear Miester Deek” and ended “Yours sincerely, Desire.” Once, in a glorious burst of expansiveness, she signed herself “Affectionately, Desire,” and scratched it out. He watched for the error to occur again; it was never repeated. They were the kind of letters that it was perfectly safe to leave lying about; his replies emphatically were not. He marveled at her unvarying discretion.Then, from anger he became all tenderness. What did a little postponement matter? It would make their meeting all the finer. He wouldn’t ask her a single accusing question..That was the kind of thing Hal would have done, spoiling available happiness by a remembered grievance. Love, if it was worth anything, was a rivalry between two people to be generous. The man had to set the example; the girl didn’t dare.He told the waiter to bring a Cook’s Time Table. Turning to the index, he began to read out the names alphabetically. “Aden?”Ruddy stood hesitant; his fists fell “Don’t know what God’ll do to me. I’ve been in love with my——” He gulped. “I’m her uncle.”She came to the rescue. “You’ll think I haven’t any ideals; but I have.” She laughed softly. “You men are like boys who make cages. Some one’s told you that if you can put salt on a bird’s tail, you can catch it. Away you go with your cages and the first bird you see, you start saying pretty things to it and trying to creep nearer. It hops away and away through the bushes and you follow, still calling it nice names. Presently it spreads its wings and then, because you can’t reach it, you throw stones at it That’s what Horace is doing to poor little Fluffy. He never ought to have made his cage; if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have got angry.—But we’ve not struck a happy subject, Meester Deek. Tell me, did you miss me much?”He reached Maidenhead and came to the bridge—came to the river winding like a silver pathway between nose-gays of gayly painted houseboats.“And isn’t that just saying that you do love me?”