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He clapped his hands. “Harriet told me.”Entering, he made a reservation and paid the deposit money. During the next hour she was so sweet to him, so sad, that they raced back through the thickening night, arriving just as the last clerk was leaving, and canceled the booking.And then, in a paragraph:“Well?”Vashti closed her eyes and caught her breath in a quick laugh. “That depends—depends on how late you stay. Desire’s out at Long Island, taking part in some amateur theatricals. She may ’phone me up presently to say she’s stopping the night If she comes back, she’ll have to get some man to drive her, She won’t arrive till after twelve.”

“All my life I’ve loved you,” he pleaded hoarsely. “Doesn’t it mean anything to you? Care for me a little—only a little, Desire. Say you do, and I’ll be content.”“Never.”“He’d find her out But liking’s almost loving sometimes.”It was just like Jimmie Boy to call him Theo before a stranger and to assume the r么le of a respected parent.“But she never told him?”So Beauty Incorporated was launched without Mrs. Sheerug’s opposition. Almost over night the slender white turrets of the Beauty Palace floated up. Madame Josephine began to appear in the West End, looking no more than twenty as seen through the traffic. She drove in a white coach, drawn by white horses, with a powdered coachman and lackeys. The street stopped to watch her. People went to St. James’s to catch a glimpse of her as she flashed down The Mall. She became one of the sights of London and was talked about.He was dizzy. The world swung under him.“No. Hear me out There are women who never take a holiday from themselves. They’re too timid—too selfish. They’re afraid of marrying; they distrust men. They’re afraid of having children; they worship their own bodies. They loath the disfigurement of child-bearing. All their standards are awry. They regard the sacredness of birth as defilement—think it drags them down to the level of the animals. They make love seem ugly. They’ve got a morbid streak that makes them fear everything that’s blustering and genuine. Their fear lest they should lose their liberty keeps them captives. They’re slaves of freedom, starving their souls and living for externals. Because they’re women, their nature cries out for men; but the moment they’ve dragged the soul out of a man their weak passion is satisfied. They have the morals of nuns and the lure of courtesans. They’re suffocating and unhealthy as tropic flowers.—I’ve been at it too long, but I want you to get out while you can.”“Coming. I have a visitor.” canada goose white jacket He had a curious feeling of impropriety in discussing Desire with her mother. It was a stupid feeling to have just because, long ago, he had given Vashti his boyish affection. Yet instinctively he felt that he might rouse her jealousy if he laid too much stress on his change of homage. Was that why she was evading him? How much did she know of what had happened? He began to skirmish for information.“The woman who used to dance at——?”280 canada goose white jacket Mrs. Sheerug, not sure whether she was being praised or blamed, shook her head with dignity. “You’re trying to let me down lightly, Mr. Gurney.” canada goose white jacket But he recovered her most effectually a week after his home-coming, when her letters began to arrive. Not that they were satisfactory letters; if they had been, they would not have been like her. Her sins as a correspondent were the same as her sins of conduct: they consisted of things omitted. Where she might have said something comforting, she filled up the sentence with dots and dashes. He begged her to confess that she was missing him. She escaped him. She let all his questions go unanswered. There was a come-and-find-me laughter in her way of writing. She would tell him just enough to make him anxious—no more. She had been to this play; she had danced at that supper; last Sunday she had automobiled with a jolly party out into the country. Of whom the jolly party had consisted she left him in ignorance.“What time do you want to get there? I can get you there by seven or eight, doing twenty an hour—that’s to say, if nothing goes wrong.”“Has it?” She shook her head doubtfully. “It might have been worth it, if——” A slow smile crept about her mouth. “Whatever happens, you’ll have had your honeymoon. People say it’s the best part of marriage.”“What message shall we send? The usual?” canada goose white jacket The new argument which her accusation suggested was tempting; no man, however inexperienced, likes to be told that he is ignorant of women. That he refused to allow himself to be diverted was proof to her of her loss of power.At the far end of the square he had noticed an old-fashioned hostel. He claimed his baggage at the caf茅, and took a room at the wine-tavern. Having bought a sketching-book, pencils and water-colors, he found the bridge which spans the Rhone between Avignon and Villeneuve. All morning he amused himself making drawings. About every half-hour a ramshackle bus passed him, going and returning. It was no more than boards spread across wheels, with an orange-colored canopy stretched over it. It was drawn by two lean horses, harnessed in with ropes and driven by a girl. He didn’t notice her much at first; the blue river, the white banks, the blue sky, the jagged, vineyard covered hills, and the darting of swallows claimed his attention. It was the bus that he noticed; it creaked and groaned as though it would fall to pieces. Then he saw the girl; she was young and bronzed and laughing. He traced a resemblance in her to Desire—to Desire when she was lenient and happy. She was bare-armed, bare-headed, full-breasted; her hair was black as ebony. She was always singing. About the fifth time in passing him, she smiled. He began to tell himself stories; in Desire’s absence, he watched for her as Desire’s proxy.“Wonder how they found us?” muttered Ruddy. “Must have seen the smoke of our fire. That wasn’t my fault anyhow; you did agree to lighting that.”The riot of relief in his voice explained his undemonstrativeness. Tears sprang into her eyes. How she had misjudged him! She rolled her head luxuriously from side to side. “You funny boy—die! How could I, when you’d be left?”She was curled up on the couch by the window, wearing a pale-blue peignoir and a boudoir cap embroidered with tiny artificial roses. A novel lay face downwards on the floor beside her, and she was playing with the silky ears of Twinkles, who snuggled in her lap. As he entered, she reached out her hand without rising and made a sign for him to sit beside her.“Athens?”“The same,” he said.She came in with her arms full of parcels. He held the book up triumphantly. “I’m awfully-proud. You are a queer kiddy. Why didn’t you tell me? I thought you didn’t care.”She hurried her steps. Drawing a breath of relief, she whispered, “Look back and tell me whether anybody saw us.” canada goose white jacket “But she can’t have. I’ve had her on the phone within half an hour.”