“Yes. That’s not such an unreasonable question. You can’t persuade me that you came just to see me, Teddy.”The stranger, who had been using the seat as a couch, shifted his position and glanced at Ruddy. “My dee-ar boy, I meant that. If you have very affectionate friends and enough of them, you never need to earn money. It was only when I was young—about as young as you are—that I was fool enough to labor.” He pronounced it “laybore.” Canada Goose Mystique Parka White Women’s “Yes.” She caught at his hands, as though already he had made a sign to leave her. “I didn’t know he was to be there.”All the way to the station, like shy children, without owning to it, they were doing their best to comfort each other.
He held his breath. In the moon-washed street after all these years he was alone with her.“Does ’e like ’er!” she whispered scornfully. “Why, ’e loves ’er, you little Gubbins. Wot on h’earth possessed yer ter go and h’arsk ’is ’eart-sick ma a h’idiot quesching like that?” Canada Goose Mystique Parka White Women’s “Perhaps,” she nodded. “Coming back to England after all those years did make me think of you. But how does the whole poem go? Can’t you repeat it?”“Brought me back!” He pressed her open palm against his mouth. “To you, dearest, wherever you were, I should always be coming back. How could I help it? Hulloa! That’s fine.” His eyes had caught the picture. “Where did you——”From frivolity she grew confessional. It seemed as though her false youth fell away from her and only the tell-tale paint was left “If I’d been wiser, I’d have had two boys like you for grandsons. But I’ve not been wise, my dears. I’ve always wanted to be loved; I’ve broken hearts, and now—— When a woman gets to my age, she’s left to do all the loving. I’m condemned to be always, always young. I’d like best, if I could choose, to be just a simple old woman. I’d like to wear a lace cap and no, corsets, and to sit rocking by a window, watching for you boys to come and tell me your hopes and troubles. You must have very dear mothers. I wonder—— If I asked you to visit me—not the me I look now, but the real me—would you come?” Canada Goose Mystique Parka White Women’s “I believe you almost wish there had been another girl” She shrugged her shoulders. “My darling mother was before me—you forgot that. But I don’t mind her.”“That’s who she is,” he acknowledged. “But don’t you see that all that helps? It’s an advertisement. She’s the best preserved woman of seventy in London.”The excessively thin man glanced up from the puddle of lime that he was stirring and regarded the excessively fat man with a smile of meek interrogation.She drew away from him in pretended haughtiness, tilting her chin into the air.“Does he promote everything? I mean, he’s not too particular about what he handles?”“I’m glad you like me little best, because,” she drew her fingers down his cheek, “because, you see, I’m little now. But when I’m a big lady, I shall want you to like me best as I am then.”Did he understand English? Certainly. To the question that followed he answered imperturbably: “Too late, monsieur. It is impossible.” Canada Goose Mystique Parka White Women’s “Anywhere. Piccadilly Circus.”Sleep refused to come to him. He dressed and sat himself by the window. How quiet it was! Night obliterates geography. The yards at the back of the hotel were merged into a garden—a garden like the one in Eden Row. He had only to half close his eyes to image it.Once she said, “Shall we be horrid to each other one day like Horace and Fluffy?” And, when he drew her closer for answer, “I wonder why I let you do it. It’s so hard not to let you; you kiss so gently—I guess every girl loves to be loved.”“My funeral,” he echoed solemnly.“You won’t laugh at me?”It was intoxicating—transforming. It was as though these stone-palaces of Fifth Avenue fell back, disclosing magic woodlands—woodlands such as his father painted through whose shadows pale figures glided. People on the pavement were lovers, going to meetings which memory would make sacred. Like Arcady springing out to meet him, the Park swam into sight, tree-tufted, lagooned, embowered, canopied with the peacock-blue and saffron of the sunset. Canada Goose Mystique Parka White Women’s She sighed. “I’m afraid I am, Meester—Meester Teddy.” She barricaded her lips with her hand. “No more. Do be good. I’ve got to be wise for both of us. I suppose you think I was jealous? I wasn’t.”She fidgeted it round, watching the stones sparkle. She seemed fascinated, and wavered. Then she gathered her will-power: “No, Meester Deek. What kind of a girl d’you think I am?”As he reached the end, she came close and took it from him. He could hear the circlet about her waist jingle; her breath touched him.He rested his chin in his hand. “Naturally.”They were resting on the edge of a wood, half hidden in bracken, recovering their breath. Oak-trees, overhanging them, made an archway. Behind, down green fern-carpeted aisles, mysterious paths led into the unknown. In front a vague sea of meadows stretched, with wild flowers for foam and wheat-fields for sands. In the misty distance the window of a cottage caught the sunset and glowed like the red lamp of a ship which rode at anchor.