Page:Twilight.djvu/122

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114
TWILIGHT

denly, and à propos of nothing either of us had said.

"It must have been a week or two, not more. I knew the house had been taken, but not by whom. And at first the name meant nothing to me. I am not a reading man; at least I don't read novels."

"Don't apologise. I have heard of the Sporting Times, Bell's Life."

"Go on, gibe away, I like it. She was just the same only kinder, much kinder."

I laughed.

"I knew she would be kind, and soft, and womanly. Didn't she say she was lonely?"

"Yes."

"And then say quickly: 'But of course you are quite right. Reading is a waste of time, living everything, and you are doing a fine work, a man's work in the world.' She said she envied you. I can hear her saying it." He looked ecstatic.

"So can I. Ella says the same thing."

"Why are you so bitter?"

I could not tell him it was because I had heard other women, many women, who were all things to all men, and that I despised, or perhaps envied them, lacking their gift and so having lived lonely save for Ella and Ella's love. Until now, when it was too late. And then I looked at him, at Dr. Kennedy, and laughed.

"Why do you laugh? You are so like and so