Page:Twilight.djvu/169

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161
TWILIGHT

eclectic public. She may have overrated her position, taken as due to herself alone that which was equally if not more essentially owing to her father's wealth and habit of keeping open house. Her letters are eminently characteristic. Her self is more prominent in them than her lover. She seems to have bewildered Gabriel Stanton, who knew little or nothing of women, and carried him off his feet. He may have begun by pitying her, she appealed to his pity, to his chivalry. As she said herself, she "exposed herself entirely to him." Young, rich, beautiful, famous, she was, nevertheless, at the time she first met Gabriel Stanton as a bird in flight, shot on the wing and falling; blood-stained, shrinking, terrified, the stain spreading. Into Gabriel Stanton's pitiful powerless hands, set on healing, she fell almost without a struggle. This at least is her own phrasing, and the way she wished the matter to appear. As it did appear to him, and perhaps sometimes to herself. To others of course it might seem she was the fowler, he the bird!

Certainly after the first visit to Greyfriars', when she opened the matter of the ill-fated book on Staffordshire Pottery there were constant letters, interviews and meetings, conventional and unconventional. Perhaps it was only her dramatic brain, working for copy behind its enforced and vowed inactivity, that made her act as she did. Her letters all read as if they were intended for pub-