Page:Twilight.djvu/253

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245
TWILIGHT

vincial maidens to whom his size was an attraction, and his stupidity no deterrent. This was something altogether different, and in a measure he had grown to meet it, become more ambitious and less demonstrative, perceptibly humbler. She knew he loved her but made light of it. He filled up the hours until Gabriel would come again. That was all. But less amusingly now that she had less difficulty in managing him. This mutual attraction of music slurred over many weak places in their intercourse.

Wednesday he sat through the afternoon, stayed on to dinner playing to her and listening. Thursday he paid her a professional visit in the morning, would have sounded her heart but that his stethoscope was unsteady, and he heard his own heartbeats louder and more definitely than hers. Thursday evening he ran up on his bicycle to see if she was all right. There was more music, and for all his newly found self-restraint a scene at parting, a scene that troubled her because she could not hold herself guiltless in bringing it about, and Gabriel was in her mind now to the exclusion of any other man. Gabriel had won solidly that which at first was little more than an incitement, an inclination.

Gabriel Stanton would not have made love to another man's fiancée. His standard was higher than her own, just as his scholarship was deeper and