Page:Twilight.djvu/27

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19
TWILIGHT

and uneducated voices. I compromised and sanctioned the appeal to the house-agent, confirming that the irreducible minimum was to be purchased, explaining I was ill, not to be troubled about this sort of thing. I brushed aside a few "buts" and finally rid myself of them. I caught myself yearning for Ella, who would have saved me this and every trouble. Then scorned my desire to send for her and determined to be glad of my solitude, to rejoice in my freedom. I could look as ill as I liked without comment. I could sit where I was without attempting to tidy my belongings, and no one would ask me if I felt seedy, if the pain was coming on, if they could do anything for me. And then, fool that I was, I remember tears coming to my eyes because I was lonely, and sure that I had tired out even Ella's patience. I wondered how any one could face a long illness, least of all any one like me who loved work, and above all independence, freedom. I knew, I knew even then that the time was coming when I could neither work nor be independent; the shadow was upon me that very first afternoon at Carbies. When I could see to write I dashed off a postcard to Ella telling her I was quite well and she was not to bother about me.

"I like the place, I'm sure I shall be able to write here. Don't think of coming down, and keep the rest of the family off me if you can..."

I spent the remainder of the evening weakly