Page:Twilight.djvu/32

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24
TWILIGHT

"By your own desire then, I swear. You are not a woman to be left alone if you wanted company." He dropped into a chair, seemed glad to stay. Presently over tea and crumpets, we were really talking of my illness, and if I had permitted it I have no doubt he would have gone into the matter more closely. As it was he warned me solemnly against the nepenthe and suggested I should try codein as an alternative, a suggestion I ignored completely, unfortunately for myself.

"Tell me about your partner," I said, drinking my tea slowly.

"Oh! you'll like him, all the ladies like him. He is very spruce and rather handsome; dapper, band-boxy. Not tall, turning grey ..."

"Did she like him?" I persisted.

"She would not have him near her. After his first visit she denied herself to him all the time. He used to talk to me about her, he could never understand it, he was not used to that sort of treatment, he is a tremendous favourite about here."

"What did she say of him?"

"That he grinned like a Cheshire cat, talked in clichés, rubbed his hands and seemed glad when she suffered. He has a very cheerful bedside manner; most people like it."

"I quite understand. I won't have him. Mind that; don't send him to see me, because I won't see him. I'd rather put up with you." I have explained