Page:Twilight.djvu/42

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34
TWILIGHT

subsided I thought again of Margaret Capel and Gabriel Stanton, yet could not talk of them. For Ella knew nothing of the former occupants of the house, and for some inexplicable reason Dr. Kennedy had left off coming. His partner, or substitute, whose Cheshire-cat grin I easily recognised, made no secret, notwithstanding his cheerfulness, of the desperate view he took of my condition. I hated his futile fruitless examinations, the consultations whereat I was sure he aired his provincial self-importance, his great cool hands on my pulse and smug dogmatic ignorance. "The pain is just here," he would announce, but not even by accident did he ever once hit upon the right spot.

Fortunately Ella was there. She must have arrived many days before I recognised her. The household was moving on oiled wheels, my meals were brought me now on trays with delicate napery and a flower or two. Scent sprays and early strawberries, down pillows and Jaegar sheets, a water bed presently, and all the luxuries, told me undeniably she was in the vicinity. I had always known how it would be. That once I admitted to helplessness she would give up her home life and all the joys of her well-filled days, and would live for me only. Because her tenderness for me met mine for her and was too poignant for my growing weakness, I had denied us both. Her the joy of giving and myself