her arms round my neck; she had tears in her eyes; I only stood and looked at her. She offered her mouth; I couldn't believe in her; it was quite certain she was making a sacrifice as a means of putting an end to all this.
She said something; it sounded to me like, "I am fond of you, in spite of all." She said it very lowly and indistinctly; maybe I did not hear aright. She may not have said just those words; but she cast herself impetuously against my breast, clasped both her arms about my neck for a little while, stretched even up a bit on her toes to get a good hold, and stood so for perhaps a whole minute. I was afraid that she was forcing herself to show me this tenderness, and I only said:
"What a darling you are now!"
More I didn't say. I crushed her in my arms, stepped back, rushed to the door, and went out backwards. She remained in there, behind me.