Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/109

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

coldly; he knew the glance well—"perhaps you would rather not talk to me at all and I am taking too much for granted."

For answer he also gave a look which she, too, apparently knew well. Words would have been poor in comparison.

"Oh, my dearest!" she said, "why did you not write to me, that time? We have lost three years." For once in her life she spoke to him from her heart, and he caught a glimpse of the real woman. As an actress she was dangerously good: her art was more convincing than the average woman's nature: now she was natural it seemed to, in comparison, as though a queen had been playing beggar-maid. But, as a man may wake from rosy dreams to find himself staring at a mud wall, she threw on her rags again before he could answer.

"I am getting sentimental," she said, hurriedly; "when I'm sentimental I'm tedious. You do the talking now. You haven't told me... Oh, Godfrey, I've just remembered!—you've got a wife."

He had never been more conscious, more completely, hopelessly conscious of this fact, almost to the exclusion of all other facts, in his life. He saw that if farcical comedy became personal it might cease to be amusing.

"Yes," he said, "there is Grace."

"Is that her name? I don't dislike it. It sounds like the good heroine in a novel—the patient, forgiving one who has a sweet expression. Is that being rude?"

"She isn't a woman you can sum up in a phrase. She has a great deal of quiet reserved force, and she