Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/134

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118
Some Emotions and a Moral.


"Ah," said Collingwood, dropping his jaw, "you've got a wife; I forgot that."

"What do you mean? "said Godfrey.

"Nothing. But I always forget that fellows have got wives."

"Yes, I will talk it over with her," continued Provence. "She will be able to give very good advice."

"Women are so deep," said Collingwood.

"My wife isn't deep," said Provence, getting rather angry; "that is not a word I care for."

"Look here," said Collingwood, "I like you—it's a funny thing to say, but I do. At one time I didn't. And let me tell you this—Golightly thinks a lot of you. Don't be hard on him, now he's in a scrape. He's weak, and that woman has a hold on him. But there's stuff in him yet."

Provence wished him good-night and left him maundering in this strain over the brandy-decanter.

When he reached home it was past eleven, but Grace was reading in the drawing-room. She was dressed in a lace tea-gown, and he thought she was looking even pretty: very innocent, too, and child-like. He was filled with remorse to think that the shadow of his lonely, monotonous life had fallen on so light and airy a being.

"Were you sitting up for me, Grace?" he said.

She yawned. "I don't mind the sitting up." She did not think it necessary to add that George Golightly had been there the greater part of the evening. "I should like to be told, though," she went on, "when you intend to dine out."

"I haven't dined at all," he said; "but I'm very