Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/179

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The Sinner's Comedy.

always be jealous of the imaginary me. I would know I was only his shadow."

"I do—like you as you are," murmured Emily. "I am sure I am not mistaken."

"Do you like me well enough to be my wife?"

"I don't know—I—you see—I—don't want to be anybody's wife—just yet."

"I will wait—I will wait as long as you wish. I only want to know that some day——"

Some day sounded a lifetime distant. "Who knows—what might happen—some day?" she said.

He drew a long breath. "Will you promise?"

To promise that something would happen some day seemed even childish in its simplicity. "If you like," she said, half-laughing.

"My love for you," he said, "is a power outside myself. I cannot control it—it controls me. It is for you to decide whether for good or evil." Dimly it occurred to him that he had said something of the kind once before—to Anna. "I will try to be worthy of you," he added. She was a very pretty woman. He stooped and kissed her hand.

Just then Sacheverell entered the room.

"They told me you were here," he said; "I have come to say good-bye. I have just received a telegram which calls me back to town. I must catch the 5.40."

He looked so unlike himself that Emily faltered, "I hope it is not bad news?"

"A very old friend is dying," he said; "he has sent for me. That is all."

"I am sorry," said Emily.

"If he lived it would be sadder."