Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/190

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The Sinner's Comedy.

me." This was the first reference she had ever made to her husband. Sacheverell felt at once, by a sort of intuition, that the some one else was the always-absent, always-present Christian. "I made one great mistake in my life," she said, gravely. "Some day I may tell you about it." Then they talked of other things.

"I know—about your book," said Anna, at last: "my uncle told me. Why won't you finish it?"

"That is nothing in the world," he said, briefly. "Why did Legge tell you?"

"One day, when he was ill, I went to his desk—I was the only one he allowed to touch his papers—and I found a manuscript. I was unhappy at the time, but I read it, and somehow, my despair went away. I felt I might yet do something with my life. I asked who wrote it. Then he told me it was yours, that it belonged to your book, and how you put it aside when your sister—when you became a rector—somewhere."

"You see," he said, with an attempt at a laugh, "I, too, have some one dependent on me, and I—like you—work slowly. Still, as a matter of fact I write now, when I feel in the mood. I have a certain amount of leisure. Just now I am supposed to be resting. I have had rather a hard year, but next year may not bring so much care, and then——"

"But—you are not happy," she said.

"Perhaps not. I don't think that matters. I will finish my work some day. I shall finish it for you."

"Promise me," said Anna.

"I promise."

She held out her hand to say good-bye.