Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/202

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IX.

For Sacheverell the sun had not set for a fortnight; for Anna, there had been magic in the moon. They had seen each other every day: they had been for several strolls into the country. She always walked with him to his hotel or till they were in sight of it, and he invariably walked back with her again to her studio. The childishness of the performance caused them endless merriment. They also read together: once or twice they managed to finish a whole paragraph. For some reason, however, she never touched her picture. "I can always paint," she said; " I have been painting all my life. I have not always had you—nor can I have you always." He had told her that he loved her; she had made answer that men were very fickle: that Love was the Eternal Lie, and the man who told it the prettiest was the best poet. She, herself, was not, as the phrase goes, in love with him, but she was under his influence. Sacheverell's dreamy, speculative mind was especially delightful to her, a woman who had never found leisure for dreaming, and to whom the high sphere of speculative thought was an undiscovered country. There was a gentleness, too, in his character, a resignation to the will of God—or of anybody—which seemed divinely meek to her more rebellious nature. When she told him the long story of her short life, of her husband, of Kilcoursie, she forgot all her past unhappiness in the fact that he, in the Present, was listening and understanding.

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