Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/208

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The Sinner's Comedy.

lamp, badly trimmed and smelling of paraffin. Again they faced each other.

"I cannot see you very well," said Anna, at last, "but you are the same—a little thinner—but the same. Is it the light on your hair or—is it grey? How I wish I could see you better. I have lived for this."

"Am I granite?" wondered Sacheverell, "am I human?" But he said nothing.

"Tell me about you" said Anna; "tell me about your Palace. Have you a nice, big study—with a large window and long shelves for your books? Does it open on to the garden?"

"Oh, my dearest," said Sacheverell, "have you been well taken care of? Have you everything you wish? I want to know—and I don't seem able——"

She laughed, and took his hand. "I thought it was all ended twice. George was very frightened—he soon loses his nerve—but, you see, I am here." She bent over him, and he thought she kissed his forehead. "When can we have one of our old walks together? I cannot go far yet. Not more than two miles——"

"Two miles! My dearest——"

"Don't you believe me? I can—I am sure I could—with you."

"No," he stammered, "no—not yet. The weather—the weather is not bright enough. You must rest a little longer. Perhaps in March."

Her eyes looked far away: she seemed a little disappointed. "In March," she repeated; " but it is only February, now. In March!"

"Anna," he said, " I have known—I have always known—when you were suffering. Where is Christian? Does he take care of you?"