Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/209

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The Sinner's Comedy.
193
 

"He thinks he is being very kind," she said; "he means to be, at any rate."

"I will forgive him everything," said Sacheverell, "if he takes care of you."

"Don't you see," she said, "don't you understand—that his care is what is killing me? That it has killed me? I feel as though I were in prison. I cannot tell him so. I cannot tell the doctors so. Besides, I am too weak to be moved. Mine was the mistake. I should not have returned to him. But I could not let him die. The very sight of him," she said again, "kills me."

"I know—I know, I knew," he said.

"Don't let us talk of it. In March—perhaps something will happen in March. You said March, didn't you? I am supposed to be suffering from a sort of overwork. I shall never finish 'Pompilia' now. But tell me about you."

"How are your money matters?" he said, abruptly. The question was wrung from him. He looked round the shabby, cold room, and hated himself and his palace.

"In a few weeks I shall be in the poorhouse," said Anna, laughing. "A new experience! It will all be useful to my work. Local colour!"

"Anna," he said, desperately, "you must let me— —"

"I am only in fun, of course," she said. " If I wanted anything, I would tell you. You know I would. But I shall soon be well again, and away from here. If only my eyes—— Let me look at you once more." She sighed at once, and turned away. He saw a tear roll down her cheek. "Do