Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/210

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194
The Sinner's Comedy.
 

you think," she said, "we shall ever see the Studio—again?"

He made no answer, but, following a blind instinct, caught her hand. He knew afterwards that it was a pitiful effort to hold her from Death.

"I suppose you must go now," she said. He felt that this was her way of telling him that her strength was failing. He rose, and kissed her good-bye. "I have lived, dearest," said Anna.

A little later he found himself in the street. All feeling had left him: he had no mind—not even enough to wonder whether his soul were dead. He walked into the gathering darkness—on and on. Then by degrees he remembered that the meeting he had longed, without hoping for—had taken place. He had gained his heart's desire: he had seen Anna once more—spoken to her—touched her—heard her voice. Swifter than words the thought rushed over him that he must see her again and explain: he had been cold, distant, speechless, impossible.

He drove back to Carbury Street.

The landlady opened the door this time. She told him that Mrs. Christian was resting on the sofa: she had not felt quite strong enough yet to go upstairs to her room. She was wonderful easy tired. But she would, no doubt, see him.

"I was obliged to come back, Anna," he said, when he saw her. "I think my heart is broken; but, you know—I love you. Words are nothing."

Anna laughed. "I understand, of course," she said. "How could I misunderstand you? My dearest and best—my very dearest."

He drew a long sigh. "If you understand," he