Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/213

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The Sinner's Comedy.

saw Anna lying on the bed, her hands folded on her breast, her eyes closed as though she were resting them. Such beauty and such peace were beyond all words or tears. He knelt down by the bedside. . . .

He was next conscious of another presence in the room. He looked up, and saw Sir Richard Kilcoursie.

Kilcoursie was the first to speak. "I have just returned," he said, catching his breath, "from my honeymoon. . . . Some one called Grimmage sent me word. . . . I loved her," he added, fiercely, "I loved her. I never knew how much. Do you think she knows? She looks so still. She was always out of my reach, and now—for ever. . . . I was never good enough. There was no one like her. No one."

Sacheverell bowed his head.

They heard the sound of sobbing behind them. It was Mrs. Grimmage.

"Doesn't she look beautiful?" she said, wiping her eyes. "I have never seen nothing to equal it. . . . We did all we could. We might have saved her if she'd have given in sooner. But she never would give in. She kept on saying, 'I shall soon be all right again,' and she wouldn't have the doctor in till this last week or two. She worked herself to death—and starved, if the truth was known. It's my firm belief that she only had a dinner when I reg'lar sat down and made her. I don't believe in them lunches she used to say she had at the Studio. . . . And that husband of hers was always nagging for money, and she gave it till there was next to nothing left but bare rent. I have been putting two and two together, and that's my conclusion. It's