Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/233

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A Study in Temptations.

looked down and shivered. Then he looked up at the dark sky.

"God," he said, "if you are there, and if you know everything, you must be sorry for me."

He climbed up on the sill, held out his arms, and with a sob leapt into the night and eternity.

A second later Wrath re-entered. He was breathless, and was reading a letter.

"Now admit," he said, "there is a God who answers prayers. We can go to Venice. Tooth has sold my 'Antigone.' Three hundred——"

His only answer was a shout of horror, a hum of voices, a sound of hurrying in the street below. He leaned out of the window and understood the confusion.

"Mater Dei!" he cried. "Ah, don't groan! Lift him gently! Take care! Five pounds—twenty—to the man who is quickest with the doctor!"

A man looked up from the crowd. "I should like to see the five pound fust" he said. A faint titter greeted his wisdom; an old woman sobbed.

"Come away!" said a girl, who was hanging on the arm of her sweetheart;" there is always something to spoil my evening out!"

The titter and the sob, the sweetheart's retreating footsteps, and Jenyns's death moan, each gave their note to the great unceasing murmur of the city.