Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/284

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268
A Study in Temptations.
 

"This is equivocation: you never did speak out and you never will. A man so guarded in his words must have very treacherous thoughts. Why do you look at me like that?" she said, passionately. "I repeat, you are very difficult to understand. I have been with you ever since I was born, and I have always done all the talking!" He did not attempt to deny this, but still kept his eyes on her with the patient, touching, and wistful expression of the collie dog in "The Shepherd's Chief Mourner."

"One has to take you on trust or not at all," continued his wife; "the most exasperating man God ever made! It is a most unfortunate thing that we ever met: you are naturally secretive, and I am naturally suspicious. Why did you not let them take me to the workhouse? And why did you make love to me? You know you did: I cannot remember one single word you ever said, but you have got an artful way of implying everything under the sun without uttering a syllable! You never even asked me to marry you: all I know is, that I am married and I wish I wasn't." And she wept. Sophia never exhausted herself by restraining her emotions; tears now sprang to her eyes and rolled down her cheeks so softly and sweetly, that to see her one would have thought that weeping were as easy as breathing. It was a pretty study in highly cultivated sorrow.

"My dearest," said Wrath, "you are not well. But this is all my fault: I have been a beast. How

can you like such a great, clumsy, ill-natured brute? It is a very flimsy excuse, but I think I worked too long this morning. Margaret was reading aloud and I did not like to——"