Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/311

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A Study in Temptations.

And she slept more soundly that night than she had for many weeks.

Jane, on the morrow, when she found herself actually seated in the train and gliding out of the little station at Brentmore, hardly knew whether to laugh or cry. She had not shed tears over her parting with her grandfather and Aunt Caroline, for she was coming back to see them again so shortly, and they had both seemed in such good spirits at her wonderful fortune. (Fortunately, Jane was not hard to deceive, for neither old Battle nor his daughter were adepts at concealing their emotions.) But now she felt lonely; the Countess had warned her that she always slept when she was travelling, and never attempted to talk, so Jane stared out of the window, and found her only comfort in thinking that now she was rich she could send De Boys anonymous bank-notes and so enjoy the rare distinction of helping a genius. For she no longer thought of him as her lover: a very dear friend, that was all, a sort of relation, almost a brother—but more interesting. If he ever married and had children she would be their godmother and try to like his wife. She might also build him a church, and in the meantime she would do all she could for poor Mr. O'Nelligan, the curate, who had been his tutor.

When she thought of herself she was at once both eager and fearful to learn what the Future would be: as if there is not always still another Future—when one Future has become a Past—to fear and yet rush into! Her personal experience of the world was slight to the point of nothingness, but from a long course of incessant and unsystematic reading she had gathered