Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/349

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XV.

IN WHICH THE NEW EVE AND THE NEWER ADAM GROW ABSENT-MINDED.

De Boys stood waiting at the cross-roads when Sophia appeared in sight. He hastened to meet her, his countenance showing the decent, temperate, and subdued enthusiasm which befitted the pioneer of a great philosophical experiment. Sophia, most unreasonably, thought his manner cold — not that she would have seen him otherwise. The Ideal was founded on ice — eternal, Arctic.

"We are fortunate in our day," she said, in a quaking voice; "it is delightful walking. But I am rather tired. Is there any place where I can rest?"

De Boys looked about him; it was obviously impossible that she could rest on the ground, and on either side of them were high hedges.

"If you can manage to go on a little further," he said, "we may find a cottage — or something! But I am afraid we have not much time. The train "

"But there are lots of trains," said Sophia, wearily, "and there is no hurry."

"Will you take my arm?" said De Boys. "We shall not meet any one, and if we do-"

She shrank back; the only arm she ever permitted herself to rest on, was Wrath's.

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