Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/377

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A Study in Temptations.

Wrath, in his hour of disillusion, had no words: the tragedy in common life lies in the thinking—not in the speaking.

The sound at last reached him of a woman, crying; he looked, and though he no longer beheld a heavenly spirit, infallible and sinless, he beheld his wife.

"You forget—the circumstances," sobbed Sophia. "I was not well. And think how ill I have been!"

His frown vanished, but it left its scar. "My dearest," he said, gently, "whatever has happened, I know it has all been my fault! My fault entirely! I shall never cease to reproach myself."

"Let me tell you all about it," said Sophia; and then between laughter and tears she confessed the whole story. "Poor young Mauden is not to blame," she wound up, "because he did not know I was married!"

"My fault entirely!" repeated Wrath. And what a relief it was to shift all her burden on his own shoulders! He was the transgressor—the brute beast with no understanding—she was still his angel of light.

"You are so good to me," she whimpered, "but I will never be so wicked again."

"There shall be no more of these detestable circumstances," he said. "I don't mind them so much, if I know what they mean," said Sophia, "and next time, of course, I shall know! Some day I want to have a son, and I want him to be just like you!"

"It is impossible to look into the future," said Wrath; " but if—by any chance—we had a son, I think he would be rather remarkable."