Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/434

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A Bundle of Life.

soon goes, and then there is nothing left of us but a headache! Oh, do not look surprised: I fear I am growing cynical. I am beginning to agree with many of your views on the soul, and death, and marriage, and things of that order!"

"Ah! never trust a man's opinion on any subject until he has been in love," said Wiche. "Love is the only thing which can make life as clear as noon-day."

"Then I suppose you still find it dark and perplexing! Dear me! how idly I talk. I meant to say— but would it be impertinent? I was only thinking that a day, an hour, perhaps a few words might make all the difference in your ideas!"

"If I told you," said Wiche, "that sleeping and waking I heard but one voice, saw but one face."

"Does it bore you?" she said, "would you rather not see it?"

"Each day," he continued, " it grows dearer to me, more beautiful, more—ah! if I waited until I were more eloquent I would never speak, never tell you my one hope, my one aim, my one ambition—above all things, beyond all things, before all things. Just—to gain you; to gain you —just that. I would not own it was impossible, I only saw you, loved you and waited. You passed me by, you hardly knew me. I was only one in a crowded world. A friend? Yes, when you remembered me? was that often? Sometimes we talked together: once I wrapped you in your opera cloak, have you forgotten? I touched your cheek—it was an accident."

"As you say," murmured Lilian, "it only happened once."

"Another time you leant for a moment on my arm."