Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/215

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197
ON THE LAKE

him, and I know how different that is from what he really is. All his life he has thought only of me. He has told me things about himself which nobody else dreams of, and I know that all these years he has been working just for me. Jimmy, you don't hate me for saying this, do you?"

"Go on," he said, drawing her closer to him.

"I can't remember my mother. She died when I was quite little. So, he and I have been the only ones—till you came."

Memories of those early days crowded her mind as she spoke, making her voice tremble; half-forgotten trifles, many of them, fraught with the glamour and fragrance of past happiness.

"We have always been together. He trusted me, and I trusted him, and we saw things through together. When I was ill, he used to sit up all night with me, night after night. Once—I'd only got a little fever, really, but I thought I was terribly bad—I heard him come in late, and called out to him, and he came straight in, and sat and held my hand all through the night; and it was only by accident I found out later that it had been raining and that he was soaked through. It might have killed him. We were partners, Jimmy, dear. I couldn't do anything to hurt him now, could I? It wouldn't be square."

Jimmy had turned away his head, for fear his face might betray what he was feeling. He was in a hell of unreasoning jealousy. He wanted her,