Page:Twilight.djvu/144

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136
TWILIGHT

"That is merely her idiosyncrasy."

"Well! there is another reason. You asked for it and you are going to be told. The love of my life was Margaret Capel." He stared at me when he said it. "You remind me of her all the time." I shut my eyes. When I opened them again his back was all I saw and he was again playing softly; talking at the same time. "When I came here, the first time, the first day, and saw you sitting in her chair, at her table, in her attitude, as I said, it was a reincarnation." He got up from the music stool and came over to me. He said, without preliminary or excuse," You are taking opium in some form or other."

"I am taking my medicine."

"I am not blaming you. You've read De Quincey, haven't you? You know his theory?"

"Some of it."

"Never mind; perhaps you've missed it, better if you have. In those days it was often thought that opium cured consumption."

"Then it is consumption?"

"What does it matter what we call it ? Pleurisy, as you have had it, generally means tubercle. But you will hang on a long time. The life of Margaret Capel must be written and by you. She always wanted it written. From what you tell me she still wants it. I poured my life at her feet those few months she was here, but she never gave me a