Page:Twilight.djvu/41

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33
TWILIGHT

inalienably respectable, that it was difficult to readjust my slowly working mind and think of him as any woman's lover; illegitimate lover, as he seemed to be in this case. I wrote to my secretary in London to look up everything that was known about Margaret Capel. Before her reply came I had another attack of pleurisy—I had had several in London,—and this brought Ella to me, to say nothing of various hungry and impotent London consultants.

As I said before, this is not a history of my illness, nor of my sister's encompassing love that ultimately enabled me to weather it, that forced me again and again from the arms of Death, that friend for whom at times my weakness yearned. The fight was all from the outside. As for me, I laid down my weapons early. I dreaded pain more than death, and do still, the passing through and not the arrival, writhing under the shame of my beaten body, wanting to hide. Yet publicity beat upon me, streamed into the room like midday sun. There were bulletins in the papers and the Press Association rang up and asked for late and early news. Obituary notices were probably being prepared. Everybody knew that at which I was still only guessing. It irked me sometimes to know they would be only paragraphs and not columns, and I knew Ella would be vexed.

When the acuteness of this particular attack