Up the Hill and Over eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Up the Hill and Over.

“Only my life—­my sanity.”

“I shall doubt the latter if you stay here.”

“No, you will see it triumphantly vindicated.  I tell you I am better already.  Look at my hand!  Do you remember how it shook the last time I held it out for you.  A few more months of this and it will be steady as a rock.  Ah! it’s good to be feeling fit again!  And it isn’t only a physical improvement.”  His smile faded and rising he began to pace the room.  “I doubt if even you fully understand the mental depression that was dragging me down.  No wonder Lorna would have none of me!  Strange, that I cannot understand my own case as I understand the cases of others.  Do what I would, I could not heal myself, the soul of the matter persistently escaped me.  I was beginning to be as much the victim of an obsession as any of the poor creatures whom I tried to cure.”

“You never told me of that.”

“No, I was afraid to speak of it.  It would have made it seem more real.  But I can tell you now, if you are sure you will not be bored.”

“I shall not be bored,” said Willits quietly.

CHAPTER VII

“In order to make you understand, I’ll have to go back,” said the doctor musingly, “a long way back.  Some of the story you already know, but now I want you to know it all.  But first—­when you found me in that hospital, a useless bit of human wreckage, and forced me back into life with your scorn of a coward and your cutting words, what did you think?  What did I tell you?  It is all hazy to me.”

“You told me very little.  It was plain enough.  You had come a bad cropper.  Some girl, I gathered.  You had lost her, you blamed yourself.  You talked a great deal of nonsense.  I inferred—­the usual thing!”

“You were mistaken.  It was at once better and worse than that.  But let’s begin at the beginning.  My father was a fairly wealthy man—­but a dreamer.  He made his money by a clever invention and lost it by an investment little short of idiotic.  Like many unpractical men he had rather fancied himself as a man of business and the disillusion killed him.  He—­shot himself.  My mother, my sister and myself were left, with nothing save a small sum in the bank and the deed of the modest house we lived in.  Adela was twenty-one and I was nineteen.  We sold the house, moved into rooms; Adela learned shorthand and went into an office.  I wanted to do the same.  But mother was adamant.  I must finish my college course and take my degree; she and Adela could manage until I could make it up to them later.  It was hard, but it seemed the only sensible thing to do—­

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Up the Hill and Over from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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