The Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 278 pages of information about The Lake.

‘Father Moran, your reverence.’

‘I see that I’m interrupting you.  You’re writing.’

‘No, I assure you.’

‘But you’ve got a pen in your hand.’

‘It can wait—­a matter of no importance.  Sit down.’

‘Now, you’ll tell me if I’m in the way?’

’My good man, why are you talking like that?  Why should you be in the way?’

‘Well, if you’re sure you’ve nothing to do, may I stay to supper?’

‘To supper?’

‘But I see that I’m in the way.’

’No; I tell you you’re not in the way.  And you’re going to stay to supper.’

Father Oliver flung himself between Father Moran and the door; Father Moran allowed himself to be led back to the armchair.  Father Oliver took the chair opposite him, for he couldn’t send Moran away; he mustn’t do anything that would give rise to suspicion.

’You’re quite sure I’m not in the way—­I’m not interfering with any plans?’

‘Quite sure.  I’m glad you have come this evening.’

‘Are you?  Well, I had to come.’

‘You had to come!’

’Yes, I had to come; I had to come to see if anything had happened.  You needn’t look at me like that; I haven’t been drinking, and I haven’t gone out of my mind.  I can only tell you that I had to come to see you this evening.’

‘And you don’t know why?’

’No, I don’t; I can’t tell you exactly why I’ve come.  As I was reading my breviary, walking up and down the road in front of the house, I felt that I must see you.  I never felt anything like it in my life before.  I had to come.’

‘And you didn’t expect to find me?’

‘Well, I didn’t.  How did you guess that?’

’You’d have hardly come all that way to find me sitting here in this armchair.’

’That’s right.  It wasn’t sitting in that chair I expected to see you; I didn’t expect to see you at all—­at least, I don’t think I did.  You see, it was all very queer, for it was as if somebody had got me by the shoulders.  It was as if I were being pushed every yard of the road.  Something was running in my mind that I shouldn’t see you again, or if I did see you that it would be for the last time.  You seemed to me as if you were going away on a long journey.’

‘Was it dying or dead you saw me?’

’That I can’t say.  If I said any more I shouldn’t be telling the truth.  No, it wasn’t the same feeling when I came to tell you I couldn’t put up with the loneliness any more—­the night I came here roaring for drink.  I was thinking of myself then, and that you might save me or do something for me—­give me drink or cure me.  I don’t know which thought it was that was running in my head, but I had to come to you all the same, just as I had to come to you to-day.  I say it was different, because then I was on my own business; but this time it seemed to me that I was on yours.  One good turn deserves another, as they say; and something was beating in

Project Gutenberg
The Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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