The difference in the speed of time depends on whether love is your guest or not.
The thought of the briefest interruption to my content made me feel like cold storage. A break in happiness is sometimes hard to mend. The blossom does not return to the tree after the storm, no matter how beautiful the sunshine; and the awful fear of the faintest echo of past sorrow made my heart as numb as a snowball. To the old terror of loneliness was added fear for Jack’s safety. But I did not do what you naturally would prophesy. After seeing the look on Jack’s face I changed my mind, and my protest was the silent kind that says so much. It was lost! Already Jack had gone into one of his trances, as he does whenever there is a possibility of bearding a brand-new microbe in its den, whether it is in his own country or one beyond the seas. In body he was in a padded chair with all the comforts of home and a charming wife within speaking distance. In spirit he was in dust-laden China, joyfully following the trail of the wandering germ. Later on, when Jack came to, we talked it over. I truly remembered your warnings on the danger of impetuosity; for I choked off every hasty word and gave my consent for Jack to go. Then I cried half the night because I had.
We both know that long ago Jack headed for the topmost rung of a very tall scientific ladder. Sometimes my enthusiasm as chief booster and encourager has failed, as when it meant absence and risk. Though I have known women who specialized in renunciation, till they were the only happy people in the neighborhood, its charms have never lured me into any violent sacrifice. Here was my chance and I firmly refused to be the millstone to ornament Jack’s neck.
You might know, Mate? I was hoping all the time that he would find it quite impossible to leave such a nice biddable wife at home. But I learn something new about Jack every day. After rather heated discussion it was decided that I should stay in the little home. That is, the heat and the discussion was all on my side. The decision lay in the set of Jack’s mouth, despite the tenderness in his eyes. He thought the risks of the journey too great for me; the hardships of the rough life too much. Dear me! Will men never learn that hardship and risk are double cousins to loneliness, and not even related to love by marriage?
But just as well paint on water as to argue with a scientist when he has reached a conclusion.
Besides, said Jack, the fatherly Government has no intention that petticoats, even hobbled ones, should be flitting around while the habits and the methods of the busy insect were being examined through a microscope or a telescope. The choice of instrument depending, of course, upon the activity of the bug.
Black Charity was to be my chief-of-police and comforter-in-general. Parties—house, card and otherwise—were to be my diversion, and I was to make any little trips I cared for. Well, that ’s just what I am doing. Of course, there might be a difference of opinion as to whether a journey from Kentucky to Japan is a little trip.