Kimono eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 367 pages of information about Kimono.

“Reggie,” he said dully, “I’m most awfully sorry.  I had never dreamed of this.  I was good pals with Yae because of you.  I never dreamed of making love to her.  You know how I love my wife.  She must have been mad to think of me like that.  Besides,” he added sheepishly, “nothing actually happened.”

“I’m sure I don’t care what actually happened or did not happen.  Damn actual facts.  They distort the truth.  They are at the bottom of every injustice.  What actually happened never matters.  It is the picture which sticks in one’s brain.  True or false, it sticks just the same; and suddenly or slowly it alters every thing.  But I can wipe up my own mess, I think.  It is much more serious with you than with me, Geoffrey.  She has bruised my heel, but she has broken your head.  No, don’t protest, for Heaven’s sake!  I am not interested.”

“Then what she says is absolutely true?” said Geoffrey, lighting his cigarette at last, and throwing the match aside as if it were Hope.  “For a whole year I have been living on prostitutes’ earnings.  I am no better than those awful ponces in Leicester Square, who can be flogged if they are caught, and serve them right too.  And all that filthy Yoshiwara, it belongs to Asako, to my sweet innocent little girl, just as Brandan belongs to my father; and with all this filthy money we have been buying comforts and clothes and curios and rubbish.”

Reggie was pouring out whiskies and sodas, two strong ones.  Geoffrey gulped down his drink, and then proceeded with his lamentation: 

“I understand it all now.  Everybody knew.  The secrecy and the mystery.  Even at my wedding they were saying, ‘Don’t go to Japan, don’t go.’  They must have all known even then.  And then those damned Fujinami, so anxious to be civil for the beastly money’s sake, and yet hiding everything and lying all the time.  And you knew, and the Ambassador, and Count Saito, and the servants too—­always whispering and laughing behind our backs.  But you, Reggie, you were my friend, you ought to have told me.”

“I asked Sir Ralph,” said Reggie candidly, “whether you ought to be told.  He is a very wise man.  He said, ‘No.’  He said, ’It would be cruel and it would be useless.  They will go back to England soon and then they will never know.’  Where ignorance is bliss, you understand?”

“It was unfair,” groaned Geoffrey; “you were all deceiving me.”

“I said to Sir Ralph that it seemed to me unfair and dangerous.  But he has more experience than I.”

“But what am I to do now?” said the big man helplessly.  “This money must be given up, yes, and everything we have.  But whom to?  Not to those filthy Fujinami?”

“Go slow,” advised Reggie.  “Go back to England first.  Get your brain clear.  Talk it over with your lawyers.  Don’t be too generous.  Magnanimity has spoiled many noble lives.  And remember that your wife is in this too.  You must consider her first.  She is very young and she knows nothing.  I don’t think that she wants to be poor, or that she will understand your motives.”

Project Gutenberg
Kimono from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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