“Don’t trouble about any more metaphors,” I told her. “You promise to go home within a year?”
“I firmly intend to,” she replied, “but you can’t always depend on a woman’s plans.”
“If I can’t depend on you I have very little left to believe in,” I declared.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll come,” she said, “and—and God bless you, John!”
So we separated there, in the silent street, before the nurses’ home where she had taken a room a few days after her graduation. I couldn’t trust myself to say anything more.
The door closed upon her and I slowly walked back to my quarters, with a head full of dreary thoughts, and several times narrowly escaped speeding taxis and brought down upon myself some picturesque language.
I fear that I was hardly in a mood to appreciate its beauty.
From John Grant’s Diary
Four weeks ago, this evening, I sat with Dora in that bright dining room at the Rochambeau. My description of that last meeting of ours is a rather flippant one, I fancy, but some feminine faces are improved by powder, and some men’s sentiments by a veneer of assumed cheerfulness. That cut of mine has not the slightest intention of healing by first intention; it is gaping as widely as ever, as far as I can judge. Yet I am glad I made no further effort. I suppose a man had better stop before he gets himself disliked.
Yesterday morning I came out of a dilapidated dwelling in which I had spent the whole night, and scrambled away over some rocks. When I sat down my legs were hanging over a chasm at the foot of which grandly rolling waves burst into foam, keeping up the warfare waged during a million years against our sturdy cliffs.
Rays of dulled crimson sought to penetrate, feebly, through the fog, as if the sun knew only too well how often it had been defeated in its contest against the murky vapors of this hazy land.
My meeting with Mr. Barnett on the Rosalind was a most fortunate accident. The earnest little clergyman sat next to me at the table, and immediately engaged me in conversation. I gathered from him that he had been begging in the great city and had managed to collect a very few hundred dollars for his little church. He spoke most cheerfully of all that he meant to achieve with all this wealth.
“I am going to have the steeple finished,” he said. “It will take but a few feet of lumber, and we still have half a keg of nails. Some day I expect to have a little reading room, and perhaps a magic lantern. I will try to give them some short lectures. I am ambitious, and hope that I am not expecting too much. We are really doing very nicely at Sweetapple Cove.”
“Where is that?” I asked him.
The little parson gave me the desired geographical information and, finding me interested, began to speak of his work.