He said, “It’s no more to do with me. Frightful things have happened to me. Frightful things.”
She stretched a hand to his. He moved his hands away. “Marko, they’re done. I would not have spoken of them. But shall I.... Your dear England in those years suffered frightful things. She suffered lies, calumnies, hateful and terrible things—not in one little place but across the world. Those who loved her trusted her and she has come through those dark years; and those who know you have trusted you always, and you are coming through those days to show to all. Time, Marko; time heals all things, forgets all things, and proves all things. There’s that for you.”
He shook his head with a quick, decisive motion.
She went on. “There’s your book—your ‘England.’ You have that to go to now. And all your plans—do you remember telling me all your plans? Such splendid plans. And first of all your ‘England’ that you loved writing so.”
He said, “It can’t be. It can’t be.”
She began again to speak. He said, “I don’t want to hear those things. They’re done. I don’t want to be told those things. They have nothing to do with me.”
She tried to present to him indifferent subjects for his entertainment. She could not get him to talk any more. Presently she said, with a movement, “I am not to stay with you very long.”
He then aroused himself and spoke and had a firmness in his voice. “And I’ll tell you this,” he said. “This was what I said I had to tell you. When you go, you are not to return. I don’t want to see you again.”
She drew a breath, steadying herself, “Why not, Marko?”
“Because what’s been has been. Done. I’ve been through frightful things. They’re on me still. They always will be on me. But from everything that belongs to them I want to get right away. And I’m going to.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. Only get right away.”
She got up. “Very well. I understand.” She turned away. “It grieves me, Marko. But I understand. I’ve always understood you.” She turned again and came close to him. “That’s what you’re going to do. Do you know what I’m going to do?”
He shook his head. He was breathing deeply.
“I’m going to do what I ought to have done the minute I came into the room. I hadn’t quite the courage. This.”
She suddenly stooped over him. She encircled him with her arms and slightly raised him to her. She put her lips to his and kissed him and held him so.
“You are never going to leave me, Marko. Never, never, never, till death.”
He cried, “Beloved, Beloved,” and clung to her. “Beloved, Beloved!” and clung to her....
* * * * *
Postscript.... This went through the mail bearing postmark, September, 1919: