“Marko, I think Tony’s the most wonderful person that ever was. He does everything that men do and he does everything best. And everybody admires him and everybody likes him. You’ve no idea. You’ve no idea how he wins everybody he meets. People will do anything for him. They love him. Well, you’ve only got to look at him, haven’t you? Or hear him talk? I think there’s never been any one so utterly captivating as Tony is to look at and to hear.”
Most engagingly, with such words, she had presented him: one that passed through life airily, exquisitely; much fairy-gifted at his cradle with gifts of beauty, charm, preeminence in all he touched; knowing no care, knowing no difficulty, knowing no obstacle, or danger, or fear, or illness, or fatigue, or anything in life but gay and singing things, which touching, he made more bright, more tuneful yet; meeting no one, of whatever age or degree, but his charm was to that age or degree exactly touched; captivating all, leading all, by all desired in leadership. Fortune’s darling!
“And, Marko,” she at last had come to. “And Marko—this is the word—graceless. Utterly, utterly graceless. Without heart, Marko, without conscience, without morals, without the smallest scrap of an approach to any moral principle. Marko, that’s an awful, a wicked, an abominable thing for a wife to say of her husband. But he wouldn’t mind a bit my telling you. Not a bit. He’d love it. He’d laugh. He’d utterly love to know he had stung me so much. And he’d utterly love to know he’d driven me to tell you. He’d think—he’d love like anything to drive me to do awful things. He’s tried—especially these two years. He’d love to be able to point a finger at me and laugh and say, ‘Ah! Ha-ha! Ah!’ You know, he hasn’t got any feelings at all—love or hate or anything else; and it simply amuses him beyond anything to arouse feeling in anybody else. There have been women all the time we’ve been married and he simply amuses himself with them until he’s tired of them, and until the next one takes his fancy, and he does it quite openly before me, in my house, and tells me what I can’t see before my own eyes just for the love of seeing the suffering it gives me. You saw that Mrs. Winfred. He’s done with her now. And he’s as shameless about me with them as he is about them with me. And what he loves above all is the way I take it; and I can take it in no other way. You see I won’t, I simply will not, Marko, let these women of his see—or let any one in the world suspect—that I—that I suffer. So when we are together before people I keep up the gay way we always show together. He loves it; it’s delicious to him, because it’s a game played over the torture underneath. And I won’t do any other way, Marko. I will keep my face to the world—I won’t have any one pity me.”
“I pity you,” he had said.