A Daughter of To-Day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 316 pages of information about A Daughter of To-Day.
to the delicious ineffable content that bathed his soul.  He felt that the direction of his walk intensified his eager physical joy in it.  He was going to Janet with his success, as he had always gone to her.  As soon as the absorbing vision of his work had admitted another perception, it was Janet’s sympathy, Janet’s applause, that had mingled itself with his certain reward.  He could not say that it had inspired him in the least, but it formed a very essential part of his triumph.  He could wish her more exacting, but this time he had done something that should make her less easy to satisfy in the future.  Unconsciously he hastened his steps through the gardens, switching off a daisy head now and then with his stick as he went, and pausing only once, when he found himself, to his utter astonishment, asking a purely incidental errand boy if he wanted sixpence.

Janet, in the drawing-room, received him with hardly a quickening of pulse.  It was so nearly over now; she seemed to have packed up a good part of her tiresome heart-ache with the warm things Lady Halifax had dictated for the Atlantic.  She had a vague expectation that it would reappear, but not until she unlocked the box, in mid-ocean, where it wouldn’t matter so much.  She knew that it was only reasonable and probable that she should see him again before they left for Liverpool She had been expecting this visit, and she meant to be unflinching with herself when she exchanged farewells with him.  She meant to make herself believe that the occasion was quite an ordinary one—­also until afterward, when her feeling about it would be of less consequence.

“Well,” she asked directly, with a failing heart as she saw his face, “what is your good news?”

Kendal laughed aloud; it was delightful to be anticipated.  “So I am unconsciously advertising it,” he said.  “Guess!”

His tone bad the vaunting glory of a lover’s—­a lover new to his lordship, with his privileges still sweet upon his lips.  Janet felt a little cold contraction about her heart, and sank quickly into the nearest arm-chair.  “How can I guess,” she said, looking beyond him at the wall, which she did not see, “without anything to go upon?  Give me a hint.”

Kendal laughed again.  “It’s very simple, and you know something about it already.”

Then she was not mistaken—­there was no chance of it.  She tried to look at him with smiling, sympathetic intelligence, while her whole being quivered in anticipation of the blow that was coming.  “Does it—­does it concern another person?” she faltered.

Kendal looked grave, and suffered an instant’s compunction.  “It does—­it does indeed,” he assured her.  “It concerns Miss Elfrida Bell very much, in a way.  Ah!” he went on impatiently, as she still sat silent, “why are you so unnaturally dull, Janet?  I’ve finished that young woman’s portrait, and it is more—­satisfactory—­than I ever in my life dared hope that any picture of mine would be.”

Project Gutenberg
A Daughter of To-Day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook