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.
him on his dressing-table.  He felt himself particularly wide awake, and he had a consciousness that the evening had made a very small inroad upon his capacity for saying clever things.  So he went over “An Adventure in Stage-Land” at once, and in writing his opinion of it to Mr. Pitt, which he did with some elaboration, a couple of hours later, he had all the relief of a revenge upon a well-meaning hostess, without the reproach of having done her the slightest harm.  It is probable that if Mr. Jasper had known that the opinion of the firm’s “reader” was to find its way to the author, he would have expressed himself in terms of more guarded commonplace, for we cannot believe that he still cherished a sufficiently lively resentment at having his hand publicly kissed by a pretty girl to do otherwise; but Mr. Pitt had not thought it necessary to tell him of this condition, which Rattray, at Elfrida’s express desire, had exacted.  As it happened, nobody can ever know precisely what he wrote, except Mr. Pitt, who has forgotten, and Mr. Arthur Rattray, who tries to forget; for the letter, the morning after it had been received, which was the morning after the portrait met its fate, lay in a little charred heap in the fireplace of Elfrida’s room, when Janet Cardiff pushed the screen aside at last and went in.

Kendal had come as he promised, and told her everything.  He had not received quite the measure of indignant sympathy he had expected, and Janet had not laughed at the asterisks.  On the other hand, she had sent him away, with unnatural gravity-of demeanor, rather earlier than he meant to go, and without telling him why.  She thought, as she directed the cabman to Essex Court, Fleet Street, that she would tell him why afterward; and all the way there she thought of the most explicit terms in which to inform Elfrida that her letter had been the product of hardness of heart, that she really felt quite differently, and had come to tell her, purely for honesty’s sake, how she did feel.

After a moment of ineffectual calling on the other side of the screen, her voice failed her, and in dumb terror that would not be reasoned away it seemed that she saw the outlines of the long, still, slender figure under the bed draperies, while she still looked helplessly at a flock of wild geese flying over Fugi Yama.  Buddha smiled at her from the table with a kind of horrid expectancy, and the litter, of papers round him, in Elfrida’s handwriting, mixed their familiarity with his mockery.  She had only to drag her trembling limbs a little further to know that the room was pregnant with the presence of death.  Some white tuberoses in a vase seemed to make it palpable with their fragrance.  She ran wildly to the window and drew back the curtain; the pale sunlight flooding in gave a little white nimbus to a silver ring upon the floor.

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A Daughter of To-Day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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