“Then come, love of me; I need you—we need each other.”
“No, I think a woman who loves a man could scarcely bear that he had ever been bound to another still living, or even dead.”
“No. It is not right.”
It is not always that even he who is right and strong in the consciousness of it, and resolute toward the end he is seeking may express himself as he would in protest against the object yielding to what is in the social world, though it be wrong. Grant Harlson looked down upon the slender figure and into the earnest face and was helpless for the time. Yet he was fixed of mind.
He was very tender with her, but this was not a man to give up easily what was his. He pleaded with her further, but in vain. She would not yield.
And so the weeks passed, with the problem yet unsolved. They were still much together, for she could not turn him away, and he would not stay away. There was more pleading on his part, and more anger sometimes. It seemed to him absurd that lives should be blighted because of a legend.
And she was unhappy, and, it may be, gradually attaining to broader views and moral bravery. Jean Cornish was courageous, but there was the legend.
And suddenly all was changed, the problem finding a solution not expected. Grant Harlson’s wife was, as has been said, a woman of reason and of force, and she had her own life, with its objects. She chafed under the bond which still connected her with Harlson, and she broke it cleanly. It was she, not he, who sought divorce, and the simple logical ground of incompatibility of temperament was all that was required, in the State where she resided. There was no defense. Grant Harlson became free, and Jean Cornish, since his freedom came in this way, promised, at last, to become his wife.
They loved. They were to marry, but there were the conventionalities to be observed, and they could not be wed at once. That was understood by Grant Harlson, though he chafed at it a little.
There were certain months to be passed before the two would be as one completely, and those months were very sweet months to the twain. They were much together, this man and woman who were plighted to each other, for why should they not be, since they were to become man and wife, and since neither was so happy under other circumstances? They were not what a profound, unsentimental person would consider models of common-sense, but they were not depending upon the opinions of profound, unsentimental persons for anything in particular; so this did not affect them.