The Lee Shore eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 269 pages of information about The Lee Shore.
wasn’t coming to bed yet.  He stayed to talk to Peggy.  If anything could be good for Hilary’s moods of depression, thought Peter, Peggy would.  How jolly for Hilary to be married to her!  She was such a refreshment always.  She was so understanding; and was there a lapse somewhere in that very understandingness of her that made it the more restful—­that made her a relaxation to strained minds?  To those who were breaking their moral sense over some problem, she would return simply, “There isn’t any problem.  Take things as they come and make the best of them, and don’t, don’t worry!” “I’m struggling with a temptation to steal a purse,” Peter imagined himself saying to her, “What can I do about it?” And her swift answer came, with her indulgent, humorous smile, “Dear little boy, if it makes you any happier—­do it!” And then she would so well understand the ensuing remorse; she would be so sympathetic, so wholly dear and comforting.  She would say anything in the world to help, except “Put it back.”  Even that she would say if one’s own inclinations were tending in that direction.  But never if they weren’t.  She would never be so hard, so unkind.  That sort of uncongenial admonition might be left to one’s confessor; wasn’t that what confessors were there for?

But why think of stealing purses so late at night?  No doubt merely because it was late at night.  Peter curled himself up and drew the sheet over his ears and sighed sleepily.  He seemed to hear the rich, pleasant echoes of Peggy’s best nursery voice far off, and Hilary’s high, plaintive tones rising above it.

But above both, dominant and insistent, murmured the lapping voice of the wonderful city at night.  A faint rhythm of snoring beyond a thin wall somehow suggested Mrs. Johnson, and Peter laughed into his pillow.

CHAPTER VIII

PETER UNDERSTANDS

On the shores of the Lido, three days later, Peter and Leslie came upon Denis Urquhart.  He was lying on the sand in the sun on the Adriatic side, and building St. Mark’s, rather well.  Peter stood and looked at it critically.

“Not bad.  But you’d better let us help you.  We’ve been studying the original exhaustively, Leslie and I.”

“A very fine and remarkable building,” said Leslie, ponderously, and Peter laughed for the sheer pleasure of seeing Urquhart’s lazy length stretched on the warm sand.

“Cheriton’s somewhere about,” said Urquhart.  “But he wouldn’t help me with St. Mark’s.  He was all for walking round the island at a great pace and seeing how long it took him.  So superfluously energetic, isn’t he?  Fancy being energetic in Venice.”

Peter was thankful that he was.  The thought of Cheriton’s eyes upon him made him shudder.

“He has his good points,” Urquhart added; “but he excites himself too much.  Always taking up some violent crusade against something or other.  Can’t live and let live.  Another dome here, I think.”

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The Lee Shore from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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