The Dark Flower eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 300 pages of information about The Dark Flower.

If there were confusion in his heart which had been innocent of trouble, what must there have been in hers, that for so long had secretly desired the dawning of that confusion?  And she, too, was very silent.

Passing a church with open door in the outskirts of the village, she said: 

“Don’t wait for me—­I want to go in here a little.”

In the empty twilight within, one figure, a countrywoman in her black shawl, was kneeling—­marvellously still.  He would have liked to stay.  That kneeling figure, the smile of the sunlight filtering through into the half darkness!  He lingered long enough to see Anna, too, go down on her knees in the stillness.  Was she praying?  Again he had the turbulent feeling with which he had watched her pluck those flowers.  She looked so splendid kneeling there!  It was caddish to feel like that, when she was praying, and he turned quickly away into the road.  But that sharp, sweet stinging sensation did not leave him.  He shut his eyes to get rid of her image—­and instantly she became ten times more visible, his feeling ten times stronger.  He mounted to the hotel; there on the terrace was his tutor.  And oddly enough, the sight of him at that moment was no more embarrassing than if it had been the hotel concierge.  Stormer did not somehow seem to count; did not seem to want you to count him.  Besides, he was so old—­nearly fifty!

The man who was so old was posed in a characteristic attitude—­ hands in the pockets of his Norfolk jacket, one shoulder slightly raised, head just a little on one side, as if preparing to quiz something.  He spoke as Lennan came up, smiling—­but not with his eyes.

“Well, young man, and what have you done with my wife?”

“Left her in a church, sir.”

“Ah!  She will do that!  Has she run you off your legs?  No?  Then let’s walk and talk a little.”

To be thus pacing up and down and talking with her husband seemed quite natural, did not even interfere with those new sensations, did not in the least increase his shame for having them.  He only wondered a little how she could have married him—­but so little!  Quite far and academic was his wonder—­like his wonder in old days how his sister could care to play with dolls.  If he had any other feeling, it was just a longing to get away and go down the hill again to the church.  It seemed cold and lonely after all that long day with her—­as if he had left himself up there, walking along hour after hour, or lying out in the sun beside her.  What was old Stormer talking about?  The difference between the Greek and Roman views of honour.  Always in the past—­seemed to think the present was bad form.  And he said: 

“We met some English Grundys, sir, on the mountain.”

“Ah, yes!  Any particular brand?”

“Some advanced, and some not; but all the same, I think, really.”

“I see.  Grundys, I think you said?”

Project Gutenberg
The Dark Flower from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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