The Dark Flower eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about The Dark Flower.
that longing first came to her.  She was giving him tea, it was quite early in the Easter term; he was stroking her cat, who always went to him, and telling her that he meant to be a sculptor, but that his guardian objected, so that, of course, he could not start till he was of age.  The lamp on the table had a rose-coloured shade; he had been rowing—­a very cold day—­and his face was glowing; generally it was rather pale.  And suddenly he smiled, and said:  “It’s rotten waiting for things, isn’t it?” It was then she had almost stretched out her hands to draw his forehead to her lips.  She had thought then that she wanted to kiss him, because it would have been so nice to be his mother—­she might just have been his mother, if she had married at sixteen.  But she had long known now that she wanted to kiss, not his forehead, but his lips.  He was there in her life—­a fire in a cold and unaired house; it had even become hard to understand that she could have gone on all these years without him.  She had missed him so those six weeks of the Easter vacation, she had revelled so in his three queer little letters, half-shy, half-confidential; kissed them, and worn them in her dress!  And in return had written him long, perfectly correct epistles in her still rather quaint English.  She had never let him guess her feelings; the idea that he might shocked her inexpressibly.  When the summer term began, life seemed to be all made up of thoughts of him.  If, ten years ago, her baby had lived, if its cruel death—­after her agony—­had not killed for good her wish to have another; if for years now she had not been living with the knowledge that she had no warmth to expect, and that love was all over for her; if life in the most beautiful of all old cities had been able to grip her—­there would have been forces to check this feeling.  But there was nothing in the world to divert the current.  And she was so brimful of life, so conscious of vitality running to sheer waste.  Sometimes it had been terrific, that feeling within her, of wanting to live—­to find outlet for her energy.  So many hundreds of lonely walks she had taken during all these years, trying to lose herself in Nature—­hurrying alone, running in the woods, over the fields, where people did not come, trying to get rid of that sense of waste, trying once more to feel as she had felt when a girl, with the whole world before her.  It was not for nothing that her figure was superb, her hair so bright a brown, her eyes so full of light.  She had tried many distractions.  Work in the back streets, music, acting, hunting; given them up one after the other; taken to them passionately again.  They had served in the past.  But this year they had not served. . . .  One Sunday, coming from confession unconfessed, she had faced herself.  It was wicked.  She would have to kill this feeling—­must fly from this boy who moved her so!  If she did not act quickly, she would be swept away.  And
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The Dark Flower from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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