Saint's Progress eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 367 pages of information about Saint's Progress.
along, feeling that her only safety lay in speed.  But she could not walk about all night.  There would be no train for Kestrel till the morning—­and did she really want to go there, and eat her heart out?  Suddenly she thought of George.  Why should she not go down to him?  He would know what was best for her to do.  At the foot of the steps below the Waterloo Column she stood still.  All was quiet there and empty, the great buildings whitened, the trees blurred and blue; and sweeter air was coming across their flowering tops.  The queer “fey” moony sensation was still with her; so that she felt small and light, as if she could have floated through a ring.  Faint rims of light showed round the windows of the Admiralty.  The war!  However lovely the night, however sweet the lilac smelt-that never stopped!  She turned away and passed out under the arch, making for the station.  The train of the wounded had just come in, and she stood in the cheering crowd watching the ambulances run out.  Tears of excited emotion filled her eyes, and trickled down.  Steady, smooth, grey, one after the other they came gliding, with a little burst of cheers greeting each one.  All were gone now, and she could pass in.  She went to the buffet and got a large cup of coffee, and a bun.  Then, having noted the time of her early morning train, she sought the ladies’ waiting-room, and sitting down in a corner, took out her purse and counted her money.  Two pounds fifteen-enough to go to the hotel, if she liked.  But, without luggage—­it was so conspicuous, and she could sleep in this corner all right, if she wanted.  What did girls do who had no money, and no friends to go to?  Tucked away in the corner of that empty, heavy, varnished room, she seemed to see the cruelty and hardness of life as she had never before seen it, not even when facing her confinement.  How lucky she had been, and was!  Everyone was good to her.  She had no real want or dangers, to face.  But, for women—­yes, and men too—­who had no one to fall back on, nothing but their own hands and health and luck, it must be awful.  That girl whose eyes had scorched her—­perhaps she had no one—­nothing.  And people who were born ill, and the millions of poor women, like those whom she had gone visiting with Gratian sometimes in the poorer streets of her father’s parish—­for the first time she seemed to really know and feel the sort of lives they led.  And then, Leila’s face came back to her once more—­Leila whom she had robbed.  And the worst of it was, that, alongside her remorseful sympathy, she felt a sort of satisfaction.  She could not help his not loving Leila, she could not help it if he loved herself!  And he did—­she knew it!  To feel that anyone loved her was so comforting.  But it was all awful!  And she—­the cause of it!  And yet—­she had never done or said anything to attract him.  No!  She could not have helped it.

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Saint's Progress from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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