Saint's Progress eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about Saint's Progress.

George Laird also had smiled.

“That seems a good point, sir,” he said, “until you recognise that I don’t take, the human reason as final test in any absolute sense.  I only say it’s the highest test we can apply; and that, behind that test all is quite dark and unknowable.”

“Revelation, then, means nothing to you?”

“Nothing, sir.”

“I don’t think we can usefully go on, George.”

“I don’t think we can, sir.  In talking with you, I always feel like fighting a man with one hand tied behind his back.”

“And I, perhaps, feel that I am arguing with one who was blind from birth.”

For all that, they had often argued since; but never without those peculiar smiles coming on their faces.  Still, they respected each other, and Pierson had not opposed his daughter’s marriage to this heretic, whom he knew to be an honest and trustworthy man.  It had taken place before Laird’s arm was well, and the two had snatched a month’s honeymoon before he went back to France, and she to her hospital in Manchester.  Since then, just one February fortnight by the sea had been all their time together....

In the afternoon he had asked for beef tea, and, having drunk a cup, said: 

“I’ve got something to tell your father.”

But warned by the pallor of his smiling lips, Gratian answered: 

“Tell me first, George.”

“Our last talk, Gracie; well—­there’s nothing—­on the other side.  I looked over; it’s as black as your hat.”

Gratian shivered.

“I know.  While you were lying here last night, I told father.”

He squeezed her hand, and said:  “I also want to tell him.”

“Dad will say the motive for life is gone.”

“I say it leaps out all the more, Gracie.  What a mess we make of it—­we angel-apes!  When shall we be men, I wonder?  You and I, Gracie, will fight for a decent life for everybody.  No hands-upping about that!  Bend down!  It’s good to touch you again; everything’s good.  I’m going to have a sleep....”

After the relief of the doctor’s report in the early morning Pierson had gone through a hard struggle.  What should he wire to Noel?  He longed to get her back home, away from temptation to the burning indiscretion of this marriage.  But ought he to suppress reference to George’s progress?  Would that be honest?  At last he sent this telegram:  “George out of danger but very weak.  Come up.”  By the afternoon post, however, he received a letter from Thirza: 

“I have had two long talks with Noel and Cyril.  It is impossible to budge them.  And I really think, dear Edward, that it will be a mistake to oppose it rigidly.  He may not go out as soon as we think.  How would it be to consent to their having banns published?—­that would mean another three weeks anyway, and in absence from each other they might be influenced to put it off.  I’m afraid this is the only chance, for if you simply forbid it, I feel they will run off and get married somewhere at a registrar’s.”

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Saint's Progress from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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