Five Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 368 pages of information about Five Tales.
by any living thing on earth.  The whole of Larry’s heart and feeling seemed to have come up out of him.  Yearning, mockery, love, despair!  The depth of his feeling for this girl, his stress of mind, fears, hopes; the flotsam good and evil of his soul, all transfigured there, exposed and unforgettable.  The candle-light shone upward on to his face, twisted by the strangest smile; his eyes, darker and more wistful than mortal eyes should be, seemed to beseech and mock the white-clad girl, who, all unconscious, knelt without movement, like a carved figure of devotion.  The words seemed coming from his lips:  “Pray for us!  Bravo!  Yes!  Pray for us!” And suddenly Keith saw her stretch out her arms, and lift her face with a look of ecstasy, and Laurence starting forward.  What had she seen beyond the candle flames?  It is the unexpected which invests visions with poignancy.  Nothing more strange could Keith have seen in this nest of the murky and illicit.  But in sheer panic lest he might be caught thus spying he drew back and hurried on.  So Larry was living there with her!  When the moment came he could still find him.

Before going in, he stood full five minutes leaning on the terrace parapet before his house, gazing at the star-frosted sky, and the river cut by the trees into black pools, oiled over by gleams from the Embankment lamps.  And, deep down, behind his mere thoughts, he ached-somehow, somewhere ached.  Beyond the cage of all that he saw and heard and thought, he had perceived something he could not reach.  But the night was cold, the bells silent, for it had struck twelve.  Entering his house, he stole upstairs.


If for Keith those six weeks before the Glove Lane murder trial came on were fraught with uneasiness and gloom, they were for Laurence almost the happiest since his youth.  From the moment when he left his rooms and went to the girl’s to live, a kind of peace and exaltation took possession of him.  Not by any effort of will did he throw off the nightmare hanging over him.  Nor was he drugged by love.  He was in a sort of spiritual catalepsy.  In face of fate too powerful for his will, his turmoil, anxiety, and even restlessness had ceased; his life floated in the ether of “what must come, will.”  Out of this catalepsy, his spirit sometimes fell headlong into black waters.  In one such whirlpool he was struggling on the night of Christmas Eve.  When the girl rose from her knees he asked her: 

“What did you see?”

Pressing close to him, she drew him down on to the floor before the fire; and they sat, knees drawn up, hands clasped, like two children trying to see over the edge of the world.

“It was the Virgin I saw.  She stood against the wall and smiled.  We shall be happy soon.”

“When we die, Wanda,” he said, suddenly, “let it be together.  We shall keep each other warm, out there.”

Project Gutenberg
Five Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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