The Patrician eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 339 pages of information about The Patrician.
She tried at once to take his head into her arms, but could not see it, and succeeded indifferently.  She could but stroke his arm continually, wondering whether he would hate her ever afterwards, and blessing the darkness, which made it all seem as though it were not happening, yet so much more poignant than if it had happened.  Suddenly she felt him slip away from her, and getting up, stole out.  After the darkness of that room, the corridor seemed full of grey filmy light, as though dream-spiders had joined the walls with their cobwebs, in which innumerable white moths, so tiny that they could not be seen, were struggling.  Small eerie noises crept about.  A sudden frightened longing for warmth, and light, and colour came to Barbara.  She fled back to her room.  But she could not sleep.  That terrible mute unseen vibration in the unlighted room-like the noiseless licking of a flame at bland air; the touch of Miltoun’s hand, hot as fire against her cheek and neck; the whole tremulous dark episode, possessed her through and through.  Thus had the wayward force of Love chosen to manifest itself to her in all its wistful violence.  At this fiat sight of the red flower of passion her cheeks burned; up and down her, between the cool sheets, little hot cruel shivers ran; she lay, wide-eyed, staring at the ceiling.  She thought, of the woman whom he so loved, and wondered if she too were lying sleepless, flung down on a bare floor, trying to cool her forehead and lips against a cold wall.

Not for hours did she fall asleep, and then dreamed of running desperately through fields full of tall spiky asphodel-like flowers, and behind her was running herself.

In the morning she dreaded to go down.  Could she meet Miltoun now that she knew of the passion in him, and he knew that she knew it?  She had her breakfast brought upstairs.  Before she had finished Miltoun himself came in.  He looked more than usually self-contained, not to say ironic, and only remarked:  “If you’re going to ride you might take this note for me over to old Haliday at Wippincott.”  By his coming she knew that he was saying all he ever meant to say about that dark incident.  And sympathizing completely with a reticence which she herself felt to be the only possible way out for both of them, Barbara looked at him gratefully, took the note and said:  “All right!”

Then, after glancing once or twice round the room, Miltoun went away.

He left her restless, divested of the cloak ‘of course,’ in a strange mood of questioning, ready as it were for the sight of the magpie wings of Life, and to hear their quick flutterings.  Talk jarred on her that morning, with its sameness and attachment to the facts of the present and the future, its essential concern with the world as it was-she avoided all companionship on her ride.  She wanted to be told of things that were not, yet might be, to peep behind the curtain, and see the very spirit of mortal happenings escaped

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The Patrician from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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