“I am glad,” Beatrice answered shortly.
“By the way,” Geoffrey said presently, “there is something I want to ask you. You are as good as a reference book for quotations, you know. Some lines have been haunting me for the last twelve hours, and I cannot remember where they come from.”
“What are they?” she asked, looking up, and Geoffrey saw, or thought he saw, a strange fear shining in her eyes.
“Here are four of them,” he answered unconcernedly; “we have no time for long quotations:
I must bury sorrow
Out of sight.’”
Beatrice heard—heard the very lines which had been upon her lips in the wild midnight that had gone. Her heart seemed to stop; she became white as the dead, stumbled, and nearly fell. With a supreme effort she recovered herself.
“I think that you must know the lines, Mr. Bingham,” she said in a low voice. “They come from a poem of Browning’s, called ’A Woman’s Last Word.’”
Geoffrey made no answer; what was he to say? For a while they walked on in silence. They were getting close to the station now. Separation, perhaps for ever, was very near. An overmastering desire to know the truth took hold of him.
“Miss Beatrice,” he said again, “you look pale. Did you sleep well last night?”
“No, Mr. Bingham.”
“Did you have curious dreams?”
“Yes, I did,” she answered, looking straight before her.
He turned a shade paler. Then it was true!
“Beatrice,” he said in a half whisper, “what do they mean?”
“As much as anything else, or as little,” she answered.
“What are people to do who dream such dreams?” he said again, in the same constrained voice.
“Forget them,” she whispered.
“And if they come back?”
“Forget them again.”
“And if they will not be forgotten?”
She turned and looked him full in the eyes.
“Die of them,” she said; “then they will be forgotten, or——”
“Or what, Beatrice?”
“Here is the station,” said Beatrice, “and Betty is quarrelling with the flyman.”
Five minutes more and Geoffrey was gone.
THE FLAT NEAR THE EDGWARE ROAD
Geoffrey’s journey to town was not altogether a cheerful one. To begin with, Effie wept copiously at parting with her beloved “auntie,” as she called Beatrice, and would not be comforted. The prospect of rejoining her mother and the voluble Anne had no charms for Effie. They all three got on best apart. Geoffrey himself had also much to think about, and found little satisfaction in the thinking. He threw his mind back over the events of the past few weeks. He remembered how he had first seen Beatrice’s face through the thick mist on the Red Rocks, and how her beauty had struck