“Nothing, Dad. I think we just go back.”
“Ah—My idea, too!”
Neither of them had ever known what the other thought about it before!
“La vie est vaine
—Un peu d’amour,
Un peu de haine,
Et puis bonjour!”
Not quite a grunt or quite a laugh emerged from the depths of Winton, and, looking up at the sky, he said:
“And what they call ‘God,’ after all, what is it? Just the very best you can get out of yourself—nothing more, so far as I can see. Dash it, you can’t imagine anything more than you can imagine. One would like to die in the open, though, like Whyte-Melville. But there’s one thing that’s always puzzled me, Gyp. All one’s life one’s tried to have a single heart. Death comes, and out you go! Then why did one love, if there’s to be no meeting after?”
“Yes; except for that, who would care? But does the wanting to meet make it any more likely, Dad? The world couldn’t go on without love; perhaps loving somebody or something with all your heart is all in itself.”
Winton stared; the remark was a little deep.
“Ye-es,” he said at last. “I often think the religious johnnies are saving their money to put on a horse that’ll never run after all. I remember those Yogi chaps in India. There they sat, and this jolly world might rot round them for all they cared—they thought they were going to be all right themselves, in Kingdom Come. But suppose it doesn’t come?”
Gyp murmured with a little smile:
“Perhaps they were trying to love everything at once.”
“Rum way of showing it. And, hang it, there are such a lot of things one can’t love! Look at that!” He pointed upwards. Against the grey bole of a beech-tree hung a board, on which were the freshly painted words:
Trespassers will be prosecuted
“That board is stuck up all over this life and the next. Well, we won’t give them the chance to warn us off, Gyp.”
Slipping her hand through his arm, she pressed close up to him.
“No, Dad; you and I will go off with the wind and the sun, and the trees and the waters, like Procris in my picture.”
The curious and complicated nature of man in matters of the heart is not sufficiently conceded by women, professors, clergymen, judges, and other critics of his conduct. And naturally so, since they all have vested interests in his simplicity. Even journalists are in the conspiracy to make him out less wayward than he is, and dip their pens in epithets, if his heart diverges inch or ell.