“That was your purpose! That is where you are taking me! I can’t go, I won’t! Domini, think what you are doing! You are asking too much—”
“I feel that God is asking that of you. Don’t refuse Him.”
“I cannot go—at Beni-Mora where we—where everything will remind us—”
“Ah, don’t you think I shall feel it too? Don’t you think I shall suffer?”
He felt horribly ashamed when she said that, bowed down with an overwhelming weight of shame.
“But our lives”—he stammered—“but—if I go—afterwards—if I make my confession—afterwards—afterwards?”
“Isn’t it enough to think of that one thing? Isn’t it better to put everything else, every other thought, away? It seems so clear to me that we should go to Beni-Mora. I feel as if I had been told—as a child is told to do something by its father.”
She looked up into the clear sky.
“I am sure I have been told,” she added. “I know I have.”
There was a long silence between them. Androvsky felt that he did not dare to break it. Something in Domini’s face and voice cast out from him the instinct of revolt, of protest. He began to feel exhausted, without power, like a sick man who is being carried by bearers in a litter, and who looks at the landscape through which he is passing with listless eyes, and who scarcely has the force to care whither he is being borne.
“Domini,” he said at last, and his voice sounded very tired, “if you say I must go to Beni-Mora I will go. I have done you a great wrong and—and—”
“Don’t think of me any more,” she said. “Think—think as I do—of—of——
“What am I? I have loved you, I shall always love you, but I am as you are, here for a little while, elsewhere for all eternity. You told him—that man in the monastery—that we are shadows set in a world of shadows.”
“That was a lie,” he interrupted, and the weariness had gone out of his voice. “When I said that I had never loved, I had never loved you.”
“Or was it a half-truth? Aren’t we, perhaps, shadow now in comparison—comparison to what we shall be? Isn’t this world, even this—this desert, this pool with the light on it, this silence of the night around us—isn’t all this a shadow in comparison to the world where we are going, you and I? Boris, I think if we are brave now we shall be together in that world. But if we are cowards now, I think, I am sure, that in that world—the real world—we shall be separated for ever. You and I, whatever we may be, whatever we may have done, at least are one thing—we are believers. We don’t think this is all. If we did it would be different. But we can’t change the truth that is in our souls, and as we can’t change it we must live by it, we must act by it. We can’t do anything else. I can’t—and you? Don’t you feel, don’t you know, that you can’t?”
“To-night,” he said, “I feel that I know nothing—nothing except that I am suffering.”