Far Country, a — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 501 pages of information about Far Country, a Complete.

I was surprised and moved.  Once more I had a momentary glimpse of the real Nancy....

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Ralph Hambleton....

XIV.

However, thoughts of Maude continued to possess me.  She still appeared the most desirable of beings, and a fortnight after my repulse, without any excuse at all, I telegraphed the George Hutchinses that I was coming to pay them a visit.  Mrs. George, wearing a knowing smile, met me at the station in a light buck-board.

“I’ve asked Maude to dinner,” she said....

Thus with masculine directness I returned to the charge, and Maude’s continued resistance but increased my ardour; could not see why she continued to resist me.

“Because I don’t love you,” she said.

This was incredible.  I suggested that she didn’t know what love was, and she admitted it was possible:  she liked me very, very much.  I told her, sagely, that this was the best foundation for matrimony.  That might be, but she had had other ideas.  For one thing, she felt that she did not know me....  In short, she was charming and maddening in her defensive ruses, in her advances and retreats, for I pressed her hard during the four weeks which followed, and in them made four visits.  Flinging caution to the winds, I did not even pretend to George that I was coming to see him on business.  I had the Hutchins family on my side, for they had the sense to see that the match would be an advantageous one; I even summoned up enough courage to talk to Ezra Hutchins on the subject.

“I’ll not attempt to influence Maude, Mr. Paret—­I’ve always said I wouldn’t interfere with her choice.  But as you are a young man of sound habits, sir, successful in your profession, I should raise no objection.  I suppose we can’t keep her always.”

To conceal his emotion, he pulled out the watch he lived by.  “Why, it’s church time!” he said....  I attended church regularly at Elkington....

On a Sunday night in June, following a day during which victory seemed more distant than ever, with startling unexpectedness Maude capitulated.  She sat beside me on the bench, obscured, yet the warm night quivered with her presence.  I felt her tremble....  I remember the first exquisite touch of her soft cheek.  How strange it was that in conquest the tumult of my being should be stilled, that my passion should be transmuted into awe that thrilled yet disquieted!  What had I done?  It was as though I had suddenly entered an unimagined sanctuary filled with holy flame....

Presently, when we began to talk, I found myself seeking more familiar levels.  I asked her why she had so long resisted me, accusing her of having loved me all the time.

“Yes, I think I did, Hugh.  Only—­I didn’t know it.”

“You must have felt something, that afternoon when I first proposed to you!”

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Far Country, a — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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