“But you are a gentleman,” she said, rising again, and rustling over the pages of the book she still held. “Are you in the city?”
“The Lord deliver me!”
“I am nothing.”
“Then you must be rich.”
“It by no means follows. Yesterday I was
a teacher in a school.
To-day I am what is called out of work.”
“A teacher. But I suppose you’ll get another place.”
“No. I’ve given it up because I couldn’t endure it any longer.”
“And how are you going to live?”
“I have no idea.”
“Then you must have been very foolish to give away your money like that to-night.”
“I don’t pretend to much wisdom. If I had had another sovereign in my pocket, no doubt I should have given it you before this, and you wouldn’t have refused it.”
“How do you know?” she asked sharply. “Why should you think me selfish?”
“Certainly I have no reason to. And by the by, I already owe you money for the supper. I will send it you to-morrow.”
“Why not bring it?”
“Better not. I have a good deal of an unpleasant quality which people call pride, and I don’t care to make myself uncomfortable unnecessarily.”
“You can’t have more pride than I have. Look.” She held out her hands. “Will you be my friend, really my friend? You understand me?”
“I think I understand, but I doubt whether it is possible.”
“Everything is possible. Will you shake hands with me, and, when you come to see me again, let us meet as if I were a modest girl, and you had got to know me in a respectable house, and not in the street at midnight?”
“You really wish it? You are not joking?”
“I am in sober earnest, and I wish it. You won’t refuse?”
“If I did I should refuse a great happiness.”
He took her hand and again released it.
“And now look at the time,” said she, pointing to a clock on the mantelpiece. “Half-past one. How will you get home?”
“Walk. It won’t take me more than an hour. May I light my pipe before I start?”
“Of course you may. When shall I see you again?”
“Shall we say this night next week?”
“Very well. Come here any time you like in the evening. I will be at home after six. And then I can give you your book back.”
Waymark lit his pipe, stooped to give Grim a stroke, and buttoned up his coat. Ida led the way downstairs. They shook hands again, and parted.
It was much after his usual hour when Waymark awoke on Good Friday morning. He had been troubled throughout the night with a strangely vivid dream, which seemed to have repeated itself several times; when he at length started into consciousness the anguish of the vision was still upon him.