The Forsyte Saga - Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 935 pages of information about The Forsyte Saga.

A gleam of sun had come, sharpening to his hurrying senses all the beauty of the afternoon, of the tall trees and lengthening shadows, of the blue, and the white clouds, the scent of the hay, and the cooing of the pigeons; and the flower shapes standing tall.  He came to the rosery, and the beauty of the roses in that sudden sunlight seemed to him unearthly.  “Rose, you Spaniard!” Wonderful three words!  There she had stood by that bush of dark red roses; had stood to read and decide that Jon must know it all!  He knew all now!  Had she chosen wrong?  He bent and sniffed a rose, its petals brushed his nose and trembling lips; nothing so soft as a rose-leaf’s velvet, except her neck—­Irene!  On across the lawn he went, up the slope, to the oak-tree.  Its top alone was glistening, for the sudden sun was away over the house; the lower shade was thick, blessedly cool—­he was greatly overheated.  He paused a minute with his hand on the rope of the swing—­Jolly, Holly—­Jon!  The old swing!  And suddenly, he felt horribly—­deadly ill.  ‘I’ve over done it!’ he thought:  ‘by Jove!  I’ve overdone it—­after all!’ He staggered up toward the terrace, dragged himself up the steps, and fell against the wall of the house.  He leaned there gasping, his face buried in the honey-suckle that he and she had taken such trouble with that it might sweeten the air which drifted in.  Its fragrance mingled with awful pain.  ‘My love!’ he thought; ‘the boy!’ And with a great effort he tottered in through the long window, and sank into old Jolyon’s chair.  The book was there, a pencil in it; he caught it up, scribbled a word on the open page....  His hand dropped....  So it was like this—­was it?...

There was a great wrench; and darkness....

III

IRENE

When Jon rushed away with the letter in his hand, he ran along the terrace and round the corner of the house, in fear and confusion.  Leaning against the creepered wall he tore open the letter.  It was long—­very long!  This added to his fear, and he began reading.  When he came to the words:  “It was Fleur’s father that she married,” everything seemed to spin before him.  He was close to a window, and entering by it, he passed, through music-room and hall, up to his bedroom.  Dipping his face in cold water, he sat on his bed, and went on reading, dropping each finished page on the bed beside him.  His father’s writing was easy to read—­he knew it so well, though he had never had a letter from him one quarter so long.  He read with a dull feeling—­imagination only half at work.  He best grasped, on that first reading, the pain his father must have had in writing such a letter.  He let the last sheet fall, and in a sort of mental, moral helplessness began to read the first again.  It all seemed to him disgusting—­dead and disgusting.  Then, suddenly, a hot wave of horrified emotion tingled through him.  He buried his face in his hands.  His mother!  Fleur’s father!  He took up the letter again, and read on mechanically.  And again came the feeling that it was all dead and disgusting; his own love so different!  This letter said his mother—­and her father!  An awful letter!

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The Forsyte Saga - Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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