荣誉勋章中文版下载

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  • 荣誉勋章中文版下载
  • 荣誉勋章中文版下载
  • 荣誉勋章中文版下载
  • 荣誉勋章中文版下载

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Going up in the train, staring out of the window, Henry tried to bring his thoughts into some sort of definite order. He was always trying to do this, plunging his hands into a tangle, breaking through here, pulling others straight, trying to find a pattern that would give it all a real symmetry. The day suited his thoughts. The beautiful afternoon of yesterday had been perhaps the last smile of a none too generous summer. To-day autumn was in the air, mists curled up from the fields, clouds hung low against a pale watery blue, leaves were turning red once again, slowly falling through the mist with little gestures of dismay. What he wanted, he felt, thinking of Christina, of Duncombe, of Millie, of his work, of his mother, lying without motion in that sombre house, of his own muddle of generosities and selfishness and tempers and gratitudes, was not so much to find a purpose in it all (that was perhaps too ambitious), but simply to separate one side of life from the other.

Every one laughed but Grace Talbot moved restlessly in her chair.

"Why, my dear, how pretty you are! Aren't you the loveliest thing ever? And that little hat! How well you dress!" She sighed, struggling with her corsets. (The kimono was now a dejected heap upon the floor.) "Dress is so easy for some people. It seems to come quite naturally to them. Perhaps my figure's difficult. I don't know. It's certainly simpler for slim people."

There were tears in his eyeshow he hated the way that tears would come when he did not want them! and he was muddy and hatless and lonely! The loneliness was the worst, he was in a hostile and jeering and violent world and there was no one who loved him.

Henry said nothing.

Henry saw no recurrence of the crisis in the cab. Duncombe made no allusion to it and gave no sign of painonly Henry fancied that behind Duncombe's eyes he saw a foreboding consciousness of some terror lying in wait for him and ready to spring.

Duncombe moved back into the room. Henry felt his eyes burrowing into a hole, red-hot, in the middle of his back. He did not move.

Apparently the doctor felt the same thing because he moved about whispering. He came at last to Henry. He was a little man, short and fat. He stood on his toes and whispered in Henry's ear, "Better go downstairs for a bit. No use being here. I'll call you if necessary."

She was a bad housekeeper, and thoroughly complacent over her incompetence, and it was this incompetence that irritated Henry. Somehow to-night there should have been a gracious offering of the very best the place could afford, with some silence, some resignation, some gentle evidence of affection. But[Pg 204] it was not so. Duncombe was his old cynical self, with no sign whatever of the afternoon's mood.

He laughed. Nothing in life could disconcert him!

The house was much smaller than he had at first supposedcompact, square, resembling in many ways an old-fashioned doll's house. Duncombe told him that small as it was they had closed some of the rooms, and apologized to him for giving him a bedroom in the unfurnished portion. "In reality," he explained, "that part of the house where you are is the brightest and most cheerful side. Our mother, to whom my sister was devotedly attached, died in the room next to yours, and my sister cannot bear to cross those passages."

He had not, of course, any time to see these things. He filled in the picture afterwards. What exactly occurred was that the diamond earrings flashed before him, the thick legs stepped into the space between two omnibuses, there was a shout from a driver and for a horrible moment it seemed that both the girl and the supercilious Pomeranian had been run over. Henry dashed forward, himself only narrowly avoided instant death, then, reaching, breathless and confused, an island, saw the trio, all safe and well, moving towards the stoutest of the flower-women. He also saw the stout woman take the girl by the arm, shake her violently, say something to her in obvious anger. He also saw the girl turn for an instant her head, look back as though beseeching some one to help her and then follow her green diamond-flashing dragon.

"Seen the Bradleys lately, Alicia?" said Tom Duncombe, speaking exactly as though Henry existed less than his sister's[Pg 123] dog, Pretty One, a nondescript mongrel asleep in a basket near the window.