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    3u平台All this in a little whimper as though she had no strength left with which to cry out. Then her eyes opened: she stared about her, first at the ceiling, then at the table and chairs, then at Peter.


    She took Henry's hand again. "Since father died I can't love any one," she said. "But I can be your friend and never forget you. I have been so long frightened now, and I am so tired and so ashamed, that I think all deeper feeling is dead.
    He was swung suddenly on to the business of the moment, namely that he was going to make his first serious attempt at breaking through into the mysteries of Peter Street, then definitely to do or die—although as a matter of honest fact he had no intention whatever of dying just yet. He was borne into Shaftesbury Avenue before he knew where he was, borne by the tide of people, men and women happy in the bright purple-hued spring afternoon, happy in spite of the hard times and the uncertain future, borne along, too, by the cries and sounds, the roll of the omnibuses, the screams of the taxis, the shouting of the newsboys, the murmur of countless voices, the restless rhythm of the unceasing life beneath the brick and mortar, the life of the primeval forests, the ghosts of the serpents and the lions waiting with confident patience for the earth to return to them once more.
    She carefully closed the door behind her then went to the telephone.


    1.Then they came, in a long endless procession, crowding eagerly with mocking laughter one upon another! That first day of all when she had quarrelled with Victoria and she had come downstairs to find him waiting for her, when they had sat upon her boxes, his arm round her. When they had walked across the Park and he had given her tea. After their first quarrel which had been about nothing at all, and he had sent her flowers, when he had caught her eye across the luncheon-table at Victoria's and they had laughed at their own joke, their secret joke, and Clarice had seen them and been so angry. . . . Yes, and moments caught under flashing sunlight, gathering dusk—moments at Cladgate, dancing in the hotel with the rain crackling on the glass above them, sudden movements of generosity and kindliness when his face had been serious, grave, involved consciously in some holy quest . . . agonizing moments of waiting for him, feeling sure that he would not come, then[Pg 274] suddenly seeing him swing along, his eyes searching for her, lighting at the sight of her. . . . His hand seeking hers, finding it, hers soft against the cool strength of his . . . jokes, jokes, known only to themselves, nicknames that they gave, funny points of view they had, "men like trees walking," presents, a little jade box that he had given her, the silver frame for his photograph, a tennis racket. . . .
    2."No, no. I don't want petting. It's only—what it all might have been. You're so young: it's all before you. It's over for me—over, over!"
    3."Very magnanimous," she answered him. "But don't be too sure that she doesn't love you. Or she will when she's recovered from this present little affair. You must marry her, Peter—and if you do you'll make a success of it. She's the honestest woman I've met yet and you're the honestest man I know. You'll suit one another. . . . Mind you, I don't mean that as a compliment. People as honest as you two are tiresome for[Pg 318] ordinary folks to live with. I found you tiresome twenty years ago, Peter, I find you tiresome still."
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