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He never had, but he had come close. Varamyr Sixskins was

source:Obsessed with the networkedit:datatime:2023-12-02 07:17:28

Gordon went to the door, and when he had opened it he stood for a while, holding it and looking at his companions. Then--

He never had, but he had come close. Varamyr Sixskins was

"I assure you she won't be long!" he said to Angela, and rapidly passed out.

He never had, but he had come close. Varamyr Sixskins was

The others stood silent till they heard the outer door of the apartment close behind him.

He never had, but he had come close. Varamyr Sixskins was

"And now please to elucidate!" said Bernard, folding his arms.

Angela gave no answer for some moments; then she turned upon him a smile which appeared incongruous, but which her words presently helped to explain.

"He is intensely in love with his wife!"

This statement was very effective, but it might well have seemed at first to do more credit to her satiric powers than to her faculty of observation. This was the light in which it presented itself to Bernard; but, little by little, as she amplified the text, he grew to think well of it, and at last he was quite ready to place it, as a triumph of sagacity, on a level with that other discovery which she had made the evening before and with regard to which his especial errand to-day had been to congratulate her afresh. It brought him, however, less satisfaction than it appeared to bring to his clever companion; for, as he observed plausibly enough, Gordon was quite out of his head, and, this being the case, of what importance was the secret of his heart?

"The secret of his heart and the condition of his head are one and the same thing," said Angela. "He is turned upside down by the wretchedly false position that he has got into with his wife. She has treated him badly, but he has treated her wrongly. They are in love with each other, and yet they both do nothing but hide it. He is not in the least in love with poor me-- not to-day any more than he was three years ago. He thinks he is, because he is full of sorrow and bitterness, and because the news of our engagement has given him a shock. But that 's only a pretext--a chance to pour out the grief and pain which have been accumulating in his heart under a sense of his estrangement from Blanche. He is too proud to attribute his feelings to that cause, even to himself; but he wanted to cry out and say he was hurt, to demand justice for a wrong; and the revelation of the state of things between you and me-- which of course strikes him as incongruous; we must allow largely for that--came to him as a sudden opportunity. No, no," the girl went on, with a generous ardor in her face, following further the train of her argument, which she appeared to find extremely attractive, "I know what you are going to say and I deny it. I am not fanciful, or sophistical, or irrational, and I know perfectly what I am about. Men are so stupid; it 's only women that have real discernment. Leave me alone, and I shall do something. Blanche is silly, yes, very silly; but she is not so bad as her husband accused her of being, in those dreadful words which he will live to repent of. She is wise enough to care for him, greatly, at bottom, and to feel her little heart filled with rage and shame that he does n't appear to care for her. If he would take her a little more seriously--it 's an immense pity he married her because she was silly!--she would be flattered by it, and she would try and deserve it. No, no, no! she does n't, in reality, care a straw for Captain Lovelock, I assure you, I promise you she does n't. A woman can tell. She is in danger, possibly, and if her present situation, as regards her husband, lasts, she might do something as horrid as he said. But she would do it out of spite--not out of affection for the Captain, who must be got immediately out of the way. She only keeps him to torment her husband and make Gordon come back to her. She would drop him forever to-morrow." Angela paused a moment, reflecting, with a kindled eye. "And she shall!"

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