That I should interrupt her in this way, and rush off when she was about to speak to me, fetched a sudden little cloud of astonishment over Yvonne’s face. But I would not be delayed. I made haste down the path and caught Anderson before he reached the gate. He paused with an air of genial surprise.
“Your pardon, monsieur,” said I; “but with your permission I will accompany you a few steps, as I have something to say to you.”
“I am glad to have your company, monsieur,” said he, with a manner that spoke sincerity.
“Are you?” said I abruptly. “Well, somehow I take your words as something more than the thin clink of compliment. I like you—I liked you the moment my eyes fell upon you.”
His face flashed into a 长沙桑拿论坛贴吧 rare illumination, and without a word he held out his hand.
I could not but smile responsively, though I thrust my hand behind my back and shook my head.
“Wait!” said I. “I want to say to you that—I love—I love Mademoiselle de Lamourie!”
46His face clouded a little, and he withdrew his hand, but not angrily.
“We are very much of one mind in that, I assure you,” he said.
“The very ground she walks upon is sacred to me,” I continued.
He smiled ever so little at the passion of my speech, but answered thoughtfully:
“It is but natural, I suppose. I do not think we will quarrel upon that score, monsieur.”
“For two years,” said I, in a low voice, speaking coldly and
evenly, “I have been moved night and day by this love only. It has supported me in hunger and in weariness; it has led me in the wilderness; it has strengthened 长沙桑拿按摩论坛 me in the fight; it has been more to me than all ambition. Even my love of my country has been second to it. I came here to-day for one reason only. And I find—you!”
“None can know so well as I what you have lost, monsieur,” said he very gravely, “as none can know so well as I what I have gained.”
His kindness, no less than his confidence, hurt me.
“Are you so sure?” I asked.
“The discussion is unusual, monsieur,” said he, with a sudden resentment. “I will only remind you that Mademoiselle de Lamourie has accepted my suit.”
47No man’s sternness has ever troubled me, and I smiled slightly in acknowledgment of his very reasonable remark.
“The situation is unusual, so you must pardon me,” said I, “if I arrogate to myself a somewhat unusual freedom. I tell you now frankly that by all open and honorable means I will strive 长沙桑拿按摩预约 to win 长沙桑拿休闲论坛 the love of Mademoiselle de Lamourie. I have hope that she has not yet clearly found the wisdom of her heart. I believe that I, not you, am the man whom she will love. Laugh at my vanity as much as you will. I am not yet ready to say my hope is dead, my life turned to nothingness.”
“You are weak,” said he, with some severity, “to hold your life thus, as it were, in jeopardy of a woman’s whim.”
I could hardly restrain my voice from betraying a certain triumph which I felt at this sign of imperfection in his love.
“If you hold it a weakness,” said I, “there is a point at last in which we differ. If it be a weakness, then it is one which, up to two years ago, I had scarce dared hope to attain. Few, indeed, are the women, and as few men, strong enough for the full knowledge of love.”
“Yet the greatest love is not the 长沙桑拿网 whole of 长沙桑拿会所哪里最好玩 life,” he averred disputatiously.
“You speak but coldly,” said I, “for the lover of Mademoiselle de Lamourie.”