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and weariness, weariness and care, with the baseless expectation,

source:xsntime:2023-11-29 12:55:44


and weariness, weariness and care, with the baseless expectation,

She had prayed to God that he might be kept away from her; but immediately afterward, as has already been stated, when she began to think over the situation of the hour, she came to the conclusion that she had been a little too precipitate in her petition. She felt that she would like to ask him how it had come about that he had played that contemptible part. Such a contemptible part! Was it on record, she wondered, that any man had ever played that contemptible part? To run away! And she had designed and worn that wonderful toilet; such a toilet as Helen might have worn (she thought); such a toilet as Cleopatra might have worn (she fancied); such a toilet as--as Sarah Bernhardt (she was certain) would wear when impersonating a woman who had lost her soul for the love of a man. Oh, had ever woman been so humiliated! She thought of the way Sarah Bernhardt would act the part of one of those women if her lover had run away from her outstretched arms,--and such a toilet,--only it was not on record that the lover of any one of them had ever run away. The lovers had been only too faithful; they had remained to be hacked to pieces with a mediaeval knife sparkling with jewels, or to swallow some curious poison out of a Byzantine goblet. She would have a word or two to say to Herbert Courtland when he returned. She would create the part of the woman whose lover has humiliated her.

and weariness, weariness and care, with the baseless expectation,

This was her thought until her husband told her that he had sent that letter to Herbert Courtland, and he would most likely dine with them on the evening of his return.

and weariness, weariness and care, with the baseless expectation,

Then it was it occurred to her that Herbert Courtland might by some curious mischance--mischances occurred in many of Sarah Bernhardt's plays--have come to hear that she had paid that rather singular visit to Phyllis Ayrton, just at the hour that she had named in that letter which she had written to him. What difference did that make in regard to his unparalleled flight? He was actually aboard the yacht /Water Nymph/ before she had rung for her brougham to take her to Phyllis'. He had been the first to fly.

Then she began to think, as she had thought once before, of her husband's sudden return,--the return of a husband at the exact hour named in the letter to a lover was by no means an unknown incident in a play of Sarah Bernhardt's,--and before she had continued upon this course of thought for many minutes, she had come to the conclusion that she would not be too hard on Herbert Courtland.

He had an interview with Mr. Linton at the city offices of the great Taragonda Creek Mine. (The mine had, as has already been stated, been discovered by Herbert Courtland during his early explorations in Australia, and he had acquired out of his somewhat slender resources-- he had been poor in those days--about a square mile of the wretched country where it was situated, and had then communicated his discovery to Stephen Linton, who understood the science and arts necessary for utilizing such a discovery, the result being that in two years everyone connected with the Taragonda Mine was rich. The sweepings of the crushing rooms were worth twenty thousand pounds a year: and Herbert Courtland had spent about ten thousand pounds--a fourth of his year's income--in the quest of the meteor-bird to make a feather fan for Ella Linton.) And when the business for which he had been summoned to London had been set /en train/, he had paid a visit to his publishers. (They wondered could he give them a novel on New Guinea. If he introduced plenty of dialect and it was sufficiently unintelligible it might thrust the kail yard out of the market; but the novel must be in dialect, they assured him.) After promising to give the matter his attention, he paid his visit to Phyllis, and then went to his rooms to dress; for when Stephen Linton had said:

"Of course you'll dine with us to-night: I told Ella you would come."

He had said, "Thanks; I shall be very pleased."