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44. CHAPTER XLIV (continued)
Helen sighed. She seemed humiliated, and buried her face in her hands. After a time she said: "About love," a transition less abrupt than it appeared.
Margaret never stopped working.
"I mean a woman's love for a man. I supposed I should hang my life on to that once, and was driven up and down and about as if something was worrying through me. But everything is peaceful now; I seem cured. That Herr Forstmeister, whom Frieda keeps writing about, must be a noble character, but he doesn't see that I shall never marry him or anyone. It isn't shame or mistrust of myself. I simply couldn't. I'm ended. I used to be so dreamy about a man's love as a girl, and think that for good or evil love must be the great thing. But it hasn't been; it has been itself a dream. Do you agree?"
"I do not agree. I do not."
"I ought to remember Leonard as my lover," said Helen, stepping down into the field. "I tempted him, and killed him, and it is surely the least I can do. I would like to throw out all my heart to Leonard on such an afternoon as this. But I cannot. It is no good pretending. I am forgetting him." Her eyes filled with tears. "How nothing seems to match--how, my darling, my precious--" She broke off. "Tommy!"
"Baby's not to try and stand.--There's something wanting in me. I see you loving Henry, and understanding him better daily, and I know that death wouldn't part you in the least. But I-- Is it some awful, appalling, criminal defect?"
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