Phase the Seventh: Fulfilment
55. CHAPTER LV (continued)
"He has won me back to him."
Clare looked at her keenly, then, gathering her
meaning, flagged like one plague-stricken, and his
glance sank; it fell on her hands, which, once rosy,
were now white and more delicate.
"He is upstairs. I hate him now, because he told me a
lie--that you would not come again; and you HAVE come!
These clothes are what he's put upon me: I didn't care
what he did wi' me! But--will you go away, Angel,
please, and never come any more?"
They stood fixed, their baffled hearts looking out of
their eyes with a joylessness pitiful to see. Both
seemed to implore something to shelter them from
"Ah--it is my fault!" said Clare.
But he could not get on. Speech was as inexpressive as
silence. But he had a vague consciousness of one
thing, though it was not clear to him till later; that
his original Tess had spiritually ceased to recognize
the body before him as hers--allowing it to drift, like
a corpse upon the current, in a direction dissociated
from its living will.
A few instants passed, and he found that Tess was gone.
His face grew colder and more shrunken as he stood
concentrated on the moment, and a minute or two after
he found himself in the street, walking along he did
not know whither.