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31. CHAPTER XXXI (continued)
"Only half-past eight!" she exclaimed. "Then he may be there still." She leant out of the window and told the cabman to drive faster.
"But if he's not there, what shall I do? Where could I find him? The streets are so crowded."
"We shall find him," Mary repeated.
Mary had no doubt but that somehow or other they would find him. But suppose they did find him? She began to think of Ralph with a sort of strangeness, in her effort to understand how he could be capable of satisfying this extraordinary desire. Once more she thought herself back to her old view of him and could, with an effort, recall the haze which surrounded his figure, and the sense of confused, heightened exhilaration which lay all about his neighborhood, so that for months at a time she had never exactly heard his voice or seen his face--or so it now seemed to her. The pain of her loss shot through her. Nothing would ever make up--not success, or happiness, or oblivion. But this pang was immediately followed by the assurance that now, at any rate, she knew the truth; and Katharine, she thought, stealing a look at her, did not know the truth; yes, Katharine was immensely to be pitied.
The cab, which had been caught in the traffic, was now liberated and sped on down Sloane Street. Mary was conscious of the tension with which Katharine marked its progress, as if her mind were fixed upon a point in front of them, and marked, second by second, their approach to it. She said nothing, and in silence Mary began to fix her mind, in sympathy at first, and later in forgetfulness of her companion, upon a point in front of them. She imagined a point distant as a low star upon the horizon of the dark. There for her too, for them both, was the goal for which they were striving, and the end for the ardors of their spirits was the same: but where it was, or what it was, or why she felt convinced that they were united in search of it, as they drove swiftly down the streets of London side by side, she could not have said.
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