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31. CHAPTER XXXI (continued)
"At last," Katharine breathed, as the cab drew up at the door. She jumped out and scanned the pavement on either side. Mary, meanwhile, rang the bell. The door opened as Katharine assured herself that no one of the people within view had any likeness to Ralph. On seeing her, the maid said at once:
"Mr. Denham called again, miss. He has been waiting for you for some time."
Katharine vanished from Mary's sight. The door shut between them, and Mary walked slowly and thoughtfully up the street alone.
Katharine turned at once to the dining-room. But with her fingers upon the handle, she held back. Perhaps she realized that this was a moment which would never come again. Perhaps, for a second, it seemed to her that no reality could equal the imagination she had formed. Perhaps she was restrained by some vague fear or anticipation, which made her dread any exchange or interruption. But if these doubts and fears or this supreme bliss restrained her, it was only for a moment. In another second she had turned the handle and, biting her lip to control herself, she opened the door upon Ralph Denham. An extraordinary clearness of sight seemed to possess her on beholding him. So little, so single, so separate from all else he appeared, who had been the cause of these extreme agitations and aspirations. She could have laughed in his face. But, gaining upon this clearness of sight against her will, and to her dislike, was a flood of confusion, of relief, of certainty, of humility, of desire no longer to strive and to discriminate, yielding to which, she let herself sink within his arms and confessed her love.
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